Inspired By The Fall (OR Want a book idea? Go get injured.)
With the recent release of my first novel, Truthsight, I’ve had several people ask me about how the idea for the book was first inspired. To be honest, at first I worked pretty hard to dodge that question. I wished I had an answer that was more inspirational. Something about climbing a mountain as the sun rose, seeing the first rays of light streaming through the trees, and feeling a sudden burst of creative brilliance as the concept for my book was born.
But the truth is, I fell down. Really, really hard.
It was icy that day, and the ice was that hard packed, thick, dangerous stuff. I was trying to get into my car, my feet flew out from under me, and I crashed face first into a snow bank that was actually mostly an ice-bank. A big chunk of ice hit me really hard in the chest. It hurt a lot, and it hurt more and more as time went by.
I think of myself as a pretty tough person. I’ve seen Dirty Harry movies. I’ve given birth more than once, with varying levels of medically administered pain reduction. I tried to shake it off, and I did the smart thing: I refused to go to the doctor. (Because, you know, I’m smart like that.) It wasn’t until a little while later, when I noticed a painful lump in my chest, just below my collar bone, that I finally broke down and sought medical attention.
It turned out, I had a small fracture in the bone right where the ice had hit me. It was uncomfortable, but nothing serious. It would heal on its own, eventually. There was nothing to do about it but wait for it to mend itself. And over time, I got used to the constant ache. I developed a habit of rubbing my chest, right where the soreness was worst. And I started to imagine a woman who had a constant, aching pain in her chest. Only her ache didn’t come from a simple injury. She was carrying something inside of her, something both magical and dangerous, something too powerful to be safely contained inside a person’s body. Something that was, very, very slowly, killing her
And Amy was born.
As soon as I knew that she was going to be in constant pain, I knew that Amy had to be a healer. Part of that was the lovely irony of having a character whose greatest gift and passion is healing others, who is at the same time incapable of easing her own pain. The other reason is because I truly believe that the most sensitive, empathetic people in the world are often the ones who have themselves experienced trauma and hurt. The people who fight the hardest to help others, to stop injustice, to make the world a better place, are almost always the same people who have needed help and experienced injustice themselves.
From there, Amy grew in my heart very easily, and the story of Truthsight blossomed all around her. I knew that Amy was plagued by guilt over past decisions. Hated and hunted by the people who she used to think of as family, she lived in hiding. She couldn’t use her magical abilities, for fear of giving her location away to the people who still wanted her dead. Still, she was determined to keep doing the one thing that could still bring her happiness: healing others. Using only her mundane skills, she opened a secret clinic for supernatural creatures out of an abandoned barn on the edge of her property. Everything changed on the day that she was called to the birth of a centaur baby, and realized that her medical skill alone won’t be enough to save the child—only her magic could.
I loved writing this book, and I’ve stopped being embarrassed to tell the truth about how the idea for the book was born. Sometimes it gets a good laugh out of people, and I’ve learned to laugh along with them. And ultimately, maybe the idea of falling hard, getting hurt, and standing back up with the kernel of a book idea starting to take root inside you, is even more inspiring than seeing the sun rise and having a sudden burst of inspiration. The truth is, we all fall down. The question is, what do we learn from that fall? And what do we do after we stand back up?
Read Truthsight Today:
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TruthAmz B&N: http://smarturl.it/TruthBN Kobo: http://smarturl.it/TruthKobo Apple: http://smarturl.it/TruthiBooks