Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday 10 Special: 10 Things You Didn't Know About THE UNQUIET

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!

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