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1. It started out as a NANO novel in 2005, which means it technically took me over 5 years to write story (though more like 1 1/2 once I really got into it).

2. The first 50,000 words were written for adults, not YA. Yep, with sex scenes and everything.

The MC was Liza, a has-been journalist who escaped to River Hills after a scandal that ruined her career. Her love interest was Sam, her landlord. Sam had a weird little daughter whose name was changed so many times I can't remember it now. Liza took a job teaching English at River Hills High which was haunted by the spirit of a dead girl named Delilah.

After my first YA book was published, I decided to switch genres. Liza became Monica, Sam became Luke, and the spooky little kid switched parents and not only became Rinn, but my MC. Delilah changed names about a dozen times, too, and ended up as Annabeth--but when a new novel with a character with that very same name came out (what were THOSE chances?!) I did a "find and replace" and turned "beth" into "liese."

The sex scenes disappeared.

3. The title was originally "Unearthly Possessions" but was changed to THE UNQUIET to avoid confusion with two new YA novels with similar titles.

4. "Nate" was a placeholder. He'd also gone through a variety of names, but I wasn't able to settle on one that truly fit (he was actually "Rory" for a long time till I came across a novel that had both a Rory and a Corinne. Again, weird coincidence).

So I used "Nate"--my son's name (yeah, he was thrilled about that, lol)--and then never got around to christening him something else. The name, I've decided, totally fits the character.

5. If you haven't figured it out yet, I do change a lot of names in the writing process. Lacy, Meg, Tasha, Millie, and Luke all had different names at one time or another. The only name I was absolutely certain of right from the beginning was Corinne (after my hairdresser's daughter) and Dino. Dino named himself. I swear.

6. The characters of Norm Solomon, Stacy Winkler, and Pat Schmidt were all named after real people. Rinn's last name, Jacobs, is from a family doctor. Mr. Lipford, the art teacher, was named for a co-worker. If you ever want me to throw your name into a book, just let me know. :)

7. There was a fourth friend of Rinn's, a girl named Alicia, but she was edited out. So was Rinn's boyfriend, Kyle, who was one of the reasons she and her mom moved to River Hills--to get away from his bad ass. The book is 400 pages long. I would have had to add another 100 pages if I'd kept these two in.

8. Rinn kept a dream diary of all her crazy dreams, and excerpts were included throughout the book. Also edited out. Thank God for agents and editors who aren't afraid to tell you what makes the story really draaaaaaag.... :)

9. The tunnel and the pool at River Hills HS actually existed in a school I attended myself. I discuss this in the back of the book. I know the school is still there. I doubt the tunnel is.

10. I really, really, really want to do a sequel--but this is not entirely up to me. So if anyone wants to send out some positive vibes, I won't discourage you!

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
fandoria
Jul. 27th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
Very fascinating. This book has had quite a journey, hasn't it? I think it's interesting how many times character names changed. I've never been able to do that. The names become such a part of the characters that I can't ever separate the two. In fact, I've had to stop using place holder names because of that. In my last wip, I had two characters with place holder names and now I can't give them another name. They are those names. So now I agoninze about names until I come up with the right one, unless of course, the character is kind enough to just tell me their name to begin with.

Also, i would really, really, really love to read a sequel. Sending all the positive vibes, good thoughts, etc., that I can your way.
onegrapeshy
Jul. 27th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

I like when you "find and replace all" a name and then it screws up all the words in your ms that might have the same letters as your name, lol. Can't TELL you how often I did that till I learned to go through and replace one at a time.
ophelialaughs
Jul. 27th, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
I did know 1, 2, and 3. I also know the weird girl's name was originally Annie. :)
onegrapeshy
Jul. 28th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I must have a thing for the name Ann(ie)(a)(beth)(liese)(whatever). :-)
edgyauthor
Aug. 3rd, 2012 08:33 am (UTC)
Wow, so many changes! I'd be mind-boggled, if I didn't already know how many crazy changes all my manuscripts go through, haha.

Believe it or not, the name Dino makes me first think of a character from a Melvin Burgess novel and the TV show based on it, not the animated dinosaur. XD

Sending some positive vibes out there for a sequel! ;)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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