I’ve been almost entirely preoccupied with Callie, Matthieu and Dane for nearly a full year. The three of them fill my thoughts constantly. So I was surprised recently when, at the back of my mind, another voice appeared. She was quiet at first, stealing into my thoughts every once in awhile when the others were silent, but over the past month or so she’s been gradually getting louder and more insistent. I’m here she says. Listen to me for a bit. And I do. I find I’m listening to her a lot.
She’s a funny one, this girl. A bit of an enigma. She tells me lots about her childhood, but little about her present or the trials she’s facing. She says we’ll talk about all that later, but in the meantime, there are things I ought to know…
Callie was kind enough to give the kid a few pages of my time today (she’s not enjoying having her early days re-written, it seems) and just like that, this girl-without-a-name became real, a person on paper, instead of a hint of an idea in my mind. There are a few things I need to get down before she’ll settle back into her quiet corner, waiting until Callie et al. have said their piece. The funny thing is, I don’t even know where she came from. It sure wasn’t the lightning bolt of inspiration I experienced with The Unravelling. Maybe she was born of discarded bits of other ideas. Maybe she’s always been there. It’s pretty clear at this point that she’s not leaving.
Now I find myself with a whole new tree of folders in my writing directory, a fresh set of topics to research and a document to store stray ideas as she feeds them to me. There’s monsters, and magic and a giant identity crisis – all the things I love in a story. I’m intrigued by all this – it’s a completely different process from what I’m used to. Callie’s story is so driven by music and I see and hear her in things all around me. This is like little whispers from the ether I have to strain to hear.
Is it possible to be working on two completely different books at the same time? Is that even wise? I might be about to find out.