Shooting Sdax was not an easy book to write. Around August of 2018 this project started in earnest. From the first time I shared the idea with my husband and we both cried to identifying a solid structure for the story line, nothing about it came easy. I kept envisioning the novel as a play (I still envision the novel as a play) and tried a few times to write it that way without success. I applied for a grant to help fund the research trips I had planned for this book and didn't get an award. My "plan B" for a trip to Hooper Bay was thwarted by a day of bad weather and my husband's co-worker's decision to sell his plane. Not all of the beta readers I lined up were able to follow through on the commitment to read the novel and provide feedback. After sitting down to make improvements on a few sections, I was unable to locate the final draft...which led to me formatting the wrong draft (twice!) before finally getting the right draft formatted.
A brainstorming session via phone a former colleague in which we discussed (at length) the concept of the inner wounded child and I found the identifier word for Sdax, Ian, and Oscar. Jomi arrived later on.
In December 2018 I geared up for graduation from the MFA program. I remember vividly because I skipped out on the ceremony and went to Seattle with my husband for a long weekend. While there, we watched Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
There was a scene in the play that inspired me when one of the Christmas ghosts came out of the floor in shackles and chains. When he was done, he disappeared through that same hole amid a cloud of smoke. It was a neat use of the stage and I tucked that image into the back corner of my mind for future use. I was able to put it to use when Morris reviewed his coffee philosophy late one night at Saki Brothers.
Add to that, the sheer emotional stress of writing about such heavy topics. Periodically, I took breaks to work on things that allowed me to step away from the characters' pain.
But it's done. For now. There will be one final book in the Calricaraq series. One last story that brings Starr's story to closure. One more novel that will likely bring with it, its own set of challenges. While I work on that, I hope you enjoy reading Shooting Sdax.
p.s. A special shout out to Cathy Walker over at Cathy Walker Book Covers for another gorgeous cover.