This week, I’m is pleased to introduce Jackie Hooper, a musician and writer from Portland, Oregon. Ms. Hooper, a recent college graduate, has been working on an amazing nonfiction writing project that has so much power and significance to offer the community that I wanted to do everything I could to bring more attention to this incredible new voice.
Her project is a future book called The Things You Would Have Said, a collection of unsent letters from people of all ages and walks of life, which she currently chronicles on her website. In each of these letters, the writers are given the opportunity to say what, for whatever reason, they haven’t been able to say before – be it a confession, an apology, gratitude, even admiration – whatever it is they need to get off their chests.
Of all human emotions, regret has to be the most painful. We’ve all written these unsent letters ourselves at one time or another, haven’t we?
That’s what’s so powerful about this project. I think Hooper has tapped into something that is potentially both comforting and cathartic for readers and for the letter writers alike. Her website is like a small virtual space where regret doesn’t exist, where it’s never too late to make peace with the ones you care about regardless of how many years have passed.
The many letters Hooper has collected deal with every subject from a prison inmate’s apology to his kids to an 85-year old woman’s admiration of her mother’s strength during the Holocaust. On her website, Jackie shares some of the letters and excerpts she has received and answers questions from visitors and fans about her amazing project.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Things You Would Have Said, and maybe even contributing a letter of your own, visit Jackie’s website. More importantly, support Jackie’s quest for publication by becoming a fan of The Things You Would Have Said on Facebook.
I had the chance to meet up with Jackie Hooper recently and ask her a few questions about her book and her life. Read the full article and interview at LA Books Examiner