Numbered, a dystopian romance: Meet Noelle & Ryder

My current WIP is Numbered, a dystopian romance, set to release next year (date TBD). While we wait, I thought I’d introduce you to the main characters of this novel.

Everyone, meet Noelle and Ryder.

The year is 2050, and technology has advanced so that people know the exact date of their death and how they’re going to die. In their final 100 days, people give up their jobs, their homes, and everything in their life, say goodbye to their families, and then enter a facility where everything is taken care of for them, spending the last three months of their life in complete comfort with no worries at all.

Noelle is in her 30s, completely healthy, but knows she’s going to die of a heart attack. It’s why she’s spent every day eating healthy and exercising, trying to reverse the end fate has handed her. It’s also why she refuses to get close to anyone. She’s spent her life as a loner, and is ready to spend her last 100 days alone at River’s End.

Ryder has been battling a debilitating sickness for the past decade, but that’s not what haunts him. He’s been let down by every parent figure in his life, and has learned he’s on his own. This becomes even more true when he uncovers a secret just days before coming to River’s End.

Noelle and Ryder come to the facility on Day 100, destined to die on the same day, and determined to remain distant from everyone until the end. But when secrets come to the surface and past lies become truth, their only solace is knowing they have each other.

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Hope series – look at my spines!

I seriously love these!

R2H spine TRIO

Check out the Hope series at crissilangwell.com/hope-series. Hope at the Crossroads, Book 2 of the Hope series, publishes Sept. 5. Find out more about it here. You can also see my latest post on what the book is about and why this series means so much to me here.

 

So I’ll reach up to the sky and pretend that I’m a Spaceman

I became aware of the possibilities that lay before me as I floated free from my earthbound body. The space that Joey once described to me was out here, and I had the ability to see it all. Earth, in the far away distance, shone at me like a star in the sky. The giant orb of Jupiter moved in a slow rotation next to me, the gasses swirling in an ever-moving sphere of colors. Beyond that were much smaller planets in their own slow-moving journey around the sun, a star that looked much smaller from this far away than it did from the comfort of Earth. And all around me were particles of rock and dust floating beside me, sparkling from the faraway sun.
But what caught my eye the most was the trail of faded stars that led further than I could see, winding toward the edges of the galaxy and beyond. My curiosity was working overtime, and I turned to move toward the Milky Way. I picked up speed as I went along, traveling faster and faster until I was plummeting through space at full throttle. If I were more than just a spirit, I was sure I’d have a tail of fire as I moved forward with increasing velocity.
I came close enough to view the stars that made up the Milky Way, still millions of miles away, and moved parallel with it. I passed planet after planet, the space around me feeling colder as I moved further away from the sun. I saw the glow ahead of me, still thousands of miles away. It was like a sheet that wrapped around space, invisible above and behind me as I traveled onward. But as I got closer, the glow got brighter. I picked up speed and flew forward with all my strength. It could only be the edge of the galaxy. Even closer, I could see space rock moving toward the glow. But with shock, I saw each rock sucked through, an invisible wind grabbing hold and propelling it into a storm that swirled around the galaxy.
I was going too fast to stop, or so I thought. Had I controlled my fears long enough to think with clarity, I would have remembered that I had no limits, that I could think myself away from this place in just a moment. But as I streamed towards the edge, all I could think of was being swept into a vortex I wouldn’t be able to get out of. “This is my hell,” I thought. “I’m going to be stuck here forever in a blender because I chose to leave Earth behind.”
– Excerpt from A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 12, pages 156-157

And here’s where things get weird…

Fantasy is not my usual genre of writing. In fact, this book is the first real stab at creating a story within a totally unreal type of world. All of my other fiction exists in worlds that one could logically live in. But this…this was a whole new experience for me.

When I wrote this scene, I never planned for it to happen. It just kind of did. Writers will often tell you that after a bit of story writing, the story tends to take on a life of its own. The author no longer controls it. This scene is no exception. But I’m glad it did. It ended up setting the stage for a pivotal scene later in the book.

Fun fact – did you know that space tastes like a copper penny? This is only one of the facts I uncovered when researching what it would actually be like to be in space.

