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  • Writer's pictureMax Sinsheimer

SOLD! If I Don't Make It, I Love You (Edited by Loren Kleinman and Amye Archer)

More than 215,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine, and that number doesn’t count the parents, siblings, teachers, and community members also directly affected. There are whole communities grieving and whole generations altered by these tragedies. Survivors of school shootings dating back fifty years -- since the 1966 University of Texas at Austin shooting -- and the families and friends of those who did not survive, have lived with their trauma for a lifetime. Some, inspired by the courage of the Parkland students and other young activists, have reopened old wounds to share their stories.

I am proud to announce that next Spring Skyhorse Publishing will publish If I Don't Make It, I Love You, an anthology of more than sixty survivor stories. These are difficult stories of unimaginable grief, but also strength and resiliency. The father who interviewed his son’s killer in prison. The daughter who is now a prison counselor, counseling criminals like the ones who shot her father, a Columbine coach, when she was little. The teacher white-knuckling it through undiagnosed PTSD for 7 years. The 15-year-old hit with bullets in her hip and knee during French class. These are their stories, and they will contribute to the surging national dialogue on gun violence.

The editors who collected them, Amye Archer and Loren Kleinman, both creative writing professors whose previous works include an anthology on body image, did an unbelievable job building trust relationships with several national survivor networks, sensitively reaching out to the survivors (many of whom agreed to participate only because they considered this project to be apart from the news media), and interviewing several dozen survivors for the book.

If I Don’t Make It, I Love You is written by survivors for survivors, and Amye and Loren are donating their royalties to survivor support and advocacy groups. They are also considering sending a copy of the book to each U.S. Senator. I hope they read it.

Here's the Publisher's Marketplace deal memo:

Congrats to Amye, Loren, and Nick on this important project!

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