|Birth of a Series
The insomnia that became a novel. Then a series.
Do you ever lie in bed at night, dreaming up stories? Well, I do — ALL THE TIME! I live with permanent bags under my eyes. Often, I'll dream about something and then fill in the blanks later, usually lying awake in bed, or feigning sleep on the train so I don't have to socialize with anyone (don't judge me).
A "few" years ago, I was in university and the movie 8 Mile was topping the box office. Around that same time, I was volunteering with a children's welfare organization, supervising visits between parents and their children who had been placed in foster care (this experience is one of the reasons I went to law school, but that's another story). One night, I had a dream about Eminem, who stars in 8 Mile (just in case you didn't know that). In my dream, Eminem and I were floating down a stream in dinghies (I know, how exciting); when I turned around, he was gone and I was in the middle of the woods. The rest of the dream is now the end of Chapter Three of Crow's Row.
The dream made me think about how some kids, like Eminem's character, find a way to escape what would seem to be their predetermined fates, while others fall in the same "good" or "bad" life as their parents. Then, like I often do after I have a dream, I started thinking about what would happen next and who were the "real" people in my dream. But, unlike any other story I've made up in my life (there are at least five or six stories in my head at any given time), this one took me several years to put together, like trying to piece together the scene of a crime.
Before I knew it, Emily and Cameron were born and I couldn't stop thinking about them!
It took me a long time before deciding to write the story. For many years, with school, career and family, writing seemed like something that I didn't have time for and, to be honest, I was afraid of writing anything other the legal "stuff" (blame it on years of having my English Literature profs red-ink my papers like they were re-enacting a murder scene). Turning 30 was one of the things that pushed me to write Crow's Row...though I never thought the story would turn into a novel, let alone a novel that I would publish!
It's funny where life takes you sometimes. Never stop dreaming.