The idea came from when I worked corporate communications for a former Fortune 500 company. I was in charge of contract announcements, and was getting antsy waiting on the legal department to approve a press release. The corporate attorney quipped, “Be patient, I’m trying to keep you out of jail for confusing a million dollar deal for a billion dollar deal.”
That off-hand comment took my breath away. I mean, I look fairly good in orange and I’m good at making friends … so it’s not that. What happened was, a seed of an idea began to germinate in my head.
For weeks after, I found myself always going back to that comment and the what-if that followed. What if someone in my position was manipulated into committing securities fraud? What if she believed someone she trusted, but he ended up using her?
During my daily commutes, I’d find myself imagining the story and before long, Phoenix took shape in my head. From there, it took many drafts, many edits, lots of tears, some wine and the confidence of my friends, family and amazing publisher.
Kids, that is the birth story of Phoenix. Pardon Falls came to my during a long drive to far southwest Texas. A few others that are waiting in the wing came from watching the news, hearing an interview with a vocalist and, my favorite and a story I can’t wait to write, the main character sharing his motto – “Just because everyone dies, doesn’t mean it has to be boring.”
Story genesis is fascinating. To me, it’s like unwrapping a present from the universe. Most of the stories come to me fully formed in a giant whoosh. Those that don’t are a little harder to write, but I think what that means is the “whoosh” stories are like falling stars. They are hanging out in orbit, waiting for an author ready to write and and then they streak across the sky to us.