Initial Thoughts: 10 chapters in one day..totally doable. Especially now that things are just getting REAL. and SCARY. REAL FREAKING SCARY. Maybe I should leave HGTV on in the background…just in case.
*Bryn being an artist was definitely a conscious choice. Again, it was so important for me to create a character with depth who had an actual life and goals and interests and skills. Damsel’s in distress generally have nothing going for them and basically mope through life waiting to be saved. Not only does Bryn REFUSE to wait around to be saved but, despite her illness, for most of the people in her life, she’s the one doing the saving. I also think it’s important that she had some kind of tangible outlet for her disease. Her intention isn’t necessarily to make something beautiful out of it. She just wants to create. To create these pieces of her that are separate from her illness and that have the power to outlast her. It’s the goal of all artists, but one that’s even more heartbreakingly real for someone suffering from a debilitating illness.
*Music plays a significant role in this first book, both as a source of hope that Roman is actually real and a crucial part of Roman’s identity, which he revisits later on during his recovery process. I wrote this novel while I was living in Florida with my boyfriend. I’d just graduated from college and he was finishing up school and getting his degree in the recording arts. Which meant that it was all music all day every day. Talking about music, listening to music, analyzing music, making music. (*Side note* sprawled out on the couch, the laptop against my knees, and my boyfriend’s guitar knocking against my foot while he plays is still my favorite way to write) It turned out that 80% of my coworkers at the time were also secretly musicians–the depth and diversity of the music scene in Orlando one hundred percent rivals that of places like Austin or Nashville–so I was exposed to so much creativity that naturally found its way into my writing. During the past few years so many indie writers have partnered with independent musicians to create another dimension to the stories they create and I can’t wait to continue to explore these other avenues of storytelling. What does this mean within Bryn’s universe? It means that Mismatched Machine may or may not come to life in a really epic way and get a story of their own. Someday. Like once I’m done with this series. And my other standalone. And school. But, yeah…! Soon!*Another writing “rule” that I can’t always get behind is the notion that you shouldn’t use any real pop culture references in your work, such as movie titles or band names. I understand this…somewhat. Putting in things like that can certainly age a novel and make it harder for some readers to connect to it, especially if they don’t end up discovering the novel until years after the original publication date. During one creative writing class, my classmates and I argued with my professor about the inclusion of the term “bucket list” and whether or not it was too much of a pop culture reference. Apparently, a movie by that title had come out that year and even though my cw prof. should have been an expert on the history of the English language, he had somehow never heard the phrase, “kick the bucket.” Long story short, the author held his ground and left it in. Bryn’s story is marked by a lot of current references that I could have chosen to leave out. BUT…this story was more about writing for me, about writing something that would capture parts of my life that I was afraid of forgetting. When someone you love dies and all you’re left with are memories, you realize how important they are. Even the small things are worth saving. So that’s what I did. Bryn’s story isn’t just some paranormal romance novel for teens, but it’s a time capsule for my early twenties. For a time in my life when I was shedding my teenage misconceptions and becoming a grownup. When I was saying goodbye to things that had hurt me and using words to mend the wounds.
*Sugar Brown’s is actually the name of a coffee shop in my hometown where all of the cool hipsters would hang out and listen to each other try to sing.
*Did I mention Dr. Banz’s associate, Vogle, was a result of me watching too much Dexter?
*Coming up with a fake band name was one of the hardest things ever. Still not sure how I feel about it. BUT being that I’m planning on following in the footsteps of Quentin Tarantino by creating a single universe within which my future novels will be set (paranormal and not…we’ll see how that works) and one of those novels will involve Roman’s favorite band, I should probably get used to it. Or maybe just write in a scene where the band members fight over the name and vote on a new one. ORRRRR better yet, maybe I’ll just have the readers vote and see if the loyalists win out.
*Have I mentioned that the Kill Bill movies are my favorite and I’ve seen them about a hundred times?
*First kisses are the best kisses
*So the corn tortilla sandwiches filled with meat and cabbage and pimiento cheese that Bryn used to eat at the drive-in movie theater are actually REAL and DELICIOUS and if you ever drive through Lubbock, TX, you must stop at the stars and stripes drive-in and get you a Chihuahua sandwich (yes, that’s really what they’re called) and have the culinary experience of your life. Better yet, get two.