As an author, I get asked the same question by curious friends, family members, and strangers. “How did you come up with that idea?” Let me just say, that no matter how often I’m asked the question, it doesn’t get easier to answer. One would be surprised how the smallest situation like a paper cut could inspire an entire chapter. It’s amazing how heart break can sometimes breed desperation to escape so intense, that you end up writing an intricate story. In short, I’ve decided to explain the origins of my books. This Monday, I will be focusing on “Captive Treasure.”
Up All Night
The boom of fireworks caused my tabby cat Charlie to fly into the guestroom. His body leapt onto the full-sized bed, and he immediately stretched out, his body taking up half the bed. I had migrated down to the guest room because it was on the first floor. I had naively thought that a change of room would allow me to fall asleep. It was 1 in the morning and I needed to be up bright in early to start work. But even though my adult brain told me that I would regret staying up late, the utter horror and grief I felt wouldn’t allow my mind to stay quiet.
“Why do terrible things keep on happening?” “Why can’t I sleep?” “Are things ever going to change?” “What next?” The questions kept on playing like an endless looped, until tears pricked it my eyes. It was the summer of 2020, and my anxiety was at an all-time high. I saw death, sadness, hopelessness, and fear, no matter where I went. Social media was one endless pile of conspiracy theories, unwanted commentary about the election, and hostile arguments. Yes, there would be funny memes and some positive quotes sprinkled in. But one positive post amongst hundreds of negative ones, never made a difference. I was about to break down when I decided to do something to distract myself. I figured that I could look up artists on iTunes. I hardly listened to the radio, so was usually the last person to know when something new was released.
I typed in “Taylor Swift” to see if she had released anything new. I scrolled down her list of albums and noticed that there was a deluxe version of her album “1989.” Don’t you hate when that happens? You buy an album, listen to all the songs, just to discover that there is a deluxe version hanging around. Since I have apple music, I decided to listen to the bonus tracks. That’s when I heard “You Are In Love.” I plugged in my ear buds and the song ignited my imagination. I was no longer hopeless and filled with anxiety. I was envisioning a human being kidnapped by someone and being sold to a harem. I envisioned one of those slow burn love stories. As soon as the song ended, I closed my eyes and thought for a moment. A human that finds a soulmate, isn’t much to go on. Agitated, I went back to iTunes and under the release section, I saw that the album JAGUAR by Victoria Monet was listed. Had I heard her music before? No. But that didn’t matter. I needed to get more inspiration. So I played the album, which had a relaxing vibe and began writing.
The first draft of “Captive Treasure” only focused on Jade Bane. It began with Jade getting snatched from her house by her half-brother. I hadn’t had much of a back story. But it didn’t matter at that point. So I wrote while Victoria Monet’s album played on repeat, until my eye lids grew heavy. I literally fell asleep with my lap top on my stomach. When I woke up the next day and read what I wrote, I realized that perhaps Jade’s back story mattered after all. How I came up with her back story had nothing to do with music. I drew from my other love for inspiration.
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