I Gave Myself Nightmares. I’m THAT Messed Up.

imagesThanks to the advice of my amazing editor, who happens to be a world class author as well, I haven’t slept in days. One of my fall releases is titled, Deceived. It’s a YA suspense and there’s a very evil serial killer monster guy. In all the revisions and varied versions of this manuscript I’ve written over the years, this change was the one that made me afraid to fall asleep. Thank you, Jackie. I scared myself silly.

I came up with this story concept as my second idea ever for a novel. I had no writing chops. Everything else I wrote that year and the year after was put in the junk bin. Good for practice, bad for reading.  But this idea made my brain itch. Ever had one of those? The killer got under my skin and no matter how many romances and mysteries and fun things I wrote, this guy kept taunting me inside my head in a sing- songy whisper voice…“You left her alone again. I’m going to find her. You can’t stop me.”

My brain works like that. And I worked the story some more. Between every new manuscript, I went back to this one, checking on my heroine, reassuring myself she’s okay. I, on the other hand, may have an undiagnosed form of crazy. Let’s not dwell on that. And then, the unthinkable. I signed the story with my agent and Merit Press bought it. I had a simultaneous celebration and stroke. On one hand, YEAH! My diligence paid off! It really is a good story idea! on the other hand, HOLY HOLY HOLY this lunatic will be read by other people. He’ll be loose. I will have to deal with him directly again. Crappity-crap-crap-crap.

I received my editorial letter two weeks ago with a list of ways to tighten and improve on the existing pages. Many of the suggestions were simple, super *facepalm* things. I should’ve known this or that would make it even better. But as the author, sometimes your focus is on other things. This is why betas, agents and editors are imperative to the proces. I quickly made the easy changes. Then I delved into the more complicated ones. Still, no probs. Then, I realized, I’d left the killer for last. According to the revision letter, I needed to “Take my time” and “Don’t rush” through the scenes where the killer is his killiest. <– those last words are mine not hers.

I was such a mess while writing these scenes, that my husband arrived home from work one day, opened our door and I screamed. Then he jumped. It’s not often you walk into your home and someone screams. (Though possibly it happens more often here than other places). That night I had a nightmare. This is the gist of it.

I was on twitter talking about the killer situation and getting advise, bouncing ideas off my friends and followers (THIS is true and it was also in my dream) and in the dream, a serial killer noticed me tweeting these things. I got his very unwanted attention and he engaged me. Then he came for me. He threw me in a room with two-way glass and proceeded to show me how serial killers operate from the other side of the glass. I saw horrible things I was powerless to stop and knew all the time I was next. It was awful.

But I guess that’s what happens when the girl who’s literally afraid of her own shadow writes a serial killer story. WHat about you guys? Ever written something that scared you later?

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