Writing a book, at least for me, is such an unpredictable process. Whether I’m surprised by the end product in comparison to my original concept, or the research needed to produce the most accurate product, there’s always more than meets the eye when it comes to a novel. I’d like to introduce you all to my second book, “Life in Death”, by sharing a few facts about the book and my experience writing it. In other words: there’s things you need to know before picking up this paperback, and a couple things I’d like for you to know simply because sharing is caring.
Number One: This is perhaps the most important tidbit I’ll be sharing, which is why I’m addressing it first. You need to know that this book is a romance at heart. It deals with some tough topics, a terminally ill child being one, but its core is a love story. Genres are tricky little monsters to write for, and “Life in Death” fell into a gray area that caused it to be labeled as General Fiction. Understandably so, I wouldn’t want anyone to pick it up under the assumption that it’s a lighthearted beach read with a few steamy scenes. The steamy scenes are present, for sure, but the lightheartedness is sporadic at best. But love, romance, and heart? There’s plenty of that.
Number Two: As previously mentioned, there’s a terminally ill child. I’m very specific about this in the back cover blurb, but I’ll mention it again for safety reasons. This child subsequently passes away. It is not graphic and I do not go into much detail- I wanted to avoid being a monster. But it does happen and it’s a vital part of the story.
Number Three: One of the doctors in the story was based on a a real doctor I had seen. Although, the version I wrote had much more of a personality.
Number Four: If you catch yourself shedding a tear every time a movie/tv show/book/commercial/song about Christmas shoes gets emotional, there’s a real chance you’ll cry reading this. I hope you cry- that means I did a good job!
Number Five: The idea for “Life in Death” hit me while I was half asleep, trying desperately to get another few minutes of rest before I had to get up for work. This happened within a day or two of “Fortunate Sum” coming together as a complete concept and I wound up having them both fully outlined at the same time. I had to make a decision as to which one would be my first born, and “Fortunate Sum” won, but not by a landslide.
Number Six: This story takes place in my hometown!
Number Seven: I faced two major challenges while writing this book- writing about a child while not having much experience with children, and writing about juvenile leukemia. Yes, writing about topics you have very little knowledge of calls for research. Researching children and their habits was easier since my best friend has an adorable two and a half year old and children are quiet literally everywhere. The latter of the two topics however, proved to be difficult for both my mind and heart.
Number Eight: Readers are (sort of) getting two books in one! I tried my hand at past and present stories coming together to form one as a whole. The chapters alternate between past and present, one telling the tale of “how we got here”, and the other of “what we do now”. It was my way of writing outside the box, and hopefully it translates to an entertaining read.
Number Nine: Writing “Life in Death” was an emotional experience. I found myself experiencing an unexpected inner turmoil along with genuine sadness and glee as I made my way through the story. I’d write bits of dialogue and catch myself making faces as if I were speaking theses words aloud to the characters. It was incredible experience for me, and I’m sure it was amusing to any bystander that may have caught me giving my computer screen some ‘oh no you didn’t’ sass with my eyebrows.
Number Ten: I listen to a lot of different music while I write. It helps me focus on the world I’m creating as opposed to the real world around me. I have a playlist of well-known favorites, but when it came to “Life in Death” a couple songs were constants and I even coined them as “soundtrack songs”. They were: “One” by Ed Sheeran and “Grace” performed by Sara Ramirez, from the musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy. These songs got me into a certain mindset. They allowed me to picture my characters, certain scenes, and feel what they could be feeling. Music is so incredibly powerful. I recommend anyone and everyone to take a listen to these tracks.
That’s it! I think that wraps up the list of the things I felt you all needed to know about “Life in Death”, both the big and the small. I’m really excited to be sharing this creation. There’s something about it that makes it immensely special to me. Maybe it’s because I dipped into my normally docile emotions, or maybe it’s because I tried to capture some of the most intimate and tragic moments between two people. Whatever the reason, “Life in Death” came to be because I love drama and the beauty that can still blossom even in our darkest times.
“Life in Death” is due to be released October 18, 2016, but is exclusively available on October 1st through Bold Strokes Books. Stay tuned! I’m planning to post a sneak-peek very soon!
Have a question for me about “Life in Death” or “Fortunate Sum”? Contact me through this website or find me on Facebook!