Surprise!!!!!!!! I’m elated to shat that I’ve just released Low-Fat Love: 10th Anniversary Edition as the first title from Paper Stars Press, my own imprint. The novel has been thoroughly revised, including a brand-new ending that I absolutely love. One of my all-time sheroes, Laurel Richardson, has generously written a foreword. This release is both a reclaiming of my work and a tribute to the many readers around the world who have been affected by the novel.
Here’s the afterword I wrote for this special edition:
I’ve always had an ambiguous relationship with Low-Fat Love. It was my debut novel. There was so much I had yet to learn about writing fiction. In addition, I released it with an indie publisher who offered no peer review, editorial feedback, copy editing, or assistance writing the back cover copy. I was even saddled with the production costs. Today, I would call that kind of publisher a vanity press, regardless of how they try to present themselves. Eventually, that press was sold to a much larger publishing house with a more than 300-year history, and they rereleased Low-Fat Love in a compilation of my novels. Sadly, many of the same issues persisted—no peer review, editorial feedback, copy editing, or marketing assistance. Given my inexperience and lack of guidance, I was on my own with this book. I’ve always looked back and wished I could have done a better job. Despite its flaws and thanks to a hard-working publicist I hired, support from my friends and colleagues, and word of mouth, it was well-read and embraced by readers in ways I could not have anticipated. People saw themselves reflected in the pages. Many readers sent me emails, direct messages, or sought me out at book events to tell me how much the novel meant to them, how it resonated, and how they carried the story and message with them. Many even pulled me close to whisper their own stories of low-fat love.
Now with more than a dozen published works of fiction, my writing style has evolved. In that respect, Low-Fat Love remains one of a kind in my back catalogue, something that I will likely never repeat. However, as the tenth anniversary of the original release approached, I reflected on the heartfelt stories that readers have shared with me over the years on a range of personal topics, including body image struggles, toxic relationships, depression, addiction, and even suicide. I decided to revisit this story once more and finally do it right. The pages in this book are my do-over. In addition to professional copy editing, I’ve made substantive revisions throughout the text and written an entirely new ending. The truth is that I’ve always been disappointed by the original ending. I had something compelling in mind but wasn’t quite able to achieve it. I simply wasn’t able to do better at the time. I hope the new ending brings greater satisfaction to readers, as it does for me. My intent was not to alter the ultimate message of the story, but rather, to crystallize it. I fought hard to get back the legal rights to this novel, not from one, but from two publishers; I not only sought the copyright, but also the right to release new editions. I’m thankful to finally put out the version I always wanted to release. While I did make improvements with each new edition, it’s only now that I can fully see my vision through. From the front cover to the final words, this is my definitive version of Low-Fat Love. Whether you’re a returning or new reader, I hope you enjoy it. The style I employ and the topics I explore in my novels these days are a world away from this book, but I’m profoundly grateful I’ve had the chance to go back, revisit this story, and set things right. All these years later, this book still taps into something real for me and reminds me never to settle because we are possibilities. I hope it does the same for you.
Here are some reviews:
“Low-Fat Love proves the astonishing talent that Leavy possesses as both a writer and social commentator. Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Girls meets Sex and the City, but all with Leavy’s raw honesty and clever wit. This is one of my favorite books with a message I can’t shake.” – U. Melissa Anyiwo, Ph.D., editor of Gender Warriors
“Witty, humorous, and smart. The true beauty and power of this novel is reflected in the ways the characters—just like many of us—settle in life and love.” – J. E. Sumerau, Ph.D., author of Via Chicago
“This definitive 10th anniversary edition of Low-Fat Love does not disappoint. The new ending is brilliant. I would run, not stroll, to get a copy for yourself and all the important people in your life. This beautiful and relatable novel offers smart critique of how pop culture’s expectations for intimate relationships often let us down.” – Sandra L. Faulkner, Ph.D., author of Real Women Run
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Thank you boundlessly for your support. I can’t wait to share what’s coming next…
Love and light,