When I wrote A Symphony of Cicadas, I had reservations about the space scene. Was I going too far out on a limb by sending Rachel into space? How would I describe the setting when I had never been there? Would it just be too weird? I had to let go of all these doubts and just write on. And I’m glad I did. Personally, I find this chapter of the book fascinating. For those of you who have read the book, I hope you did, too.

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/17ayBAP.

Stay tuned for more!

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He’s leaving home…

“Damn it, Sam!  You don’t have a lock because then I’d never see you!  Why can’t you just do what I tell you to do?” John shouted.
I could see the sparks in the air as Sam broke, something snapping inside of him after months of walls upon walls being built up between them.
“Because you’re never here! Even when you are here, you’re not! You don’t want to see me, you don’t even talk to me. And tell me what to do? It’s not like you’ve even been a parent to me at all since Rachel died. It’s like you’ve locked yourself up in that room with all her stuff and have nothing left for me. But Dad, I’m not dead, I’m here!” Sam stormed, clenching and unclenching his fists as he yelled at his dad. It was the same argument from a few weeks earlier, the unresolved emotions flying up between them after having been pushed down and ignored for too long. “I’m sick and tired of this house, this city, YOU! I can’t stand it here any longer!”
John held his breath at the words, realizing what was coming next. As much as he’d thought this eminent plan of action would bring him relief, he was suddenly faced with fear at the thought of his son moving out. At the forefront, he knew he’d miss his son. But underneath this fear was the knowledge that once his son was gone, John would be faced with my presence in every wall, on every surface, and in the air he breathed despite the fact that I and all my things were locked behind Joey’s door.
“What are you saying, Sam?” John asked, his body rigid as he waited for what they both knew was coming.
“I’m moving in with Mom.” – Excerpt from A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 11, pages 147-148

It’s ironic, really, that this passage made it into A Symphony of Cicadas. At the time I wrote this, I had no idea that my own teenage daughter would also have this conversation with me – telling me she wished to live with her father. In our case, it was not done in anger, like with Sam and John. But it was because she wanted to escape the changes that had occurred in our household (my new marriage to her stepfather) and wondering what life would be like on the other side of her family.

When she asked me about it, I told her no. Not even an “I’ll think about it” or anything like that. It was a flat out no. However, my daughter is nothing if not diligent. Over time, she calmly talked with me, giving me some very good reasons as to why she would be okay to move over there.

I wasn’t so sure about that. Ever since I left her father, I had been the primary caregiver. Even during the marriage I was more like a single parent. And then there were the questionable choices he kept making with his life. His home was no place for a teenage daughter who needed guidance more than ever.

But my daughter’s persistence paid off. I finally ran out of reasons to say no, and realized that I needed to just cut the apron strings. She was old enough (14 going on 15) to survive if I wasn’t the main parent.

My daughter moved out the week after Christmas. My family thought I had gone nuts. I was fighting the urge to take it all back and tell her not to go. But I didn’t. Instead, I helped her pack everything she could fit into my car, and drove her the three hours it took to get to where her new home was.

Two months later, I was packing my car again to bring her home. It seems there is no place like home… She had spent the few weeks at her father’s house being able to do anything she wanted, unlike she could at our house. But she also felt practically invisible, another difference from our house. She craved being taken care of.

In A Symphony of Cicadas, things are not going well in John’s house. When Rachel was alive, she became the glue that held things together. But when she died, the tight unit they had become went with her. John was so caught up in his misery over his loss, he forgot how to be a dad to his son. And while Sam, as a teenager, appreciated being able to get away with pretty much anything, he also craved being taken care of.

I think that every teenager, even when they don’t admit it, crave the very same thing. We all just want to be taken care of.

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/17ayBAP.

Stay tuned for more!

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A stone’s throw of hurts

I left John alone in the apartment and found Sam huddled in the poor lighting of a pier a dozen blocks from the apartment. He sat at the edge, tossing tiny rocks one by one into the still water below. They lay gathered in a pile near his crossed legs, collected on his walk towards the bay. It was a fascination he had carried with him from his childhood, gathering rocks in moments of his life, one for each experience to hold onto the memory a little longer. There were rocks in his room that looked to be just ordinary pebbles to the unknowing eye, but held secrets that only he knew every time he looked at them. He could tell where each rock was from and what he was doing in the moment, even years after collecting the insignificant pebble.
He never felt younger than he did as he sat alone on the pier away from his depressing home. In that moment he was five years old, lost and needing some guidance in the confusing reality of being fifteen. Trying to let go of the hurts that tore at him, he watched as each pebble dropped from his hand, taking its memory into the blackness of the water and disappearing. I was surprised to see my face among the images he included in his tally of life’s unfairness. But at the front of the list was his father, John’s likeness making numerous appearances as the list grew longer and longer until everything disappeared except for him. – Excerpt from A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 10, pages 123-24

When I first started writing about Sam, I wasn’t sure how big of a character he was going to be. I figured he would just make a few appearances as the typical difficult teenager, and that would be that.

