Archive of Letters and Voices • Chloe Gong
• 12 January 2021
You know when you’re really invested in a book or a TV show—when you can’t wait to find out what happens next— that you almost start itching to get back to it? It’s all you can think about, and you want nothing more than to keep turning the pages or waiting for the next episode until you finally, finally, find out how it all ends.
The best stories always have that frantic energy to it, and that’s always what I’m thinking about when I’m telling one. I grew up surrounded by a rotating stack of library books, because I’m from New Zealand and books take forever to get to the bottom of the world. So I checked out older books from the library and I usually tore through them by the end of the day, consuming tale after tale because I needed to know how things ended. Life isn’t that easy, because life forces us to live slowed down instead of frantically tearing towards the finale, but stories… stories have that guaranteed safety, stories always need that pay-off. In stories we can find warmth when life can’t scratch that weird itch. In stories you can always find a place to rest and get lost in when life is throwing you ups and downs.
I always hope that my stories can provide a new and fantastical world to stay in, to keep you turning and turning the pages, but I also hope they do exactly what those tattered, fraying library books did for me. They taught me that stories are stories if they can keep a reader glued in, stories are not all fancy, hooty-tooty ideas, but also that funny thing your friend was telling you in the cafeteria about that strange dog they saw on the street yesterday. There are so many stories waiting to be told in the world. So many that people want to hear, that they will be on the edges of their seat, biting their nails, waiting for. I’m looking forward to seeing them all make their way out into the world. You—reader of this letter—if you have a story in you: tell it, and write it.