First, I’d like to say thank you so much for allowing me to be a guest on your blog! It’s an honor, and I believe this is my last stop on this blog tour, so prizes will be given away after this one =). Hooray! I hope you all enjoy the post and thank you so much for showing your support for my novel, Fibers.
Question: What was the inspiration for and creative process behind the story?
This novel actually took a while to finish, I believe because it was my first and I usually juggle a lot of different responsibilities, so working on it didn’t become a real priority until 2015 when I decided to buckle down and finish it.
However, as far as the inspiration for it goes, it started when I was on YouTube watching videos about and researching cryptozoology and happened to stumble upon this mysterious illness known as Morgellons disease. Once I learned more about it, I found it both fascinating and disturbing, perfect fodder for a science fiction story.
Fun fact about me and my writing: a lot of what I come up with is based on dreams I have. A few years ago, when I first came up with the concept for this series (which started out as one novel at first), I was taking fluoxetine (generic Prozac) and usually had dreams about creatures of some kind. In one dream, there was a “traveling” wormhole cube that was just kind of meandering down the sidewalk through a neighborhood and swallowing people up. No one knew where they went, and some were scared while others dove right in. It was very interesting.
So, with that tidbit in mind, I worked through quite a few of the details of the novel in my sleep, so to speak. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of alternate dimensions, so I end up doing a lot of nosing around online into quantum physics, multiverse theory, and so on. Coupled with Morgellons disease and the shadow people/sleep paralysis phenomenon, a story took shape and I wrote about half of it over the course of the first two years and then got stuck.
In 2015, I started talking on the phone long-distance with a friend of a friend, who is now one of my absolute best friends and favorite people to brainstorm and talk creative stuff with. He was the one who encouraged me to finish the novel and helped to get me unstuck by asking a lot of questions and giving his creative input. We joke that I should pay him, but until book sales actually happen, that’s a bit difficult lol.
So, last year I decided to finish it, and I won’t lie – my phone friend and my best friend in the area had a lot to do with me finishing the book. However, once I finished it, it still wasn’t over because I had to revise. I must have gone through the book 12 times in total, several times before sending it to the same people for feedback and another few times after, then I did my own final edit because I’m an editor by trade and I’m an author who doesn’t see her books as “babies,” so I take a step back for a couple of weeks and get distracted by life and kids and pets and clients, then take a look with fresh eyes as if it isn’t my book.
During the creative process, there were a few key things that really helped me out:
- Brainstorming and “feeding” off of other people’s energy around my idea. That excitement is infectious!
- Talking through the details to find any glaring plot holes or character development issues.
- As messed up as this sounds, losing a good friend to a car accident in January helped me to better capture Anna’s mourning for the death of her son, Ezra. RIP, David. It wasn’t until after this happened that I fully began to see and understand the grieving process, so once I stopped freaking out and worked through some of my emotions, I used it.
- Researching and reading, learning, and poring over character development books and articles helped a lot. Plot I have no issues coming up with, but characters aren’t real enough to me for me to make them real right off the bat. I had to go through several revisions to get to the point where the main characters aren’t flat. I guess I had to get to know them better first =).
- Going back through the first novel is helping me to prepare diving into the second. So I decided to get a nice microphone and start recording an audio book version, which serves a double purpose, but one of those purposes is to keep the first novel and everything that’s happened fresh in my mind so I can better create the second installment. Plus I’ll have an audio book now =).
I hope that answers your question =). I’m very excited to work on the second novel and can’t wait to release it, but there’s a lot of work ahead of me before I can do that! I hope you all bear with me while I work on book two and keep following the adventure once it comes out =). Thanks so much for having me! I hope you all have a wonderful week, and don’t forget to enter to win a gift card!