Monday, May 7, 2012

The road to here...

A long long time ago, in the distant past known as the 70's, a quirky child grew up in Sweden. Oh yes, it was me, hahaha. Almost as soon as I could talk, I claimed my life was a horrible mix-up, and my real family would come down from the stars to bring me home at any moment. Every time we went out in the car, I expected a UFO to land in the middle of the road and take me home. That evidently didn't happen - I'm still here - but it brought my mom endless heartache. I was also obsessed with books. Long before I could read or write I made mom staple coloured papers together to resemble books, and I drew suns in them. They were all about the sun, and they were all called the sun book.

Image from IMDB.
Both obsessions stayed with me. My dad would watch science fiction shows on TV - Moonbase Alpha and Jason of Star Command - and thought I was playing with something behind his back. I couldn't rip my eyes away from the TV. We had a lot of books, and I obsessed over Jules Verne's stories at an early age. Imagine travelling to the moon in a cannon ball! The library in my home town is fairly big, and by the time I started first grade I had already gone through all the childrens' books. I kid you not - all the childrens' books. Mom persuaded the librarians to let me look at young adult, and I went through those long before it would be prudent to let me graduate to adult fiction.

As soon as I learned to write properly, I started to dabble with science fiction stories, and when I reached my teens, the ideas were growing pretty solid. The writing itself was still that of a child, of course, but the ideas weren't too bad. You get the point - I always wanted to make books.

One of these stories slumbered in my mind for decades, until an old song stirred the memory. I listened to Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel - the first time I wrote it, and when I heard the song again, I remembered. The lyrics are both beautiful and horrible, and personifies the hero to the letter. The song starts, "I said 'mama, he's crazy and he scares me, but I want him by my side. Though he's wild and he's bad and sometimes just plain mad, I need him to keep me satisfied'" I found it on Youtube. The soundquality in the video is iffy, but the lyrics carry me off to other worlds every time I hear it.

Anyway, when I wrote the story the first time, as a teenager, the heroine was called Elizabeth and wandered through a forest on foot. In the adult version, her name has changed to Patricia, and she has a car. The end result is the same - spaceman Travis abducts her by mistake and she is SO screwed.

The road between writing the thing and getting it published has been long and bumpy. The interesting thing - to me - is that it is getting published, by an actual publishing company, and it will be released on Friday. Happy dance!

I always dreamed of having a book cover designed by an actual artist, and the dream came true. Talented Gwen Phifer made it, and nothing I could come up with could ever be as cool. When I first saw it, I wasn't sure about the woman on it, but she has grown on me.

I wanted to tell you stuff about the editing process, and all the weird rejection letters, but this post is pretty long already, so I think we'll have to come back to that some other day.

Thank you for listening to my random babble! :-)
If you have the time, check out my book trailer. :-)

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