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Emily Henry Didn’t Know How Readers Would Feel About Funny Story’s Miles: Book Questions Answered (Exclusive)

When author Emily Henry dropped her latest highly anticipated novel, Funny Story, last month, she introduced fans to a new book boyfriend by the name of Miles.

Funny Story follows protagonist Daphne who just went through the most heart-wrenching breakup of her life. Her fiancé, Peter, called off their engagement because he’s in love with his best female friend, Petra — the same girl he’s been assuring Daphne he doesn’t have feelings for. Following the split, Daphne is forced to move in with Miles, who is coincidentally Petra’s ex.

Both Daphne and Miles are in their feels — with a lot of Bridget Jones Diary viewings going on — and they can’t help but notice the spark between them.

Because she wanted to make the novel perfect for readers, Henry told Us Weekly exclusively that she “probably had seven drafts” of Funny Story before it was finalized.

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“Some of my favorite parts of it did not come together until the very end. I pushed every deadline back,” she admitted. “There were times where I did not know if it would be coming out this year because both my editor and I were in agreement that we wanted to feel like it was as far as it could possibly go, as deep as it could possibly go. I am happy with it.”

Emily Henry Didnt Know How Readers Would Feel About Funny Storys Miles Book Questions Answered
Emily Henry ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

BookTok has since taken a hold of the novel and can’t stop gushing over Miles.

“It’s been great seeing readers’ reactions because you get so immersed in your own view of something that you stop being able to see the bigger picture,” Henry continued. “It’s always such a relief when I put a book out and I start seeing those people who are like, ‘This one is my favorite.’”

Keep reading for answers to all of Us Weekly’s burning questions about Funny Story — and for hints about Henry’s upcoming novel:

Us Weekly: These characters are going through it at the beginning of the book. Was there one scene that was harder for you to write than the others?

Emily Henry: In general, those emotional aspects are the hardest. I find a lot of times that I want to float along the surface of a story and then I have to push myself further and further to really make everything make sense. … With this one, it was sort of the opposite [from Happy Place], they’re starting out in such a dark place. Most of the book is just this climb upward to feeling better and forming new friendships and trying new things. But there were moments where the families kind of come into play more later in the book that were, I think, really hard to write because it was interrupting that growth. It was like, they’re doing so much better and now we have to bring them back down a few pegs and make them really confront their demons. Anything with Daphne’s dad involved was harder to write.

Emily Henry Didnt Know How Readers Would Feel About Funny Storys Miles Book Questions Answered
Courtesy of Penguin Publishing Group

Us Weekly: What inspired Daphne’s character arc from a “we” to a “me” person?

Emily Henry: That affected the ending completely. I knew approximately how this book needed to end because I understood the journey that Daphne was on from the beginning. I knew what she really needed and what she wanted might not necessarily be the exact same thing. … We’ve all been consumed by relationships — whether it’s friendships or romantic relationships — where you love who you are with this person so much that you stop feeding the other parts of yourself and just become an extension of them. That’s ultimately why this breakup is so devastating at the beginning of the book for Daphne, she’s built this whole life around the version of herself that’s in this relationship.

Us Weekly: Miles has a few red flags in the beginning of the book. Did you struggle to make him likable?

Emily Henry: I loved the idea of starting with Miles at his lowest point and Daphne at her lowest point and playing with the humor of that. Also, the challenge of then having to get the reader on board with the idea of Daphne and Miles possibly becoming more than friends when they’ve seen him just sobbing and hotboxing in his room watching Bridget Jones over and over again. That felt like a really fun challenge versus establishing a really sexy, alluring male lead right off the bat. … I didn’t know how readers would ultimately feel about Miles, so I just had to trust Daphne’s feelings.

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Us Weekly: Do you think that Daphne and Miles stayed together long-term?

Emily Henry Didnt Know How Readers Would Feel About Funny Storys Miles Book Questions Answered
Emily Henry Courtesy of Emily Henry/Instagram

Emily Henry: I often don’t think about this. I get them to the happy ending and then I never think about what they’re doing unless I’m writing an extended epilogue. I think they do. I think that they will have their challenges, but I think that they both really appreciate what the other has to offer.

Us Weekly: Do you think that they will eventually move into Daphne’s dream house that’s referenced throughout the book?

Emily Henry: Probably not. I think they’re never going to have the money for that house realistically. … But I think that’s part of what the book is about. It’s like you find new dreams as life goes on.

Us Weekly: How do you think Funny Story fits into the Emily Henry Universe overall?

Emily Henry: I feel like Funny Story is my most traditional rom-com in a lot of ways. And I think it kind of piggybacks off Book Lovers in that way and Beach Read to an extent. I felt like the love story wasn’t that angsty, it’s more the other stuff going on. So, I think it really fits neatly in line with those two especially.

Us Weekly: If you were to write Miles and Daphne into Layover, where do you think they would be?

Emily Henry: For people who don’t know, that’s the extra epilogue where all the characters crossover, and so everybody’s kind of doing the thing that’s so iconically them. I guess what they would probably be doing is they would be going from restaurant to restaurant in the terminal and just getting samples of everything and then finding somewhere to sit and just eating all of it — and possibly getting sick on the airplane.

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Us Weekly: Which one of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department songs would you assign to Funny Story?

Emily Henry: I think the beginning of the book could be almost any Tortured Poets song. It is an emo little album. I say that lovingly. I love the album, but I think “Down Bad” has kind of been my go-to answer for the beginning. But then, I don’t know because I’m thinking … “So High School” seems like the happiest song, but I don’t know for sure. Maybe that’s where they end up.

Us Weekly: Is there anything you can share about your next novel?

Emily Henry: What I can tell you about the book is it feels like a spiritual heir to Beach Read, but it’s different. It feels like my first real departure, but it is still both a love story and a romance. There is still a romance that I think will satisfy the romance readers, but it feels like the first time that the book has led me into kind of different terrain. It also was the first writing experience I’ve had since Beach Read that was really emotional.

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