SPOILERS ahead for my book, LIFELIKE.
If you have not read chapter one yet, go and read it now--then come back here to read about how I created the story.
You’ve been warned.
The idea for LIFELIKE came to me over ten years ago. (So, yeah, it can take a very long time for a book to finally get published.) I collect dolls and dollhouses, which means, I often get catalogs from doll companies in the mail. It was as I was looking through one of them many years ago, that I first saw a collection of dolls for sale. It was a full wedding party. (Bride, groom, bridesmaid, flower girl, ring bearer, etc.) Something about that group of dolls took hold of my imagination. I could not shake away the thought that a group of dolls that were made together--and sold together--would be a different kind of dolls. They would have shared history. And that’s when I began wondering all those questions that an author must ask themselves when beginning a new story.
What if the dolls had been around a very long time? So long that they had actually come to life?
But what would cause dolls to come to life after all this time?
What if they had been made to look like real people? People who had been part of a real wedding that had never taken place. But why would a wedding not take place? Because of a murder. And a murder meant ghosts. Which would explain how the dolls had come to life.
If the dolls did come to life, how would that effect the people who owned the dolls? Would they be afraid? Or would the dolls become their friend? As I thought up answers for all these questions, the story of LIFELIKE began to form within my mind. I could not stop thinking about it. The more I knew about the dolls and their tragic history, the deeper I was drawn into their tale. It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning, and the last thing I thought about as I feel asleep.
The only problem was, I was already in the middle of writing another book at the time. One that I had put a lot of time into already. But this new story kept taking over, demanding to be written—right now! But I resisted the temptation—over and over.
Then one day, my mother was talking to me about something and realized that I hadn’t heard a single word she said—mostly because I had just thought up another great new twist to the haunted doll story that I was determined NOT to write until I’d finished the other book. My mother stopped talking and asked me what had me so distracted. I laughed and told her about the new story. She made me tell her all about it. The WHOLE thing, from beginning to end. When I finished telling the tale, my mother had tears in her eyes.
“I think you need to write that story,” she said.
So I did. Beginning that very day.
And now you have read the first chapter of that book--started so very long ago. I am excited to take you all along on the journey with me as I cover each chapter.
As this is an open discussion, please feel free to write any question or thoughts you might have had as you read the first chapter—and I will answer those questions in the comments below. Keep your eye on this page and chapter two will soon follow.