But Sam had more to say than that. And Sam became another surprise character that became one of my personal favorites in the book.

As I was writing, different things began to develop with this character. He was worried about what other kids thought of him at school. He was still hurt over his parents’ divorce. He felt rejected by his mom. He wished his dad would pay more attention to him. He had a hard time getting to know his soon-to-be stepmom and stepbrother… A lot had changed in Sam’s world. The only way he could control any of it was through his reaction. And even in that, he was losing control.

In this scene, Sam and his father have just gotten into a fight – the first time emotion has been shown since Rachel died. To try and rid himself of his wounds, Sam dedicates his hurts to each rock he finds and then throws it into the bay.

I mentioned Sam’s habit of placing memories with rocks because this is a practice our family does. Whenever we go on vacation or do something cool, a rock from that day manages to slip into one of our pockets and come home with us. There was one time, in my days as a single mom, that I even scored a 15 pound rocks from a trip out to the ocean with some friends. I carried that sucker up a small cliff and then lugged it up a steep hill to our beach house. I brought it home and placed it in our backyard with a pile of other memory rocks. And they stayed there, serving as a reminder of some great times I had while I lived there. When I moved from that apartment to the larger one next door, I decided to not take them with me, but leave them there for the next tenant. I don’t know what I was thinking. As soon as the new tenant moved in, my decision was sealed. All that effort of collecting those rocks, wasted. And the worst part, the new tenants probably just looked at those rocks as….a pile of rocks – not the collection of memories they were.

Luckily, I now have a new collection of memory rocks. The ones from our first vacation to San Diego as a blended family. The ones from Costa Rica, where we went on our honeymoon last year. The one that a friend gave me with the words “You are enough” printed on them. The one after a fantastic women’s retreat with new friends that reminds me to have courage…

I still wonder if those rocks are still in the backyard of that first apartment. But those belong to a different chapter of my life. I have many new ones now to take their place.

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/17ayBAP.

Stay tuned for more!

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Step-teenagers and the silent treatment

It was the game he played whenever John acted as someone with more authority than a roommate who fed Sam and paid all the bills. Instead of fighting his father, Sam would just keep his mouth shut and react as if no one were speaking to him at all.
“I don’t think he can hear you,” I said in bewilderment the first time it had happened. Sam remained tightlipped and calm while his father reddened in the face, repeating several times what he had said. It had been dinnertime then, too, the only time Sam was ever around us. Other than mealtimes, he would lock himself in his room with his videogames or hang out with his friends until moments before it was time to eat. I had been dating John for just a couple of months, but I was beginning to see that Sam was fighting against any kind of parental control. He wasn’t a bad kid, and as far as I could tell he wasn’t rebelling in any major way. He just didn’t like to be told what to do.
On this particular occasion John was merely asking him what his plans were for the weekend. We all sat in silence as we waited for his answer, and I thought I saw just the hint of a smirk as he got up to put his plate in the sink. Beside me Joey ate his dinner as if nothing were amiss, though he watched in silent curiosity to see how things would unfold.
“Sam, your father is asking you what you are up to this weekend,” I said to him. Sam looked at me with a calm demeanor, as if I were a child who didn’t understand the way things worked.
“I heard him,” he said.
“Then why aren’t you answering him?” I asked. “Are you mad at him?”
“No, I just don’t feel like talking,” he said, and he turned to walk out of the room before anyone could say anything else. – Excerpt from A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 9, pages 117-118

Being the parent of a teenager is frustrating. But being a stepparent to a teenager? Sometimes it can be downright painful!

