Thursday, November 06, 2014

Behind the Scenes of The Map to Everywhere: origins

I’m so excited that it’s finally release week for The Map to Everywhere, the first in a four book middle grade fantasy adventure series I’m co-writing with my husband, John Parke Davis! YAY! In honor of the release, I wanted to share a bit about the origins behind the series because this entire journey really has felt like a dream come true.

From an early age I knew I wanted to be an author even though I wasn’t really sure how one became such a thing. During my final semester in college I realized that if I wanted to write for a living, I’d better get started actually writing something I could sell. So I picked up a romance novel I’d begun drafting years before. I finished that book in 2000 and shopped it to agents, and while I got a few positive responses, nothing much came of it. I then wrote a second romance but by that time had come to the realization that perhaps I needed to look into a more stable career.

So I went to law school. Classes had only just begun when I found myself sitting at the apartment complex pool one day reading my torts textbook. A fellow first year law student named JP said hello and we got to talking. It didn’t take long for us to realize we had a lot in common — we’d both been born and raised in South Carolina, we both enjoyed the outdoors, and we both loved to write.

A year later, JP and I began dating. Upon graduation we moved to Charlotte together to start careers in law. It didn’t take long for me to realize, however, that while I’d loved the study of law, the practice wasn’t as exciting. And so I asked myself: if I could do anything with my life, what would it be?

The answer: I’d be an author. But I hadn’t been doing much in the way of fiction writing over the previous years. At the same time, JP also realized that he wasn’t writing as much as he wanted. So together we decided to change that.

I committed to writing a book a year for ten years in the hope that by the end of a decade I’d have sold one and started a career as an author. JP committed to a project with his brother called The Story Game. The premise was simple: every week one of them would throw out a pitch and they’d have a week to write a two page story centered around that pitch.

This project spawned some amazing stories — some of which JP later sold, one of which inspired my first published novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and several that I thought would make amazing novels.

But one story had always stood out to me. It was about a wizard and a ship’s captain sailing a river of pure magic called the Pirate Stream. It was the kind of story that reminded me of what made me fall in love with reading as a kid, and my first thought was that it would make an amazing middle grade book.

I really, really wanted this book to exist and I really, really wanted to be a part of it. It had so completely taken hold of my imagination that I proposed we co-write it. And for years, all we did was talk about it. During long walks we’d discuss character or plot, we’d share bits of stories we’d loved growing up, and we’d talk about how one day we’d really have to sit down and start writing.

I’m not sure that I ever expected that day to come, but in early 2012 I was looking for a new project to focus on and I said, “Let’s do it. Let’s write the Pirate Stream book.” JP readily agreed but even so, it still felt like a bit of a lark. Besides, who knew if we’d even be able to write together — sure we’d been integral parts of each other’s writing process as first readers and editors, but it’s another thing altogether to be co-writers *and* spouses.

And then we started writing and it worked. Like, it *really* worked. We built off each other and the story grew in really amazing and unexpected ways. We were able to assert our ideas without overwhelming one another and compromising came much easier than expected. Plus, it was fun!

By the end of the year, we’d sold it in a four book deal and this week, that first book — The Map to Everywhere — hit shelves. Often I think back to that moment in 2006 when we both sat down with the goal of being able to make a living writing in ten years. I’m not sure either of us would have expected our paths to lead us here, and certainly not as co-authors of a middle grade series.

Truly it has been a collaborative effort in every sense of the word. When one of us felt that our goal may not be within reach, the other was there to keep the faith. And at the heart of it all is our mutual love of story and of each other.


This post originally appeared on Magical Words.

9 comments:

Jenn said...

I'm sitting here sighing, because that is so romantic. Or maybe I'm just strange but I find it completely romantic. Congrats on your new book, can't wait to meet your husband and see you again at the launch party. I'm bringing one, possibly both of the boys and picking up a copy for my husband too because he's been talking about it since you mentioned it at the UnMarked tour stop in Concord.

PeeWee, the non-perishable-zealot said...

Looks delicious and rich...
yet, I seem to see nthn of Seventh-Heaven.
Sad how we refuse to speak until our demise.
And Jesus is patiently waiting for U.S. to
git off our derierres which few do.
No mo, dear. No mo. Looky...

But, seriously, folks, as I stand-up
here on this Great Stage of our lifelong demise
(only 66ish feet across and 1-outta-1 croaks),
what's the MOST important objective in your
finite existence, dear? I certainly know what mine is:

Hope2God this provides some knowledge
on your everlasting, spiritual journey;
I may see you again Upstairs... maybe not...
depending on how well WE mortals have fulfilled
our voyage to the Great Beyond by 1) loving God
and 2) loving our neighbor to the best of our ability.

