Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On the Inception of Unraveling

Like most of the crazy stories in my life, this once starts with “So I met this guy…”

Only, I didn’t actually “meet” the guy in a traditional sense—I became friends with him over the internet. He was a friend of a friend, funny, intelligent, charming. We traded meaningless comments or jokes with friends, but the more I got to know about him, the more it seemed we had in common. We liked the same movies and television shows, we both loved to read and to write, and we just seemed to be on the same intellectual wavelength. We recommended books to each other and we could talk about anything and everything.

And somewhere along the line, I realized he had become my best friend—and then we met, and it just felt like we belonged together (I’m a hopeless romantic, I know). Of course, he lived in another state and neither one of us had any ambitions to ever move so we started muddling through a long distance relationship, making up our own rules and trying to figure out what worked best for us.

Which got me thinking about long distance relationships. They’re hard—flawed and tragic. Most of them are doomed from the beginning. The emotional highs and lows in that type of relationship add an intense stress to even the most calm lives.

In June 2010 (during one of those emotional lows), I thought about how universally unfair it was, that I’d finally found this guy who was perfect for me, who really belonged with me, and yet he actually also belonged somewhere else. And that was the moment of inception of UNRAVELING. Because at its heart, it’s a star-crossed love story. Janelle and Ben are from different worlds, and in their darkest moments, they find each other.

I am also a huge science fiction and fantasy nerd, and I hate the perception that science fiction just has to be space operas (though I like those too) so I wanted UNRAVELING to be accessible to people who don’t know a lot about science or who don’t normally read science fiction. I spent about two months thinking about the plot and writing down character ideas in a notebook while riding the subway, and then I started writing pieces of dialogue and a few key scenes.

Then in December 2010 I wrote the first 100 pages. Unsure whether I should finish or set it aside, I shared those pages in a writing workshop in early 2011 and in March I reluctantly sent them along with a synopsis to my agent.

 The day the book sold, I was at lunch with three friends. Near the end of lunch my agent called and said “where are you?” When I told her she said “Come to my office. Don’t even pay your bill. Just get up and leave.” I did and when I got there she told me about the offer.

And I promptly called that guy who inspired it all.


Heather@The Flyleaf Review said...

I love this story. Thanks for sharing. The part I like best, you called the guy (who inspired you) when you got an offer on your book. I kind of wish I had included some of this in my review of Unraveling. Maybe I'll do a follow up once the book releases and include it then:)

Daizymoon said...

I just spent all night reading your book, Unraveling. I couldn't put it down. I think what fasinated me most was that it reminded me alot of some of my favorite TV shows(Roswell, X-files, Sliders). I cannot wait to read the sequel and would love to have information about available ARCs. I'm passing Unraveling on to all my friends. Thank you!

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