So, I submitted the first draft of the sequel to The Moon Hunters on Friday evening, just in time to have a chill Valentine’s evening with my husband. To celebrate, I poured myself a drink and then ordered us some yummy curry. I was tempted to hold onto that draft for a bit longer, but that’s that part of me that wants to tweak little things forever. It’s much better (for me) to submit when I need feedback on the developmental elements. I can tweak the minor stuff later.
The main point of today’s blog post, though, is to talk about unlikely sources of inspiration. About a week ago, my husband and I were watching The Morning Show (the Apple TV show starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell) as I was writing. In the episode, news anchors were covering California wildfires. The way that the fire glowed behind the mountains appeared so spooky and menacing that I wanted to incorporate that imagery into my book.
How to do it? Well, in the backstory for The Moonhunters, readers learn that Leilani’s great grandfather hauled everyone from California to escape the plague. California has wildfires, so there’s that obvious connection. Also, the cult Leilani grows up in believes L.A. is infested with monsters. Many legends have a root of truth to them. As such, I turned the fire into a way to create dread and represent a metaphorical monster of sorts when Leilani reflects on various elements of her upbringing in the sequel.
The fire behind the mountain is also an element I’m channeling into the prequel, which is from Samilla’s point of view. Samilla is Leilani’s grandmother.
Anyhow, I didn’t expect to find inspiration in a TV show, but there we go.