The Story Behind Waves Crashing
What some people don’t know is the fact that the inspiration to write “Waves Crashing” came to me during my junior year in high school. Remembering that a few teachers from elementary school told me I should consider a
career in writing, I thought why not?
At first, “Waves Crashing” was to be a short story. I sent the short story in to a publisher. They sent me a book deal and wondered if I was going to send the rest of the manuscript. I could hardly believe it. Then in my mind I started thinking maybe this should be a novel after all.
Of course, time became an issue too. I was about to graduate from high school, so I had to focus on my grades and get ready for college. I placed my novel aside for several years before taking it out and working on it again.
A few years after I graduated from college, I took out what I had written so far in “Wave Crashing.” I would spend some time on my novel each day by either pondering, taking notes, or writing. Soon, I was able to conjure up enough to complete a novel.
During that time, I was reading Danielle Steele and thought maybe I could write a romance. So, originally it started off as a romance novel. As I worked my way through the first two chapters, I thought to myself this is kind of boring. I didn’t want to be known at the time for writing cheesy romance novels. I thought maybe I could make it interesting if I added a few twists, which I did. I was also very much into suspense/mystery and horror novels. So, I went with my gut instinct and stuck with suspense.
My next thought was how can I make my characters interesting. I wanted my main character to have an exciting profession, so I chose oceanographer. I didn’t know much about oceanography, so I wrote to the National Geographic and asked them for some information on oceanography. A couple of weeks later, I got a packet in the mail from the National Geographic filled with pamphlets, maps, and other informational guides to oceanography. Keep in mind this was 1997, so I didn’t have the kind of access I do now to the internet.
Since this was my first novel, I wasn’t sure about the overall structure. I thought about all the novels I had read, and how those stories began and ended. So, I followed what seem to be the most common pattern. I also considered how the story flowed. This method worked well for me.
When it was time to start submitting my novel to publishers, I had to follow each publisher’s criteria. Word count varied, certain elements of the story were required, and genre played a key role in finding a publisher.
Just like any new novelist, I struggled to find a publisher for years. I would have to repeatedly go back through my novel and make changes. I also had to increase my word count.
I am proud of myself for continuing to work on it, and never losing hope. I knew someday that it would eventually get published.