Ready or not, here they come: stories that demand to be written.

Thinking back to when my stories first introduced themselves to me. Ever do that? Each has a unique beginning, a unique first meeting, so to speak. You know, when that character or scene flashes into your mind and you know right then and there, “I have to tell her story.” We all have those creative rumblings, don’t we? Those instances when we’re suddenly met by someone we’ve never known and yet — seem to have known forever?

That — that kind of inspiration that pierces through daily distractions and appears so intensely before you, you have no choice but to surrender to it — is undeniably one of the most beautiful things a writer can experience. No? It’s a powerful moment, that is.

The Missing Crimoire – my idea began as a short piece of fiction in a creative writing class back in college. Pepperdine, around 2002. It was one of my first writing classes, in fact. And all I remember was meeting Luke and Mark for the very first time. Writing their stories. Living their lives. Journeying their heros’ journeys. It wasn’t until the assignment was over, and I kept feeling pulled back into that story, that setting, did I realize Luke had a much bigger story to tell. And thus TMC evolved; the world expanded; and characters grew. This novel had a hold on me. Luke and Mark had a hold on me. I haven’t let go since.

Marked – on a road trip with my parents up to San Francisco, I looked out my window and there, standing in the middle of a dried, yellowed hill, set against a striking, cloudless sky, was Oliver. A flash of a boy — tan, black hair, nine. In seconds, he was gone. I jotted that instance down in a journal, not knowing what it was. At the time, I was writing TMC and wasn’t looking to add to my writing load. But I knew it was something. That moment when I met someone special for the first time. I knew then I had to write his story. I just didn’t know when. Not until 2011 did I delve back into creating Oliver. And thus began Marked.

The Naming of Colton Black – the most recent — and the least developed — story came to me at a spa. Lying on my back, cucumbers on my eyes. When my facial was over, I sat up. And saw them. Breslin and Colton Black. Brother and sister, together under a dark black sky. There was little to hear, little to see, but they were there, nonetheless. Waiting for me. As soon as I got to a journal, I scribbled down what I remembered. Many ideas come and go — many ideas come and linger — few come as powerfully as this one did and demand to stay. I knew right then and there this was my third book.

What about you? How have your stories introduced themselves to you? Tell me!

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