I first wrote a short story called 'Amanda's Dream' which is included in my book of shorts - 'Love has a Price Tag'. The short story later became 'Midnight in Brussels' as some of you know. That has happened to me several times, a short story developed into a novel.
How it began, the story behind the story is this ...
One time when I was in Vegas taking part in an event at the convention center, a group of Nevada writers had invited me to be included in their book booth to sell and sign my books, my ex-husband (who went with me on that trip) wanted to take the heliocopter flight to the Grand Canyon. It was a champagne lunch flight, we landed on the edge of the giant gorge and viewed the wonders of God's handiwork.
As we were flying in the direction of the canyon from Las Vegas, I was watching the terrain and saw a small settlement of mobile homes and the old fashioned 'trailers' (as they were called in the '40s) in the middle of nowhere. I mean the people who lived there were terribly isolated in that desolate desert.
A character immediately came to mind and formulated as we flew to our destination. What if a young girl, a Gwenyth Paltrow type, from the Ozarks (my mother's birthhome) married young - say like 16, not ever having experienced life, was now living in one of those 'trailers', stuck there, while her husband worked in Las Vegas at The Plaza (where we were staying). She had never worked and didn't have any skills, except sewing, which her mother taught her before she died back in Mountain Home.
And that's how it began. That was the backstory of Amanda, and how it came to me. I started with a character.
Some writers start with places or events. And you might say this was a bit of all three. Seeing the lonely community of 'trailers' below sparked thoughts of how it would feel to live there, away from everything. I wondered if I could do that, or if I would even want to. I wondered what the circumstances would be that would get me there. And in that wondering I conjured up Amanda.
Tomorrow I'll tell you what came next ...
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