Train of Consequences is the June book of the month for the Between The Lines book club, run by my friend and fellow author, L.M. Stull. As part of the June book of the month, I will be attending a book club meeting via conference call on June 29th at 7:00 pm (eastern time), to discuss the book and answer questions to book club members. Also, as a member of the book club, I posted a guest blog post on the book club website btlbookclub.com. Please check out this wonderful book club, as well as it’s founder, L.M. Stull (lmstull.com). For my regular blog readers, I have pasted my post (http://wp.me/p1q5x3-5p) here for your viewing:
* * *
A lot of people ask me how long it took to write Train of Consequences. There are really two answers to this question. The simple answer is roughly two to three months. The more loaded answer is twenty years.
I always respond with the simple answer, though. Even so, readers are usually surprised to hear two or three months, because a good number of writers can take up to a year or more to complete a novel. But as I explain to them, this novel just flowed out of me so naturally. I averaged about 2000 words per day, sometimes a little less, but most of time it was more.
The story was already inside of me, just waiting to get out. I get funny looks from some people when I say that. But that is really how I feel about it. The main characters, Shelly and Richie, were known to me before I even named them. And as I developed the story, it was almost as if they were telling me what to write next. I was just as eager as any reader would be, to find out what’s going to happen to them.
Which leads me to the loaded answer. Twenty years requires a little explanation and ties in with my inspiration for the book. When I was just 13 years old, the age of the main characters in Train of Consequences, a friend of mine asked me to run away with him. He had a very rough home life and he felt he needed to get away, but he didn’t want to go alone. The idea of running away was compelling at that age; no curfews, no rules, big road trip. But I ultimately decided against it, mostly out of a fear of the unknown.
Ever since that day, though, I had always wondered what it would have been like. From time to time, over the years and milestones in my life, I would think back to his proposition. How differently would my life have turned out? What would have happened? What dangers would we have faced?
As I sat down to write this novel, I realized that I was attempting to answer those questions. Obviously, anything can happen when two young teens run away. But when I finished the book, I was satisfied that I had created a very real and compelling story that depicts an entirely possible set of consequences. As a writer and an avid reader, I’ve always been attracted to character-driven suspense stories that have a focus on human emotion.
In closing, the seeds of inspiration were definitely planted a long time ago, but to say that Train of Consequences was twenty years in the making would be somewhat inaccurate. So, I always give the simple answer when asked. But regardless of the time frame, finally having these wonderful characters and their moving story on paper, and to have so many supportive readers, is truly a great feeling.