She spoke quietly, words I couldn’t make out or understand, to a man glimmering fuzzily behind a shimmery veil. The darkness hung thick around the veil…actually thick, like the man had emerged from sludge. Coldness begin to creep into my body, a sense of not right, and not just because this absolutely could not be happening, but because whatever I was seeing, it wasn’t good. It didn’t come from someplace good. It came from a place of wrong, a place of darkness, a place of….
Evil. Pure evil.
My head began to feel as thick as the sludge and started to prickle. I backed away, unable to take my eyes off the freakish scene, unable to move any faster.
I’m always curious as to how an author got his/her novel idea. We all know the story of J.K. Rowling “seeing a skinny, black-haired boy on the train,” and the story of Suzanne Collins being inspired by flipping between reality TV and the news. Everyone has their own story about being inspired.
Mine starts in May 1999. I had a dream where I was wearing this battle patch, from a war. I drew it the next day at school, and even though I have no skill whatsoever at drawing, I had a very clear picture in my mind of what this patch looked like, and I thought of it as a pendant. Later (I don’t remember how much later), I was on the bus riding home from school, and I remember exactly where the bus was, and the idea came to me: a girl finds a necklace that is connected with royalty in another world. On May 26, 1999, I started The Padmin Stone. I still have that notebook with that handwritten beginning. It is now unceremoniously being used as a to-do list because adulting. The story now isn’t even remotely similar to what I started writing, but that notebook, and the memory of my inspiration, holds a really special place in my heart, because this story has been with me through so many years. I’ve always had a story or two going my whole life, stories I’ve abandoned or completed and forgotten about, but this is the one I’ve always come back to. Its world and its characters are so real to me.
I’m really looking forward to the day when I can share it with others. Not just my friends, family, betas, and critique groups, but my intended audience: teenage girls who feel down about themselves. In an upcoming post, I’ll talk more about that goal in-depth, because it is very important to me, and it’s a message I think teenage girls really need to hear. I don’t want them to have the self-esteem issues lots of us had. I want them to be confident in themselves, no matter who they are.