Recently I did a guest-interview on a fellow author's blog. One of the questions I answered was about where my inspiration for ONCE AGAIN came from. As I thought about how to answer that question, I decided it might be worthy of an entire blog post here at my cyber-home.
So... here goes!
As most of you know, I write YA fiction. I also read it. I love being able to revisit the excitement (and, yes, sometimes the heartbreak) of my youth... and also being able to talk to my students or my teenage son about a book we've all read. When I was plotting ONCE AGAIN, there was no particular person or event that sparked the inspiration. The "core" of the story came from my own memories of being sixteen.
ONCE AGAIN is a YA paranormal romance. There is a reincarnation mystery, complete with an evil-doer and a jealous ex-girlfriend. But the most basic element of the story is the young heroine's belief in love.
As I thought back to my teenage years, it occurred to me what a hopeless romantic I was. Truthfully, I've never really gotten over that! But I remember being fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years old and spending long hours thinking about my future-husband and how marvelous our love would be. Even though I had no idea who he was, I just knew he was out there waiting for me! I realize how sappy and girlie that sounds, but let's remember, I was a teenage girl at the time! And so is Layla, the heroine of ONCE AGAIN.
(By the way... I did find my true love and get my happy ending, so all the mushy romanticism of my youth paid off!)
But the course of true love doesn't normally run smooth, so Layla's journey isn't easy. There are many things standing in the way of the happiness she wants to find with Lucas. Of course, there's the danger surrounding the mystery and drama of their reincarnation, but there's also her own insecurities and hang-ups to overcome. Layla's like most teenage girls... a bit insecure and a hopeless romantic... trying desperately to find herself and her path on the confusing roads of adolescence.
Even though there's a fantastical element to the story, my hope is that it speaks to the people who read it... young kids who are at the same point in their lives, or young-at-hearts like me who remember those feelings from our own teenage years.
Adolescence is hard... but it's not impossible!
Happy reading and writing!