What a lot of folks don’t know about my Vital Secrets novels is that I carried the initial story idea for what became an entire series of books around in my head for a good twenty years before I finally got brave enough to write it down.
Two decades. That’s a chunk of time, no matter how you look at it.
And I don’t know if that makes a difference to the reader, but it absolutely makes a difference in the way I approach the entire concept of writing.
Some authors are ‘plotters’ and can line out a structure ahead of time. (And a lot of days, I wish I fell into that category. I feel like I might write faster if I was a plotter).
But nope, I am what’s referred to as a ‘discovery writer’. By that I mean, I ‘see’ the book in my head, like watching a movie, and I just try my dead-level best to capture in words what is scrolling across my brain for readers to enjoy.
This approach means that many more times than not I am just as surprised as my readers are when the story has a wicked plot twist to it, because they aren’t planned. They just happen. My brain goes ‘okay, check this out’ and I type furiously while whispering to myself ‘Wow, didn’t see that coming at all. Cool.’
It also means that the viscerally emotional responses certain scenes invoke happen for me too, as I am writing them – and on occasion they’re strong enough that I must ‘pause the movie’, push away from my keyboard, and go find a Kleenex to cry into. Other times I am giggling maniacally, to the point of almost being unable to speak at all, because Rick or Lizzie or Nathan have piped up with a hilarious line.
It’s a non-stop roller coaster ride, with no seatbelt or guardrails – and I am utterly captivated by it.
In fact, there is only one thing in this world better than being the lucky one chosen to bring the Vital Secrets books to life – and that is, sharing them with you.