I have been asked a few times now how I came up with the story for TMW, and the short but very vague answer is that it was a long process. I have previously mentioned that it took about three years from the initial start of TMW until print. Of course it does extend farther back than that.
My parents are both creative types though they would probably play it down and say they are not artistic. I have seen Mom dig through a scrap fabric drawer, and an hour later have a beautiful baby blanket sewn together for a last minute baby shower attendance. The blanket was incredible and an instant hit. Dad likes writing funny poems for various occasions. One of my favorites being when I graduated college (again), there was a line in it stating “…though you’re still a big turd.” It still makes me laugh! It’s a great poem, and he has done many other funny ones like it since. So they are both creative even if they deny it.
The Sci-Fi loving gene comes from my mother. And she got it from her mother. So there is a bit of history there, and both my brother and I are Sci-Fi hounds. So it’s in my genes, and I’m happily afflicted and stuck with the ailment. Between my folks and the Sci-Fi gene, I didn’t stand a chance. I have always fiddled with painting, drawing, clay, wood carving, and whatever else I could get my grubby hands on. For years I have written different things. In college (to clarify I did college for 9.5 years, so this was quite a stint of writing) I started writing online with a group and it was Star Trek based. I was awful at it, but I got better. Essentially we wrote for a character we made up and wrote a massively long Star Trek episode. But after several years I started losing interest and I was knee deep in finishing grad school. Creative writing went on a back burner.
It was a nice break though because I missed writing, and I went back to it here and there just playing with things on my own. Some years after grad school I started on TMW. A few years after that, TMW went to print.
For exactly how TMW developed into what it is, here are the basics. I had certain pieces I knew I wanted to have in the story: an aunt turned adoptive mother, a pre-teen to early teen heroine, set in Maine, Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, a hidden world that needed discovering, a Boxer, a horse or two, and an adventure….with this last piece being very vague. I spent a tremendous amount of time thinking and writing out scenes. This process continued until I finally landed on the details around hidden world and how the heroine would get there. Then I started making things up, added some other characters, and tried to make the characters as miserable as I could….cold nights, hot days, no food, no water, illness, oh, and hungry toothy critters that would love to have you for supper. Tossed in some magic or super powers if you want to call it that, and that’s how the story evolved. There really isn’t a better word to describe how TMW came into being….evolution.
TMW begat OTC, and OTC begat book 3. That’s right, these books are now passing on their own DNA and making babies.
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