It began one hot August afternoon in 2008, right in the front seat of my maroon, ’95 Mazda MX6.
I was outside my sister’s work, waiting to pick her up, (because I’m such an amazing sister) when I got a little bored. I got my iPod outta my pocket, stuffed the earplugs in my ears and cranked up the volume full blast just to pass the time.
As I zoned out to the music, my mind skipped happily over to imagination land where it likes to spend most of its days. Visions of me being a phenomenal dancer are its favorite fantasy to concoct while music is playing and that day was no exception. “Move It Like This” by the Baja Men popped on and my fantasy self materialized into a parking garage wearing a black sweater and black leather pants. I thought, “Hunh, weird, but at least my butt looks good” and let it play out.
So there I was, dancing in my sexy pants when all of a sudden Will Smith joined me. The two of us had a dance off. Will laughed at my skills and mocked my moves and it ended with us just laughing the whole thing off. Fun time.
But sadly the song ended and so did the fantasy. At that point I paused my iPod and pondered this crazy event. And by ponder I mean I sat there and was like, “What the hell was that?” and then just dismissed it because my sister got into the car and we drove off into the sunset.
I sat outside my sister’s work, once again displaying my awesome sisterly skills. Couple minutes in I get bored and go straight for my iPod. I shuffle around the songs and come to “Move it Like This”. I laugh to myself, hit play just for fun and close my eyes. My mind torpedoes to the old fantasy except its a little different. This time Will and I were in a warehouse littered with crates and old rags, he still in his suit and I in my sexy pants and now a white button down with a black sweater vest (don’t ask).
So we start dancing and choreographing this awesome dance, moving and grooving in perfect unison when Robert Downey Jr. pops in, wearing an all-black suit and red tie.
Like all musicals, RDJ knew the choreography and seamlessly blended into our routine. At this point I start cracking up (his dancing was pretty bad) and immediately turn off my iPod, accepting I’d finally lost it. What the hell was going on with me? Luckily my sister came for distraction and we went home.
As the weeks passed my mind was assaulted by constant images of the three of us, only we weren’t dancing. Now we were kicking ass and making things explode. It really started to freak me out because I couldn’t stop them and didn’t know why they kept appearing. That’s when it hit me. They were scenes of a story. A movie. The word “screenplay” gripped my mind like a choke hold I couldn’t shake. But me write a screenplay? The idea was absurd. I worked at a daycare. I knew diaper changing, bottle feeding and how to bandage boo boos. Hollywood was a mythical place in childish fantasies.
But that week as I was shopping I picked up a fresh notebook and when I got home randomly wrote “JAX” across the top and flooded pages with the images I’d seen… Just in case.
Months blurred as my notebook drowned in the ink of my ideas. My time (and money) was consumed by Hitman and writing research. But just when I thought I was ready to sit and construct a first draft I had an epiphany. Well really it was more a frustration that had been eating at me for weeks and decided it was done being ignored. You see, while getting to know my characters and shaping the story I realized there was too much to fit in one screenplay and it wouldn’t do my characters justice. I wanted people to know and love them as much as I did and felt there was no way to do that by movie. That’s when the hulking idea of writing a book came barreling into my brain, smashing and crushing all thoughts of the screenplay and threatening to cause permanent insanity if I didn’t obey.
I was crushed and deflated. A screenplay was one thing, but a book? No chance in hell. It was too much. And the thought of me having the title of “Author” was a joke. But as I started researching how to write a book a daring romance started to bud. I was wooed by the openness and unlimited possibilities, seduced by the rich depth I could bring and flattered by the idea of seeing my book stand tall among the shelves of the bookstores I so loved. Yes, I had fallen in love.
Like every happy new couple my life became consumed with my new love. Every waking moment was devoted to outlining, brainstorming and of course, writing. I couldn’t get enough. And still can’t. It took a week of seclusion to finish INITIATION’s first draft and although that is quite an achievement, the real joy and reward is having spent the last five years watching INITIATION and I grow stronger as author and story. Yes, we have had many bumps in the road and will have many more in the years ahead, but I love The JAX Chronicles more now than I ever have and hope as you turn the pages of my books my love and dedication shines through and sparks similar feelings in you.
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