I finally published my first novel and people have asked me, “Was the story about your life?” Not at all! Except for the protagonist being a schoolteacher, Grace was just a fictional character . . . at least at first.
People have asked, “How did you get your idea for the plot?” In 1986, I read about a bus accident on the road to Reno. It rolled down the embankment and into a river. Nineteen people were killed and 22 injured. Divers looked for the bodies. The fact that they called in divers, made me wondered if there could have been a person missing. That seemed like it would make a good mystery.
I cut out the news release and the idea developed in my head for 13 years before I sat down to write the story. Hey, I was working full time, working on my Masters Degree, while my husband and both kids were in college at the same time.
In 1999, I decided to get started, and in four months the story practically wrote itself. (If you let something ferment long enough, it just comes bubbling out.) I changed the place and the cause of the bus accident, but in my story, someone was missing. Grace.
I’ve heard other writers say that the characters just came to life and told the story. It was like that. I kept a large chart on the wall so I could keep track of where I left the characters each day so they wouldn’t get away from me.
Those characters patiently waited in my computer for another 17 years before I let them come to life with Christian Faith Publishing.
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