Why else does a moth fly FROM the night
than to a bold, attractive candle Light??
Don’t let His extravagant Brilliance be extinguished.
You’re creative, yes?
Then, fly-away with U.S. to the antidote…

Whether you obtain morality4mortality to wiseabove
or just glean tantalizing specimens for thy next best seller,
you shall find in our blogs a lotta (subliminal) moxie
which has taken this sinfull mortal yeeeeers to compile!
I lay it ALL out for you, dear, with All-Star-Oxygems:

Wouldn’t ya love an endless eternity
of aplomBombs falling on thy indelible cranium?
An XtraXcitinXpose with no zooillogical-expiration-date?
An IQ much higher than K2 all-go-rhythm?
An extraordinarily, anti-establishment-victory
with both sardonic, satirical wit Who’s savvy
and avant-guarde-humility??
Here’s what the exquisite, prolific GODy sed
(with a most-excellent-detector of bull§ht):

“Faith, hope, and love,
the greatest of these is love –
jump into faith…
and you’ll VitSee with love”
Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe (what I write);
God believes in you.

Meet me Upstairs, girl, where the Son never goes down
from a super-passionate, lucrative iconoclasm where you’ll find
nonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsX…
of deluxe-HTTP [<- pi] opportunities for excitement BTW.

Do it. Do the deed, dude. Sign into the Big-Zaftig-House.

PS “It is impossible that anyone should NOT receive all that they have believed and hoped to obtain; it gives Me great pleasure when they hope great things from Me and I will always give them more than they expect”
-our Lord Jesus to Saint Gertrude

احمد عبدالله said...

شركة تنظيف بالاحساء

عبدالله السيد said...

هل تريد شركة لرش مبيد تحتاج شركة لرش المبيدات اليكم الحل مع شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض الصفرات
افضل شركة رش دفان بالرياض الصفرات-الصفرات لمكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض
تعانى من كثره الفئران فى بيتك او شركتك تريد التخلص من تلك الفئران مع شركة مكافحة الفئران بالرياض الصفرات
شركة مكافحة الصراصير بالرياض الصفرات
شركة مكافحة النمل الاسود بالرياض الصفرات
شركة مكافحة الناموس بالرياض الصفرات
شركة مكافحة الهاموش بالرياض الصفرات
شركة الصفرات مكافحة الحشرات بالرياض
شركة الصفرا لرش المبيدات بالخرج

steve said...


شركة مكافحة حشرات و رش مبيدات

افضل شركة تنظيف بالاحساء افضل شركة تنظيف بالاحساء
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام

Amany Said said...

تعمل شركة اللمسه في مكافحة الحشرات مثل النمل والصراصير وجميع انواع الحشرات بأبها الان ، وتعتبر شركة اللمسه من اشهر شركات مكافحة الحشرات في السعودية , لدينا عمالة مدربة ومتخصصة المواد المستخدمة فى مكافحة الحشرات غير ضارة على الانسان وليس لها روائح نعمل بدون مغادرة المنزل نعمل على راحة عملائنا .
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بنجران
شركة رش مبيدات بالخرج
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخرج
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالخرج
شركة رش مبيدات بأبها
شركة مكافحة حشرات بأبها
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بأبها
شركة رش مبيدات بنجران
شركة مكافحة حشرات بنجران
شركة رش مبيدات بالعينه


Amany Said said...

هل تبحث عن شركة متخصصة فى خدمات التنظيف بالطائف بافضل المعدات والسوائل وثقة تمة فى العمل ودقة فى النتائج كل هذه المميزت توفرها شركة الخليج الشركة الافضل والامثل فى الخدمات المنزلية بالطائف وبما اننا الشركة الافضل والامثل بدون منافس سوف نسعى لتوفر افضل الخدمات باقل تكلفة وبقدر كبير من الاهتمام والدقة عزيزى اينما كنت فى اى منطقة ا وحى تابع لمدينة الطائف اتصل بنا وسوف نصلك فى الحال شركة الخليج للخدمات المنزلية شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف
شركة تسليك مجارى بالطائف
شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركة مكافحة نمل ابيض بالطائف
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالطائف
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف
شركة عزل خزانات بالطائف

علي محمد said...


شركة تنظيف بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالخبر
شركة تنظيف بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف بالاحساء
شركة تنظيف بالقطيف


شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بالخبر
شركة تسليك مجارى بالجبيل
شركة تسليك مجارى بالاحساء
شركة تسليك مجارى بالقطيف

Fatma Elbazar said...

شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة مكفحة حشرات بالطائف
شركة نقل اثاث بالطائف
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف
شركة عزل خزانات بالطائف