The Voices In My Head
Many nights I would lie awake and pray for sleep, calculating how many hours of good sleep I would get if I fell asleep right there and then. I couldn’t get my brain to stop churning with all the things that had happened in the day or needed to happen the next. So as a way to get my brain off that crazy ride, I would make up characters and basically tell myself a story to put myself to sleep. Believe it or not, it worked most nights. And if I was still unable to sleep, at least I was enjoying what I was thinking about. That is how the early versions of Callie, Tristan, and Taryn were born. Blade didn’t come to being until I was writing the chapter he was introduced in. He literally walked into my story unannounced, which I was psyched about as his character developed because he added a level to the book I wouldn’t have had without him.
I wrote the book with a loose outline, but I found during many interactions, the characters literally told me what to do. As the story unfolded, they took control. At the end of the book, I was really surprised with some of the roles that the characters wound up playing since they were so different than I originally intended. It was a challenge to shape the story using the outline when the characters had really developed a mind of their own.
Now that the book is done, I find that using those characters in their original occupations, sandmen and sandwomen, doesn’t relax me as much as it used to. Most of the time if I am thinking of them in the middle of the night, I have to get up and write down whatever comes to mind before I lose it to oblivion. So I will have to come up with new characters to entertain me, and maybe you someday.
I was inspired to start writing my book 5 years ago right after my first child was born. Do not worry…this is not a book about vampire babies. But I did feel a depth of emotion I had never felt before, and it had to come out…this is one of the many ways it did. Lots of things happened during my maternity leave that lent to this book, and made it come to life, all seemingly unrelated. One of which was walking half asleep through Walmart, as I found myself doing several times a week with an infant, and realized at the checkout that I had nothing to read….and there it was, the book I irrationally planned on never reading based on the fact that everyone else had. Twilight. I was instantly in love with everything about it. I also realized that I could totally write that style of novel…accounting just the everyday and making it a new, fairy tale world. After starting to write something I wouldn’t perpetually feel too old to be reading, I also had the pleasure of seeing Iron Man come to life in the most fantastical actor ever, Robert Downey Jr. This was the kind of vampire I was missing in fiction! Nicholas was born. Kat is totally Isla Fischer, who is just cute enough to not be annoyingly likeable, just really fun. Roman is definitely Leonardo DiCaprio in my head, and Chris Lynch, who sucks pretty much, would be played by that guy on the delightful USA program Burn Notice. Jenniveve is based on my former co-worker Jenn, still currently doing the honest work of panty peddling. All of my characters have a face somewhere, except my main character, Ellie, who is a compilation of so many people that I can’t even picture her anymore. Another huge inspiration at that time was Kings of Leon’s “Closer,” and if you haven’t heard it, you should before reading my book. (I promise to post the scene that has that song for background music in my brain.)
You can imagine how deep this storyline goes in my heart and head after 5 years of messing with it, so you will probably get to hear more of who’s who and why than you care to, but I am dying to tell someone other than the imaginary interviewer that asks me questions on long car rides.