I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember, but I’ve only been an author for about
6 years. Consequently, over those other years, quite a few story ideas drifted in and out of my head. Some I jotted down; others I’d develop mentally, letting different pieces of the story take shape in my mind over the course of months or years. Often music inspired these characters and plotlines. However, I never really did anything with most of those ideas. They sat like old letters in a shoebox, collecting dust.
When I began writing The Last One, I realized pretty early on that Sam Reynolds had a younger sister. Ali lived with Sam, and she had a young daughter, who was the catalyst for bringing Meghan not only to Burton, Georgia, but also to live at the
Reynolds’ farm for a summer. That was all well and good, but then one day as I was writing, Ali’s story began to pour from her lips in conversation with Meghan (imagine me yelling, “Stop! No. You have no story. You’re just a sister.”). As she spoke, it dawned on me that Ali’s story was actually one I’d begun developing at least ten years before and never written.
So it was with joy and not a little gratitude that Ali was able to tell her story in The First One. It had been a long time coming, and I’m glad my mind was quick enough to associate her with something that had been percolating for a while.
But that meant there had to be a third book. It didn’t take me long to decide that Mason, the owner and bartender at The Road Block, would be our male lead. But what was his story?
And then I met Rilla. She reminded me of people I’d known, people who’d been held down and manipulated . . . and yet there was a core of steel in this girl: there’s no doubt she’s a match for Mason. And then some. As I wrote her character, it dawned on me that her story was another I’d begun to dabble with years and years before.
The human brain is an amazing organ, efficient and quick. Nothing is wasted, including ideas. I’m thrilled that the same characters and storylines I began to know so long ago are coming to life today, in the perfect setting for which they were waiting.
Tawdra Kandle has been a writer since the invention of the pen. Her first published work appeared in Child’s Life magazine when she was 13. After a brief, thirty-year hiatus, she published a young adult quartet, The King Series. More recently, she’s released contemporary and paranormal romances in both the adult and New Adult genres. Tawdra lives in central Florida with her husband and children, of both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair.
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