Did you go Behind the Scenes with me at NovelSpot last week? Here is part one for those of you who missed it. The Behind the Scenes is six parts long. So go behind the scenes with me, my novels and my aspirations.
My first book, Remembering Ashby, came out in April of 2009. My second book, Prime Evil, is due out later this month. I have been writing my entire life. Writing is a great deal like breathing and I don’t know how to not write.
My dream of becoming a novelist began when I was just eleven years old. I was in the sixth grade at L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary in Dallas, Texas. My teacher, Mrs. Walker, assigned a story project to the class. We wrote and illustrated our own stories. We had to make a title page, a table of contents, break the book down by chapters and tell a conclusive beginning, middle and end. When we were done, we created an about the author page with our school photograph.
The page read:
My name is Heather Adcock. I’m a 6th grade student at L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary School. I’m a Tag Student. TAG means talented and gifted. This is my first novel. I hope you enjoyed my book.
Even then, I knew I wanted to be a novelist and so my journey began.
I joined a fan group for a comic book series when I was sixteen. The group, TitanTalk, allowed me to explore my love for comic books and characters. During the five years I wrote for TitanTalk, I created two novel length stories based on an alternate universe. In this alternate reality, Dick Grayson had a twin sister named Alyx and that twin would eventually become Batgirl. The first novel was over 200 pages in length, broken down into 13 chapters spanning nearly five years of time.
The second novel was never completed, but involved the terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center in 1993 and Alyx’ subsequent lapse into a coma. Life got in the way and I never really got back to finishing the tale that I started. Someday, I’ve told myself, I will do that.
By the year 2000, I’d written two novella length short stories during the year I was pregnant, the first: The Company of the Broken Sword, traced the adventures of mercenaries that haunted a town because they left one of their own behind. Until they could be reunited, their spirits were not free. The short served as a guide for my online role playing group and we played out this mystery in the game of Ultima Online for several weeks.
Writing strong characters and character driven stories was something I truly enjoyed doing. Roleplaying allowed me to explore all the nuances of a story and I wrote reams of pages for every character I created.
Full Time Writer
In the year after my daughter was born, I went back to school and began work on my first full length novel in a decade. The story followed a hedge witch in Virginia and the serial killer that haunted her from the past. I wrote the first draft in six weeks. It took me six months to revise it and I began shopping the book around. Three agents were interested and all of them asked me to change the opener.
Each time I refused, rather stupidly in retrospect. I thought my book was just perfect the way it was and I didn’t want to have to change it. Needless to say, I never found an agent. After rejection followed by rejection, I focused on my freelance writing and my schooling and put the novel away for a while. But I wasn’t done with it, not by a long shot.