Tuesday, May 27, 2014

From Truth to Fiction - @ShelleyDavidow's Inspiration for ‘Lights Over Emerald Creek’ #YA #SciFi

I’m often asked the question: where do you get your ideas? As if ideas are commodities sold at exclusive retail outlets where only the lucky few get to shop! Not so, really. We all have ideas, and sometimes pretty crazy ones, every second of every day. Every interaction with other human beings engages our imaginations. 

I think being an author, I’m just hyper-aware. Ideas are everywhere, and they’re free! Here are how some of them came together so that my speculative young adult fiction novel ‘Lights Over Emerald Creek’ came to be: my sixteen-year-old protagonist Lucy is a paraplegic after a terrible accident. Although I’d already been thinking about her for some time, her character was inspired by two people: one is a friend in his fifties who became a paraplegic after contracting polio as a two-year-old and who went on to become one of the first paraplegic flight instructors in the world. 

His courage to defy gravity and the disability, which looked set to keep him earthbound, blew me away. I just thought, wow, look at this guy! He can’t walk, but he can fly! In light of what Lucy pulls off in the novel, I have to admit that he was such an inspiration. Lucy’s physical looks and her cello playing, however, were modelled on a beautiful young cellist friend whose capacity with music is incredible. So, yes, a man in his fifties and a cello player become the inadvertent role models for a fictional heroine. 

The setting for ‘Lights Over Emerald Creek’ is far north Queensland. I spent some time up there on a 10,000 acre farm and was really enchanted by the rainforesty, misty magic that surrounded everything. Setting for me is often a catalyst for a story. It was definitely the case with this book. Ideas for the story began to grow out of that vast area with its view over the mountains, especially at night when the full moon rose over the creek that meandered through the property. And, though many of my friends shook their heads with disbelief when I told them: there really is a guy up in far north Queensland who does catch snakes, including Taipans (arguably one of the most venomous snakes in the world) with his bare hands. He told me that you catch them in the night when they’re all sleepy and warm soaking up the heat of the road…(I watched him catch a python and relocate it into the bush). So he became the inspiration for Lucy’s father, Stephen. (By the way, catching sleeping Taipans at night may sound easy enough, but please don’t practice this at home!)
Ideas are everywhere all the time. And anyone can have them. I’m always ready to welcome new experiences and new people because over time I think the imagination distils the essence out of every experience and interaction, and then, sometimes when least expected, a new idea for a novel or character explodes onto a waiting page!

Lucy Wright, sixteen and a paraplegic after a recent car accident that took her mother’s life, lives in Queensland on a 10,000 acre farm with her father. When Lucy investigates strange lights over the creek at the bottom of the property, she discovers a mystery that links the lights to the science of cymatics and Scotland’s ancient Rosslyn Chapel.
But beyond the chapel is an even larger mystery. One that links the music the chapel contains to Norway’s mysterious Hessdalen lights, and beyond that to Saturn and to the stars. Lucy’s discoveries catapult her into a parallel universe connected to our own by means of resonance and sound, where a newly emerging world trembles on the edge of disaster. As realities divide, her mission in this new world is revealed and she finds herself part of a love story that will span the galaxy.

Sample & Purchase Links 

Genre - Young Adult SF
Rating - PG
More details about the author
Connect with Shelley Davidow on Facebook & Twitter


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