Monday, April 23, 2012

What's Up With Allie Emerson?

I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.

I’ve always loved the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It speaks to me as a writer and a human being. As writers, we face monumental challenges, we persevere in spite of overwhelming odds and hopefully, we rebound from bitter disappointments bloody but unbowed. But, for me, Henley’s words resonate on a deeper level. I use the underlying premise of his poem to build my characters and their alternative worlds.

In the Unbidden Magic series I write for Bell Bridge Books, I started with a simple idea. My protagonist, fifteen-year-old Allie Emerson, had a story to tell. I needed to get inside her head to tell it. I am her conduit. Because Allie is always in charge, I had no choice but to write her story in first person narrative. I tried, but found I could not do it any other way.

At the beginning of the series, Moonstone, Allie lives with her single mother in a 24 foot travel trailer parked next to a cow pasture in a small rural town. From the onset, I felt it was important for the paranormal aspects of Allie’s life to be an extension of her normal world. In other words, I let Allie guide me as she explored her telekinetic power by causing Blaster the bull to run backwards, as well as using her powers to defend a classmate against a gang attack. Moonstone is about self-discovery.

 In the second book, Moon Rise, Allie learns more about the moonstone’s functions and refines her powers but, because of psychic injury, she remains in the familiar world of home and school. 
In book 3, Moon Spun, Allie is ready for a bigger challenge. Enter the faeries! Allie explores a strange new world I call the Land of Boundless. However, because she still needs to be grounded in the real world, she accesses the portal to Boundless through an old cistern located behind the apple tree next to the trailer.

 Shadow Moon, book 4, finds Allie traveling to southern California to search for a missing family member. The motivation for this decision springs from a surprise discovery in the previous book. 

I'm currently writing book 5, Midnight Moon and yes, Allie is still living in the same crappy travel trailer. Her relationship with her mother, Faye, continues to be upside down, but the fact remains, they love each other deeply. I am now obsessed with making sure I tie up all the loose ends I created in the first four books. 

What about Beck and Junior? As Allie would say, "Killer question." Readers of the series seem clearly in one camp or the other. But I've learned to trust the process. This is Allie's story. She'll let me know. 

Okay, readers, what do you want to see in book 5, Midnight Moon? Let me know. It could happen.

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