Hello readers!! I am so excited for today’s Q&A and to take you behind the scenes into my new story, Remembering The Light. Spoiler alert, if you haven’t read the story yet, this Q&A will make no sense, so, I encourage you to go read the story first. We all need a little fiction right now! It’s not too too long and it will definitely keep you entertained!
What gave you the idea to do a story?
Well, I love writing fiction and the creativity that goes into it. I hadn’t written a story in a really long time and I’ve never written one that is as long as Remembering The Light is. I thought it would be fun to change it up and write something completely different than what I normally do. As different as it from the writing I normally do, it is also the same because there is a lot of love, lessons of courage and it shows the beauty of good relationships. I also feel like the world needs better entertainment that isn’t brainwashing like the television. And happy endings, we definitely need a lot more happy endings so, I made sure to give you just that! I also hadn’t read a fictional book in a really long time and as I was reading that fictional book, I realized I could for sure write my own.
What gave you the idea to title it Remembering The Light? And when did you title this story?
I had three options – either Looking For You, Always Here For You or Remembering The Light. I sat with each of them for a night and then something just clicked and I decided on Remembering The Light. I don’t know what exactly gave me the idea, I think the thought crossed my mind of Ray telling Mr. and Mrs. Hudson at the end of the story to remember Connor in the light. So I made that thought reality and I’m really glad that was the last line of this story. I titled this story towards the end, when I was writing Chapter 19, I think, I started to feel like it was time to title it. And while I was writing either Chapter 20 or 21 I decided on Remembering The Light. And you’ll see in chapters after that, that I start throwing the word light in more and I gave the team a name, Team Light – of course!
Who is the protagonist in the story?
Ray. When I started writing the story, I didn’t know if Ray or Sabrina would be the protagonist but it definitely turned out to be Ray. But Ray wouldn’t be as good of a character without all the other characters so, in a way they all play a role in being the protagonist.
We’re going to character by character, so lets start with Ray. What was the inspiration for Ray’s character?
Ray is inspired by someone I know very well. I think Ray’s growth throughout the story is really cool, I feel like she’s such a different character in the beginning of the book then at the end. She is super strong internally and fearless. After what happened to Connor in the beginning of the story, she really took a big leap of faith in changing her life completely. We all make mistakes and she isn’t perfect but her fearlessness and softness in her heart is what makes her very likable to me. Ray puts on this hard and tough shell but she’s really kind and compassionate on the inside. Her character is admirable I think, she’s confident and poised but she has a good heart and believes in people. Out of all the characters, I think I got to know her the best.
Why did you write the story based mostly in high school and young adult life?
I think those years are a pivotal time in life. I had this idea for the plot of the story and it just came to me in the time period of older kid/young adult life so I ran with it. I wanted the almost parental relationship for Uncle John and Ray too, and I thought if she was any older it probably wouldn’t work.
Talk about Sabrina. Inspiration for her character? Favorite parts about her?
Sabrina is bold and naturally brave. She is a bit inspired by my brother’s personality and by different parts of the same person who inspired Ray’s character. Sabrina speaks her mind and is very honest, almost blunt at times. Her impatience is totally relatable to me and I think she’s really in touch with her feelings. I think Sabrina helps Ray with getting in touch with her feelings and her heart and Ray helps Sabrina in being strong even in the hardest of situations. I love how every character in the story knows Sabrina is really good with words and they let her do the talking most of the time, I feel like she is really seen by each character.
Talk about Shawn? What do you like about his character?
Shawn is such a likable guy. I feel like the story would be lacking humor and levity without him, it’d be too dark. He is a bit inspired by my friend. I love Shawn and Sabrina’s relationship, or should I say Shawn and Bri’s. 🙂 I needed something to show they were really close and I felt if he was the only one who called her Bri, it would be perfect; not to brag, but I think it is perfect. I knew once I developed the relationship a bit that I didn’t want them to fight or have any low moments, I wanted to show a strong and united relationship. The way Shawn reads Sabrina shows how in touch he is with his energy and her’s. Later on in the story you get to see his inner strength and courage too. The way he gained Ray’s belief and how much it meant to him just really made me smile. Overall, his character really has a lot of character. 🙂
And Zach, he came in as a bit of a surprise. How did you think of that plot twist? What do you like about Zach?
So, I originally thought in the early days of writing this story that it would be cool if Shawn had an older brother somewhere too. But it was just an idea, I didn’t think I’d actually use it. It came back into my head and I thought it was too late to write it in, but it worked. I’ll talk about this later but I feel like I wasn’t writing it, I felt like the characters were writing it and I was just their voice. So, in this case, the thought just occurred to Uncle John and I ran away with it. I think the hurt of losing Zach made Ray more lovable and like she wasn’t just cold when it came to relationships. Zach obviously messed up, and he knew it. But forgiveness is so important and I try to get that message across in this story. Forgiveness doesn’t come super easy to me so, writing about it gave me some clarity. You can really tell how similar Shawn and Zach are. There are a lot of meaningful conversations with Zach involved. I like Zach’s openness and his ability to realize he’s made mistakes but then to make up for it in his actions. He has a really good heart which is why forgiveness comes pretty easily to Shawn and Ray when it comes to him.
Uncle John, he’s like the supervisor of this whole thing. Talk about him and what inspired his character.
I wanted him to have his secrets too, so that way he could really help Ray by understanding and supporting her need to help people. You could really tell he cared about her and Sabrina, but obviously he was closer with Ray. Uncle John is a very calm character and like the glue to the team. I think without him the rest of the characters would be a little lost. That conversation between Ray and Uncle John really was sweet, you could see in that moment that they were so similar and that Uncle John knew just the right thing to say to her in that moment. He’s inspired by my parents, meaning the character of his character, not the combat and G.A.S stuff. 🙂 Uncle John is super caring, honest and strong inside and out. It’s hard not to like him.
What was the hardest part of writing this story?
The conversations for sure. It was hard to make them realistic and relatable, I hadn’t written dialogue in a long time so, it was actually nice to do it again. But I think the conversations made the story, like, without them it would just be kind of a boring story with five characters who sort of know each other. The conversations showed the growth within each character and their hearts too.
How did you feel when you reunited Zach and Shawn?
That was actually really hard to write because I’ve never seen nor experienced having an older brother who’s been tracking you that you’ve never met. 🙂 So, I had to really sit with myself and get clear to figure out how I was going to make it realistic. In my heart I was happy for them, I’ll explain this more later but the characters to me are very alive, so, I genuinely felt like it was a real event happening in real life.
How did you feel when you reunited Zach and Ray?
That one was a little easier then Zach and Shawn. I wanted Zach to still be likable even though he broke her heart because in my imagination I knew he was genuinely a really good guy. But I felt Ray’s anger in my gut, I’ve felt her pain before, not in her specific situation but I get the feeling. As I was writing that part in the story, I didn’t know if I was going to make Ray forgive Zach or not. Her forgiveness naturally came because in my head, I was like, “Sabrina forgave Ray pretty easily for something that was worse than what Zach did. So I can’t make Ray pissed forever.” That letter from Zach was really sweet and I think it showed he was truly sorry and that he really knew her. That letter and Sabrina, made Ray change her mind. I was smiling picturing that scene because I like showing that honesty and communication can change everything when you really care about someone.
What is your favorite chapter in the book?
That is really hard. The conversations, even though they are hard to write, are definitely my favorite part because without them the story lacks heart, love and depth. And you’ll notice I like to play off parallel stories, so the conversations come in back to back chapters, or sometimes the characters will use the same lines. I like using the same lines sometimes because it shows how similar they are in their hearts and feelings. But if I had to pick it would either be the combo of Chapter 11&12 (Facing Feelings and Lean On) or Chapter 21 (Stronger Together).
Who is your favorite character?
Impossible decision. Can’t pick, because without Sabrina, Ray wouldn’t be as lovable or without Shawn, Sabrina wouldn’t be as lovable etc. They all need each other to shine.
If you could go back and change anything, what would you change and why?
Honestly, I’m really happy with the way it turned out and it feels so complete. I was going to make it longer and throw some more twists in, but I realized I like how it ended and when. I can always do a sequel, which I think I will be doing. If I had to change something, maybe give Sabrina and Ray’s parents a bigger role, maybe, but I think then it would be too many characters and plot lines.
Let’s talk about Connor. What gave you the idea to start off on such a bang? And do you wish he was still alive?
Connor is the soul of the story, he might’ve only been in it for the first chapter but without Connor there would be nothing or no one to fight for. Connor is the back bone of the story, shaping Ray into the strong and fearless person she is and being the driving force of a lot of characters. I don’t know what exactly inspired me, I guess I just thought of what I would like to read and I like when books get going fast, so that’s what I did. I do wish he was alive, but I also like Zach and Ray’s relationship so that might’ve been weird. As I said earlier, I think I’ll do a sequel so, I don’t know, maybe I’ll throw that in there. 🙂
What is the main message in the story? Or what’s the moral of the story?
Light always wins. And love. Without the love between the characters and the light they each shine as individuals and as a collective there’d be no heart to this story. I think the story really shows the ups and downs of relationships and the harmony of coming together and being a team. I think we all need to see more stories of light winning and we all need to imagine more beautiful things and not the low vibrational crap that’s being pumped into our brains through anything mainstream.
So, you’ve been saying a lot that the characters to you are very much alive, talk a little more about that.
The characters wrote this story, I was just the someone in-between who put their words on paper. I remember telling my mom when I was writing it, that I felt like the characters were my really good friends and like I knew them so well. I needed that connection in that time in my life, I was having some friend struggles, but being able to connect with different parts of myself through these characters really helped me. When I’d write a conversation or any scene really, it was almost like the voices in the heads of the characters were communicating with my voice and we were collaborating on how to make the scene as good as it possibly could be. And I think the best part of writing a story is that the characters are with you even when you’re not writing it. I talked about the creative zone a bit when I released my album but to go even further, the creative zone stays with you throughout the entire project and it is a different type of adrenaline. I forgot in writing fiction that the characters are always in your head, and to live that for the two/three weeks when I was writing it, was really special. You never feel alone or anything because you’re constantly imagining and these characters are always with you in your head. It’s unlike anything else.
And with that we’ll end today’s Q&A! Thank you for reading! If you have any questions you’d like me to answer about the story, just comment and I’d be more than happy to answer. I hope this story and Q&A bring you as much joy as they bring me. And maybe it will inspire you to write and use your imagination! Be fearless and free – Ace