Picture this: Author wannabe just received professional feedback on her first novel. Not good! Wannabe feels downcast, and thinks, Maybe I just need to take a class. So she signs up for an online Fiction Writing course from Fiction Master himself, Jerry Jenkins.
In Assignment 1 she’s told to list a half-dozen ideas for novels she hopes to write some day.
That was me. I’d like to share this idea with you: “Twin sisters own a dance studio. One of them becomes a Christian and suddenly she feels differently about so much. She wants to start using Christian music in their lessons. She no longer feels right about some of the ‘shortcuts’ she and her sister took to reduce costs and hide income on their taxes. Her boyfriend doesn’t understand her new convictions, and they break up. All this creates a huge conflict between her and her twin. How will she handle it?”
And thus, Sapphire Secrets was conceived.
Next assignment: Character biographies. And somehow, a bit of myself crept into the supporting character of Scott. He’s a serious-minded engineer who can’t stand his teenage neighbor’s subwoofer. This little quirk led to an entire subplot between Scott and his neighbor that I never saw coming!
Then came the lesson on dialog. I was to think up dialog between two completely different characters. Not as easy as it sounds, especially when you challenge yourself, as I did, to think up as odd a character as possible. That’s how Vienna came to be. She’s an opera-loving wild child, the foil to Scott’s strait-laced, yet hip-hop-loving, character.
Again, a whole new situation that just seemed to write itself.
As the book grew and developed, eventually it grew legs – a plot. And arms – an inciting incident. And a heartbeat – emotion and conflict. A brain – plot twist. By the time it was born, it had taken on a life of its own, and turned into something I didn’t know I was capable of.
The book almost wrote itself.
Funny how that happens, isn’t it? It’s as though Sapphire Secrets’ story was already there, dying to be told, and just happened to use me as the instrument.
And I’m so glad it did.
Author Dawn V. Cahill writes “Stories of Victorious Faith for the 21st Century,” stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, of upside-down morality, of hostility to Judeo-Christian values. She also blogs about puppies, substance abuse, and single parenting. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).
In her new book Sapphire Secrets, a handsome engineer pushes heroine Livy to question her New Age philosophy. Livy struggles to explain her emerging faith to her twin sister while seeking answers to the mystery of how their mother died years before. Then a brutal accident
interrupts her search. Will she continue her quest, though it could mean losing her twin and the man she loves? (A finalist in the ACFW First Impressions Contest, 2015.)