I have recently been reformatting all of my books on Kindle Create. This has also prompted me to go over my books once more and in doing so, I have been somewhat transported down memory lane. I thought it would be fun and insightful to detail to you, my amazing readers, how my work has come about and take you on an inside look into what exactly went into writing each series.
Isle of Skye. My first book.
How did it all come about?
Quite simple, yet oh, so complicated, and funny enough, several years in the making.
I have a confession and it is one my family can attest to, much to my mortification. I have always been deathly afraid of the myth that is the vampire. It all started when I was young, about six or seven. My oldest brother Mike dressed up like a vampire for Halloween and I actually helped him with his make-up. I was very careful not to get any fake blood that I dripped around his mouth on my pristine white bride costume….complete with a billowing veil. We went around our neighborhood, gathering candy, and enjoying the relatively mild night. I remember having a ball. My brothers both went off with their friends, while I stayed with my mom and as we walked back home, out behind a tree, a person grabbed me from behind. They pretended to ‘drink my blood’ and I was terrified. My brother freaked me out so bad that for years I had nightmares of vampires.
For me to even read a page of any book that featured mythical creatures I was so afraid of was quite remarkable. I realized something though. I was reading them to conquer an irrational fear of the paranormal and the more I read, the more fascinated I became with fantasy in general.
So, what was the book that started it all?
Twilight. Yes, it was Twilight which sprung my creative gears into action. I had a good laugh with my friends over who could seduce Edward back in the day. I was almost amused at the naive Bella and I will admit, I rolled my eyes a few times.
What came from Twilight though is how the Isle of Skye came to fruition. The market seemed to be saturated with writers hoping to capitalize on the young adult/vampire romance genre. There were some highlights, but there were many low-lights as well.
I remember thinking I wished there was a book or a series that I could relate to in some way. And, not exactly overnight, but over the next several months, a story came to me and it grew so large that I had to write it down.
I wanted a character who I could root for and laugh with. I craved a story that featured characters who I could easily picture in the real world. My story started with Willa and ended with Willa.
Yes, Mathias wove his way into the story, almost as an afterthought. It might be interesting to share that it was going to be Riah who was going to capture her heart, but that damn Mathias wouldn’t go away and so, their love grew and intensified the more I wrote the story in my mind.
The backstory, the setting, the characters, were all right there waiting to be written and it took one impulsive summer day for me to gather the courage to finally write it all out in one jumbled outline.
Every chapter, every character, even a small drawing of the Isle was mapped out before I even wrote the first line. There was nothing to do except to sit at my computer and write.
And so I did. For several weeks.
Of course, like any story, it took on a life of its own, but the guts were always there. Some people that know me have made the observation that Willa is a lot like me and I would be lying to say that I didn’t just put a small amount of me into her character, but a boatload.
Mathias is modeled after my husband. Yes, it is true. Their fights and bickering are exactly how my husband and I get on. There. I have admitted it. Every discussion and argument between Willa and Mathias was imagined as how, my husband David, and I would respond to one another in the same situation.
I would like to add though, that he is not as serious. That’s only one side to him. To be honest, he’s more like Lucian from The Fae Witch Series.
The idea to add more of Mathias was the final puzzle to the book. I hinted at him being more than just a Guardian of the Solas and it was revealed in the second book, Isle of Night, that he was so much more. A true hybrid of the Rau, the Fae, a gypsy and a guardian. His backstory unraveled throughout the first two books and I adored writing his point of view in book three, Isle of Dawn.
I realized after I had written the series that I hadn’t just told Willa’s journey, but his as well.
I think from start to finish, from book one to book three, this series was about Willa finding herself. Not just as the fae sanctity, but who she really was on the inside. I felt like we both were on a voyage of self-discovery. The first book terrified us both. The second book exhilarated us and the third book took us through hell and back emotionally.
Isle of Night was one of my favorite books to write. I had so much fun. The pressure of the first book was off me and I just enjoyed every word I wrote in that book. From start to finish, the story made me realize just how much I not only loved writing, but also how much I truly took pleasure in telling Willa’s story.
Another key character was Granny Winnie. The relationship between Willa and Winifred, in my opinion, had a great arc and she was pivotal in Willa’s growth. The rest of the family, I believe, added many characters who Willa needed in her new life and they enriched the story even more than I had ever imagined.
Polly, the much loved wood nymph, was modeled after my best friend. They are actually different in a lot of ways, but it was the camaraderie between her and Willa that I have with my BFF which I used. They knew each other so well, and it wasn’t just facts about one another. They could tell from each other’s body language what was going on and all they would have to say is one word, and the other knew right away what they were talking about. They laughed and picked on one another. They had each other’s backs and they also did their own thing.
Have I gotten requests to do a book just about Polly? Yes, but I feel her story was sufficiently detailed and I am happy how she ended up. Living in an Airstream camper with a dude from Australia.
The trilogy was a massive achievement for me and it set me on a course that I could never had imagined just a few short years ago. I decided to somewhat continue with the story of the fae and also the gypsies in The Fae Witch Series because frankly, I loved them all so much.
But more importantly, I fell head over heels in love with Lucian.
Next time I will dive into The Fae Witch Series.