I started this standalone YA fantasy three years ago just after my father had a swimming accident that left him paralyzed. I needed a place to express my frustrations, my sense of helplessness and my feelings that happy endings don’t always occur.
Also, I had always wanted to explore world-changing events from the point of view of someone who knows nothing about them. We always get rebellions and revolutions told by the people who are in the middle of the changes. What about those who are minor characters? Those who are affected but don’t know why or for what purpose?
Emily is the result of all this. Emily is bitter, fights against a life she doesn’t want, whines, complains and holds herself apart. She also pays no attention to the hints and warnings she gets from those who are “in the know.” She’s too wrapped up in her own frustration to realize she’s putting a lot of other lives in jeopardy.
Despite all that negativity, the book hasn’t turned out to be a huge depression-fest. Without quite knowing how, I managed to create a relatively upbeat tone, despite the lack of happy ending.
It’s also the only project I don’t feel blocked on. My first-reader has just finished her second pass through it and now I get to go through it once more to add in what’s missing. As I said in an earlier post, I need to add about 10% overall — most authors I read always complain about overwriting and having to cut. I have no idea what that must feel like. I’m a sparse writer and always need to add more. It used to drain me, but with such an amazing first reader who points out clearly and with precision the spots that are either repetitive or lacking information, adding in more no longer is such a chore.