All my life I’ve read stories about people who were inspired, or saved, by an author or a musician. One song made them feel strong again. I’ve read books that altered my life, so I’ve always understood how it happened to other people. Words are powerful. It happened to me again last night, with one sentence.
It made my entire body vibrate with emotion.
Even though this is a book many people will read, I felt like like Josy was talking just to me. It was intimate. He said:
“The world is a big place, and sometimes you just want to feel small.”
Even now I feel shaken reading that line. I’ve never read my feelings said so perfectly, and in that moment I know How to be a Movie Star was everything.
Frankly, as excited as I was for this sequel, I didn’t expect it to be as incredible as How to be a Normal Person. There’s something about Gus that’s unlike any character I’ve ever read before. Grumpy Gus is completely unique, and I love him. While it’s true How to be a Movie Star didn’t make me laugh as much as Gus’s book did, and maybe I was drawn more toward Casey and Gus’s relationship, I still ended up loving How to be a Movie Star just as much and the reason for that is Josiah Erickson.
TJ likes to talk about his upcoming books, and we as his fans love to read everything he says. He was very open that this was probably his happiest book, and how Josiah was probably his happiest character. I felt his light from the very first page. Every single character describes Josy as sunshine, and they are not wrong.
I know reading about him made me feel lighter, so I can only imagine how writing him felt.
He was pure joy, all the time. He takes every sucky moment in his life and finds a way to feel joy in it. He’s had a crappy time, but all he sees is the good he’s gotten out of it. He’s got to have the biggest heart of any character TJ’s written, or at least I think so.
He was perfect for me, and since I’m more like Quincy he was exactly what Q-Bert needed too. People like Q and I, we need friends like Josy in our life to remind us we don’t break, even if sometimes we need to feel small in this very big world. It’s okay to lay in the dark, safe in a fort (or in my case, under a weighted blanket). It doesn’t make us weak.
We all need a Josiah Erickson in our lives.
So, thank you TJ.
You gave us all someone very special.