Our memories can be unreliable. Not only do we forget important details of our lives, but our brains invent new details, false memories that eventually replace the truth of what really happened.
Sometimes I forget that Struck didn’t start out as Struck . . . or, I remember the origin of the story differently, and I convince myself that my false memory is the real one.
But I’m experiencing a moment of clarity right now. I have remembered and entire book that I forgot I wrote . . . the book that spawned Struck. To put it in Biblical terms, that original book was Adam, and I took its rib and made Struck.
The forgotten book was titled Damned, and it was about a girl who falls in love with the Antichrist. I’d call it a cross between Twilight and The Omen.
Now, if you’re asking yourself how someone could forget writing an entire novel, then you’re asking the right question. And I’ll tell you the answer:
I forgot because Damned was, in a way, Struck. It was, but it wasn’t.
You see, Damned was my first attempt at writing a young adult novel, and I had no idea what I was doing. Damned was an unholy mess. I didn’t know if I could ever turn it into something I’d want to shop around.
I was trying to decide what to do with the giant pile of nonsense words I was calling a manuscript when new inspiration struck. Literally. It struck, and it was Struck!
A new idea for an entirely different novel charged into my brain and declared sovereignty. There was no room left in my head for Damned. Struck had become king.
But I was conflicted. I had an entire book already that I should probably revise and try to fix. I didn’t want Damned to go to waste, so I figured out a compromise. Even though Damned was a disaster, I liked the characters, and I liked the setting. So I stole them. From my own book. And I gave them to Struck.
Mia Price, lightning addict, used to be Mia Price, mistress of the Antichrist. But Mia fit much more comfortably into Struck, and so did all the friends she brought to the party. The earthquake-ravaged Los Angeles of Damned became the earthquake-ravaged Los Angeles of Struck.
Most authors have at least one or two trunk novels that never see the light of day, and even though I forgot about one of mine, it didn’t go to waste. How’s that for recycling?
Damned is gone . . . but not forgotten. (At least not at this exact moment)