Dear Reader

Writing Stories That Make You Feel Less Alone

Yulin Kuang on pivoting from screenwriting to novel writing with her debut romance.

May 1, 2024

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How to End a Love Story is a meta romance about a screenwriter and a novelist who are linked by a shared tragedy in high school, and then find themselves in the same TV writers room, 13 years later.

In my professional life, I am a screenwriter and director. At the time of drafting, everything else I was working on was an adaptation. I wrote How to End a Love Story to see if I had anything original left within me. It felt like an excavation: the book you have now is what I found.

This story is an intensely personal one which explores themes of complicated grief, workplace anxiety, and the tension that comes with challenging long-established family dynamics. I wanted to tell a story that felt more honest than careful.

It is also an unabashed romance, with all the trappings of the genre I’ve loved all my life. I worried at times this love story was too ugly for a contemporary romance, but it was the story I needed to tell.

My favorite books and movies are the ones that make me feel less alone, the ones that feel like the author is speaking an emotional truth into the ether and asking, anyone else? This book is my message in a bottle, via art into the ether.

I hope it finds the person I’m looking for.

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