In all of my career, I’ve written a heavy story and then a light story. First Faminelands, then I took a break with Out For Souls and Cookies.
Confused which The Grove is? It might be about a sorcerer trying to stop a guy who wants to wake up some bloody-thirsty Gods in order to change the world, but it is a light story. The dystopian The Light Side of the Moon was heavy. (And of course, many of you may remember, I had to write it twice ;)) Once The Light Side of the Moon was accepted at 48Fourteen, I started The Grove.
First of all, I wanted to write a cosmic horror story or at least an end of the world, bloodthirsty Gods kind of story. Cosmic Horror is defined as a subgenre of horror fiction that emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown (and in some cases, unknowable) more than gore or other elements of shock, though these may still be present. I was interested in cosmic indifference. While questioning my own feelings of alienation as an artist and author, I decided I would explore the alienation of sorcerers. They would have to hide their gifts or face being diagnosed with mental issues. Then I decided the cost of magic was the ability to function within general society.
My love of nature and hiking slid into the work. Then I added the gnomes and a few science fiction issues with the multiple universe theory. Then the Oddities Museum and the fake town Sitka’s Quay was inspired by visiting small towns during my library appearances during the summers. I had been to the coast a few times as an adult and remembered a visit to Ocean City, WA. Originally, I figured I’d place Sitka’s Quay in my home state of Washington, but the Oregon Coast has more sandy beaches than WA and Highway 101 follows the coast closer. While I visit Seattle and Puget Sounds beaches quite regularly, I visited the coast, both in Washington and Oregon. The smell of the Pacific Northwest Beaches inspired me. I felt constant noise of the pounding ocean, the wind on my cheeks and salt on my lips. I knew I wanted to set the book and Sitka’s Quay would be a fake town.
At first it went slow, because I was working on it between edits, but once The Light Side of the Moon was published, I slammed out this book. It took me three months to get it to my beta readers.
Another three months for rewrites. Five months total for editing. Now its getting closer to be market- ready