Monday, July 9, 2012

Countdown to DARK WATER Release! (7...Writing Dark Water)

As I talked about the other day, we're having a week-long celebration dedicated to the upcoming release of my YA suspense/paranormal DARK WATER. Today we start the countdown with a chat about how DARK WATER came to be.

I'm not unfamiliar with delving into tough issues or putting my characters into darker themes. For me, it's a way to get people talking more about subjects that need to be talked about more, but in a fun, entertaining way. DARK WATER touches on some specific issues that hit really close to home for me. My protagonist's younger sister lives with SPD (so do two of my children), her father is in the military (so is my dad and step-mom) and there are characters who live with PTSD from trauma stemming from terrifying experiences in Afghanistan (I live with anxiety and other issues from surviving trauma in my childhood). I had to dig deep into my own experiences to breathe life into the story and the characters. But that wasn't as easy at first as I thought it would be.

The story came to me in the form of a dream. As cheesy as that sounds it's true. It was more like a nightmare that wouldn't leave me alone. The next day I researched Native legends to find a way to make sense of my dream. I often do this, actually. The Native culture has so many wonderful legends and beliefs that really make you think about life, earth and living in such a pure way. When I found the Water Legend, DARK WATER was born. Not only did this legend help me make sense of my dream, it also helped me feel strong enough to connect to those traumatic experiences from my past so I could get the reader connecting on a more deeper level with the characters. It gave me a way to let come back...after going to that place so I didn't stay there. It was a beautiful thing.

I know what it's like to feel different or to be judged unfairly. And I know what it's like to work really hard to define my own path, and not have it defined for me.When people don't take the time to understand you, or something you're going through, it can be so isolating. In the end, all we need is that one person who is brave enough to reach out...who cares enough to see beneath the surface. And that's alot of what DARK WATER is about.

It's a story of courage, of never giving up no matter what the odds are and acceptance. Most of all, it's about a girl doing whatever she can to find the truth, and a mysterious Native legend that helped guide her to it.

Join me again tomorrow as I share a couple of review blurbs and introduce you to some of the main characters.

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