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The Story of How I Met Paolo

For each of us, there are those profound events in our lives we always remember. You know, those memories we hold so close to our hearts they seem to live and breathe all on their own.

Among those moments in my life, I recollect the time I first discovered seahorses during a visit to the aquarium in Boston when I was five. Then there's the day my older sister and nephew arrived in Minnesota. They moved from New York to join my parents, two of my three brothers, and me in our new home state. This particular day, an unexpected and intense storm blew in. The wind so fierce, it propelled a woman forward, forcing her to run down the sidewalk as she clutched her skirt tightly to her. The clouds filled the sky that morning, blocking out any hint of sun. To my eight-year-old eyes, it could have been the the dead of night at 9 a.m. By some miracle, the skies cleared just as my sister's bus arrived.

I can still feel the first moments I held each of my children in my arms. I can recall the tactile sensation of gathering them close and wanting nothing more than to love and protect them. More recently, I can vividly picture the first time I met my husband for coffee outside on a sweltering, joy filled Saturday afternoon in June—during the pandemic.

Okay, you get the picture. Well, in the company of all of those memories, there's also the day I met Paolo.

Now I didn't meet Paolo in the physical sense. No, I met him in my mind when I was sixteen.

Okay, before you say, "I'm not so sure about this, Joie," remember I'm a writer. This Paolo I'm talking about is one of my most beloved characters.

To set the stage for you, I need to tell you a bit about myself as a teenager. See, I used to make up stories in my mind for strangers I would encounter. I instinctively knew every single person had something they were dealing with—be it big or small. I would play the "what if" game and I would tell their story. My mind would spin—asking the questions, creating the backstory, and discovering the inciting incident.

On the day I met Paolo, I was on the city bus on the way home from school playing my game when I noticed a man sitting at the back of the bus who seemed a bit down on his luck. I wondered, what if he were alone in the world? What would happen if this man collapsed there on the bus? Would he die right there on that bus alone? What if I, or someone else, comforted him in his dying moments?

Do you know where I am going with this?

Yes, this is how I met Paolo Clemente. The story I weaved silently in my mind planted the seeds for the story that would become The Passenger.


Do you remember Paolo?

I previously introduced him through the eyes of the woman who fell in love with him at first sight in my post entitled The Magic in Writing.

Please, stayed tuned. In the posts leading up to my upcoming release, I'll share a bit more about all of the characters that bring the story to life.


Before I forget!

I will be sending out the first edition of my newsletter later this month. If you'd like a chance to be among the first to see the debut of The Passenger's brand new book trailer, click the link below and subscribe.

Until next time,

P.S. — Be the first to know. Follow this link to subscribe to my newsletter.

About the Author

Joie Lesin, Author of Speculative Fiction

Minnesota-based author, Joie Lesin is a life-long fiction writer and the author of The Passenger. She has long been fascinated by anything otherworldly including ghosts. She loves to write a good ghost story—especially when it includes a touch of romance.

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