Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I Was An Aerial Acrobat...Well, Sort Of

As I mentioned in my secrets of Strange Luck post, I love learning secrets behind a book, like where an author got a particular idea or wrote their story. It really adds something to the whole experience. I thought long and hard about some interesting tidbits I could share about The Nightmare Birds and this is what I've come up with. I hope you enjoy them. :D

1.   I took the title ‘The Nightmare Birds’ from a poem I had written 10 years ago. It was about nightingales in my neighborhood that were chirping all night and driving me crazy. Here's a pic of my journal with the poem:



2.   While writing this book I took aerial acrobatic lessons to get a better sense of what it was like to be a circus/theater performer. It was a lot of fun, but I wasn't very good at it. Here's a goofy pic of me striking a pose:


3.   One of the working titles for this book was ‘An Evening at the Theater of Secrets.’ I didn’t want to lose that name completely, so I used it as the title of the mysterious book in the story.
 
4.   Christine is actually based on a German foreign exchange student who lived with me when I was in high school. Just like the character in the book, her real name was Christine and she was kinda odd. She would always suddenly leave the room while you were talking to her, and she was obsessed with anything orange.

5.   My real-life interest in existentialism trickled into the story, especially Daisy’s fascination with Simone de Beauvoir and Friedrich Nietzsche. They are some of my favorite philosophers.

6.   Originally the “nightmare bird” was a nightingale (like in my poem), but I've always liked owls more, so I changed it.

7.   I wrote The Nightmare Birds as a standalone title years ago and worked closely with an agent to develop it. Per the agent's guidance, the story ultimately went a direction I didn't like, so the relationship dissolved and I decided to go my own way. I wrote Strange Luck next, then decided to adapt The Nightmare Birds as the sequel.
 
8.   In the original story, the protagonist's name was 'Rune.'

9.   The reference about people who voluntarily lived in caves without light and lost all track of time is based on a real (and super scary) experiment. Look it up.


10. Arianrhod (Daisy's mom) is based on a Goddess from Welsh mythology. The Goddess shape-shifts into a wise owl which enables her to see into the dark depths of the human soul.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about The Nightmare Birds. Don't forget to check these out too: