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The Story Behind the Story – Full Circle

The Story Behind the Story

I’ve probably told the story of Full Circle more than any of my other books, but I’ll tell it again in case you haven’t heard it.

Living the Dream was my first published novel. I began writing it in 2007, but it was not my first attempt at writing a book. Nineteen years earlier, in 1988, I began writing another story.

At the time I was a single parent with a very low budget and lots of time on my hands. At some point I got tired of spending my evenings watching TV or doing jigsaw puzzles so I decided to take a crack at writing.

I had more than a passing interest in Karma, chaos theory and The Twilight Zone…so my thought was to combine elements of all three into one story.

Of course I had virtually no Earthly idea how to write a book, but I took out a notebook and a pen and started writing anyway. After I had written five chapters I asked my best friend’s wife to read what I had and tell me if I should keep going. She told me I should, so I did.

I would get another ten chapters written before I took a new job and had to move, so I “temporarily” abandoned the project. The notebook went into a box, but didn’t see the light of day again until 2014 when, with seven novels under my belt, I decided it was time to finish what I had started all those years ago.

I knew the concept of the story was a good one, which is why I never threw the notebook away, but the fifteen chapters I had written were not only outdated, but also very poorly written.

Full Circle would only live if I started from scratch.

I kept the title, and used the same structure (the idea that each character’s actions affect the life of the next character), but everything else went south.

In retrospect, the fact that I was unable to finish the original incarnation was a blessing. In the intervening twenty-six years I learned a lot about how to write and how to construct a story, which made the second version better than the original ever could have been.

What goes around, comes around…even if it takes twenty-seven years…

…and that’s the story behind that story.


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