This is a rather unusual week for me, and maybe for any writer. I am blessed to have two books being released this week. TWO! That brings me to a grand total of four books in three months. INSANITY! I am so grateful to be in this crazy whirlwind of publishing.

To honor the occasion, and to make up for the fact that I did not blog last week, I am doing TWO blogs this week, one on the origins of each of the books being released. Today’s blog is on my YA debut and the first book in a planned trilogy, No Safety in Numbers.

No Safety started as a tiny kernel of an idea way back in 2007. My husband and I had gone to see a late movie in a mega-mall near where he worked. When we got out of the movie, it was close to one in the morning, and the entire mall save the movie theater was closed.

Now, the movie theater was on the top floor, and so to get to our car, we had to travel down through all the rest of the mall to the first level and out the exits. What surprised me was that whoever ran the mall had turned off all but a few emergency overhead lights on all the lower floors of the mall, meaning we descended into semi-darkness as we travelled from top floor to bottom. And just to up the creep factor, the mall did not close off access to these darkened floors, so as we wound our way down from escalator to escalator, there were voices echoing from the dark. I could see shadows moving in the halls. Laughter, shrieks. Needless to say, we got out of there as quickly as possible.

This experience gave me an idea that I wrote down the second I got home. Here’s what I typed:

Post-Apocalyptic Story—disease, 2-4 week incubancy, quarantine mall one Saturday Afternoon for (4 months?); follow four teens as they survive

–       something between Earth Abides, The Plague, and How I Live Now/Lord of the Flies

–       Write in “Episodes”—like Heroes?  Meaning there are parts to each chapter—solve one question, leave one open at the end?

–       About 10,000 people in the mall?  End up with only a few hundred teenagers?

There’s more to the note, including a roughed out first chapter which is not that far off from what appears in the published book, but this is the important stuff.

I remain astonished by how much of this series came to me on that first night. Things have changed—some ideas didn’t pan out once written, lots of new things came into play as I got to know the characters—but it’s amazing how much was there from the first spark.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you have got to watch the amazing book trailer Penguin made.

And then, go get yourself a copy! The terror has been released! Happy book birthday, No Safety in Numbers!


Most Recent Book: A Passage to India by E.M. Forster (Awesome, thought dated, and gave me ideas about point of view)

Most Recent TV Show: MadMen (This show just ups the ante with every episode. Such great writing, such a great cast)

Most Recent Movie: Dark Shadows (Not weird or funny enough. Burton didn’t push it as far as he should have.)

Most Recent Song: “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO (Because today is a day to party:)

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