Some Inside Info

As promised, I’m revealing a little inside information as to The Hurricane Effect.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the website, The Hurricane Effect is a semi-autobiographical novel based on how I met my husband. It’s still considered fiction, because I’ve changed certain things and people involved in the story.

But something interesting? I’ve used some real live written exchanges between my husband and I in the book.

I’ll be sharing more facts about The Hurricane Effect as I continue working on this project. To make sure you don’t miss anything, sign up to follow my website by email.

A Precious Unexpected Experience

Yeah, that title is a mouthful, but it was the best way I could describe working on The Hurricane Effect. I was really overwhelmed at first and found all kinds of reasons to procrastinate on starting this project.

I was scared, because it was such a personal project. If you know anything about me, I don’t like talking about myself. I’m a pretty private person and I don’t share many details of my life without being asked a direct question. So this whole book, is out of my comfort zone.

Finally, I started writing and now I can’t stop (which is a good thing). I’ve enjoyed so much rummaging through the past and melding it with Drew’s story. Drew’s like any other character I’ve created, but when asked if she’s like me…the answer is a resounding yes and no. She carries a lot of my history and characteristics, but she still has some things that are distinctly hers.

The more I study the history of how my husband and I met, the more in awe I am if the whole situation. My eyes have been opened anew to some of the details, and I’ve adored going through mementos from that time in my life.

I’ve always been acutely aware of God’s hand in everything, but really studying the whole situation in depth just shows how deeply involved he was in the tapestry of my past. It’s amazing.

This project has taken me to places I never expected. I find myself falling deeper in love with my husband (if that was even possible) and understanding the depths of God’s love even more for every minute detail of my life.

BUT, please don’t interpret this to mean that writing about my past has been like walking through a beautiful rose garden. There’s plenty of thorns to contend with in this story.

And for a private person like myself, I’ve had to fight to find the line of what’s too much personal information and what’s best for the story.

It’s an ongoing battle, but hopefully this will create an unforgettable story that I know I was meant to tell.

Check back tomorrow, as I’ll reveal another interesting tidbit about The Hurricane Effect.

Getting to Know Drew

As I revealed yesterday, Drew is the main character’s name and The Hurricane Effect is her story. But Drew is just her nickname. Her full name is Andrew Elizabeth Stillwell. Where did I come up with that one? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

A couple things about Drew:

She’s pretty quiet and reserved. She has no desire to be the center of attention. Instead, she loves to sit on the sidelines and soak up everything that’s going on around her.

Some people mistake her reserved nature for being aloof or uninterested, but its just the opposite. Very few details escape her notice.

It’s very difficult for someone to fool Drew with their intentions. Being “fake” with her just doesn’t work, but she might not let on that she knows exactly what their doing.

Drew can read people like a book and she uses it to her full advantage. And coincidentally (or not) she loves to read books. Any book she can get her hands on.

If you want to keep up to date with the newest info on The Hurricane Effect and The Kings of Charleston series, the best way is to follow this website by email. You can find the sign up in the right hand side bar of the main page.

Every Book Needs an Anthem

Music is very important to my writing process. So much so, that I create a “soundtrack” for each of my books. For example, The Kingdom’s Revolt’s title song or “anthem” is “Breath of Life” by Florence + the Machine. That song was the background for the climatic scene in the end. The first time I heard that song, the ending of the whole series flashed through my mind even before the second book had been written.

And The Hurricane Effect is no different. It has a soundtrack and now it has an anthem. Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” is perfect for part of Drew’s story (oh, did I just reveal the main character’s name?).

Stop by tomorrow to find out her full name and a few tidbits about Drew.

In the meantime, I’ll let you try to figure out how that song fits in.

Honoring Veteran’s Day

I’ve written frequently about the fact that my husband served in the military. Today, I want to give a simple thank you to all the veterans and current military who’ve served or are serving our country, and particularly those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect this nation and our freedoms.

Thank you to my husband, who served in Iraq and to my late maternal grandfather who served in Korea.

There are not enough words to express just how deeply thankful we all are for each and every one of you.

I Can Re-Write History

Time-travel is a popular theme in books and television, but why? Sure, some people want the ability to roam with the dinosaurs (Jurassic Park cured that fascination for me), or see an important time in history (I’m looking at you Colonial America), but I think time-travel fulfills a much bigger need in us. If someone told you they had invented a way to travel back in time, I have a feeling a lot more people would go back and change past events in their own lives instead of fulfilling a fantasy.

There are countless websites, blogs and the like that pose the question: “What would you tell your younger self?” There’s several books with this premise, asking individuals to write letters to their younger selves. We all wish we had the opportunity to go back and fix certain things in our past that could have been prevented  or altered with our current knowledge.

As an author I have a unique chance to do that. No, I haven’t invented time travel, but I have a pretty nifty tool with similar powers…my pen (okay, in this day and age my keyboard).

Let me explain.

As a reader, I become engulfed in the stories I read. When I’m in the midst of a book that’s captivated me, those characters leap off the page and come alive in my mind. Admit it…when you get into a story those characters take on their own lives. You take journeys with them that feel practically real. The same goes for a beloved TV show or movie. That’s why we enjoy storytelling so much. They have a power to transport us.

As an author, the same thing happens. Casper and her friends (and enemies) in The Kings of Charleston felt so real to me, even though they’ve never existed in reality. I didn’t write endlessly about her likes and dislikes, but you could ask me anything about Casper or Cal and I would have a quick answer. They took on lives of their own.

With The Hurricane Effect, I have an advantage to truly experience changing history for me. This story is based on my real life. The main character isn’t exactly the same person, but she’s an more intense version of myself. Some of the characters are completely made up, while others truly existed (won’t you have fun guessing which ones?). I’m combing through my past experiences and getting the chance to mix them with different outcomes. That’s what puts this story in the fiction category, rather than non-fiction.

If I choose to I can change my response to a particular situation and re-live it in my mind. Although its not the same as truly traveling back in time, its a weirdly satisfying position to be in. I can take the knowledge and wisdom that I didn’t possess at the time and apply it to a past situation.

Writing this story has been so much fun, but I’ll admit its been tough. There’s been some instances where I wanted to wipe away the bad experience or bad decision, but I realize that some of those things are what made me “me”. And in retrospect, if I “purify” everything in my life, I no longer am relate-able. I’m no longer a multifaceted human being with good and bad attributes. As I reflect back on some of the things from years gone by, I realize that a lot of the experiences have brought me to exactly where I am today and I would never want to change that outcome.

Getting a Face Lift

As you’ve probably already noticed, the website has changed in appearance quite a bit (What? You didn’t click thinking I was having a face lift right?).

Gone is the black and red in favor of a little less ominous white and pinks (okay, I admit that’s really a 180 degree turn). Reason for the change is that I’m shifting gears in the writing world and wanted a space that matched.

The Hurricane Effect isn’t all rainbows and kittens, but there isn’t exactly a lot of blood and dead bodies (and if there is, you know something went terribly wrong). It’s a more emotional story that’s character driven instead of about finding the next clue. Black and red were perfect for Kythera, but this story needed something lighter.

So in honor of the fact that the majority of my writing focus will be on The Hurricane Effect, it was time for a website face lift.