It’s no secret that A Strange Companion took me a long time to write. I’m talking ten years, maybe longer.
The idea first came to me during a conversation over pancakes. A friend and I were talking about reincarnation and wondering what it would be like if souls found one another over and over in every lifetime. You know, your typical breakfast chit-chat.
I mapped out a complex tale of twisted fates and unexplained connections, and, to be honest, it was a load of rubbish. David Mitchell did a much better job of that story in Cloud Atlas. Plus, that wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. I wanted to write a more personal story of one person’s experience with reuniting with the soul of a loved one. So, bit by bit, draft by draft, the story of A Strange Companion began to form.
The trouble was, my ability didn’t match my vision, and I could never quite get the story just how I wanted it. So I’d abandon the project for a while and work on something new. Sooner or later, the idea would wriggle its way back into my mind and I’d take another pass at the book, each time inching it a little closer to the book I wanted it to be. But I’d always end up disappointed, and eventually, I stuffed the manuscript under the bed and accepted that the story was destined to remain abandoned.
But, not long after I finished writing The Smallest Thing, the story started niggling me again. And this time, I knew how to write it. I knew what I wanted to say and I knew exactly how the story should unfold. So, I dusted off the manuscript and this time I finished it.
If you’ve read the book, you’ll see that the finished story is a far cry from my original idea, thank goodness, but that’s the way it goes. Stories take on a life of their own and they won’t leave you alone until you’ve done them justice.
To hear more about the idea that wouldn’t go away and the twists and turns of the creative process, check out my interview with Melissa Dinwiddie on her Live Creative Now! podcast.
Win a Signed Copy of A Strange Companion
Get your mitts on a signed copy of A Strange Companion on Goodreads this week. I’m giving away a copy to one lucky winner.