When I first became a stepmom, I entered into completely foreign territory.  My kids hadn’t yet reached that stage of teenage rebellion, so witnessing it from my stepson was a bit jarring. And beyond that, the kid had so many quirks and habits I wasn’t used to, mostly because I hadn’t raised him and instilled my own quirks and habits in him. We came into each others’ lives at a time when he was just finding his own way and exerting his independence. And I didn’t know how to deal with it.

One of his most aggravating tools of power was to completely ignore us whenever we spoke to him. It didn’t matter if he was asked a simple question, he would give us the silent treatment without any reason at all.

It was infuriating! (I wrote about it in my family blog, you can read it HERE)

I wasn’t sure what I had signed up for. I didn’t get this kid, and he certainly didn’t get me.

Thankfully, we were eventually able to bridge the gap between us as we got to know each other. But it took a lot of time, and effort.

First, I had to get over my fear of him. I mean, he was just a teenager. If something wasn’t working, I needed to be able to speak up instead of silently stewing and just labeling him as difficult.

Second, I had to try and understand him more. What made him who he was? What other things were going on his life that might translate into animosity at home? How would I feel if my parents split up and some woman came to live there with her kids? It took a lot of trying on other shoes to get where my stepson was coming from.

Third, we needed to find a connection point – something we could both relate to that would help us understand each other more. For us, that became a love of running. I had just started running again. While I resembled more of the tortoise than the hare, it was something I grew to enjoy. My stepson took the initiative to ask if he could join me one day. And we both ran the whole route together. Soon, running became OUR thing, and we’d wait for the other to hit the pavement. Of course, my stepson possesses a natural ability for running. It didn’t take long for his skill to far exceed mine. He joined the track team and can now run a 4-5 minute mile. I’m quite happy when I beat my usual 10-minute mile. 🙂  But despite our differences in skill, this opened up our relationship, giving us many more things we could connect on.

When it came to writing A Symphony of Cicadas, I had to include the difficulties that exist in raising a teenager, and capitalize on what it’s like to raise a stepchild with all their foreign habits and quirks. My stepson’s use of the silent treatment to push our buttons was such a fascinating display of exerting his control of the situation, I used it as one of Sam’s tools of power.

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/17ayBAP.

Stay tuned for more!

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Sexy, bald British men

Santa Cruz Beach boardwalk
“A carnival?” I squealed. “That’s your distraction?”
“Can you think of anything better?” she asked. I shook my head with a smile as I surveyed the grounds. I recognized this place; we’d traveled to the boardwalk carnival in Santa Cruz. I hadn’t been there since I was a child, and I flashed back to when my parents had packed up my sister and me for a weekend trip to the rides and roller coaster on the beach. I remembered how the three-hour car ride had felt like an eternity, though the soundtrack of Genesis singing ‘Home by the Sea’ and ‘Illegal Alien’ through the tape deck helped us to sing the time away. Years later, that album still transported me back to seven-years-old, when our only view was of the ocean as we went round and round on the Ferris wheel. And now seeing the same view, I felt seven-years-old again, the excitement inside me hard to contain.A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 8, page 99

If you haven’t already figured it out, I have slipped actual snippets from my life within the pages of this book.  It’s kind of like writing a love letter to the very favorite parts of my life.  This is one of them, a mention of a trip I actually took with my family to Santa Cruz, listening to Genesis the whole ride there.

Confession time – I actually had a huge whopping crush on Phil Collins when I was a kid.  And he was old then!  I can only blame my parents for exposing me to his British accent and deep lyrics throughout my childhood.

I mean, look at him:

Phil-CollinsWho doesn’t love a sexy, cuddly, balding British man?

At any rate, I had a lot of fun with this chapter of the book.  Rachel has been cast into the afterlife, and has been so somber about all the stuff she’s missing in life.  So her friend Jane (one of my favorite characters!) distracts her with a trip the Boardwalk, where they get to indulge in all the joys of life we deprive ourselves of.

For example:

“Come on!” Jane prompted, grabbing my hand and pulling me to follow her through the crowd. I laughed as I followed, getting wrapped up in the vibrant colors and delicious smells, the sounds of ringing bells and laughter becoming a part of us. Jane grabbed a tuft from the top of an unsuspecting child’s cotton candy and placed it in her mouth. With only a slight hesitation, I copied her action and placed the stolen pink cloud in my mouth. I was surprised when the brightness of the sweet candy sparkled with flavor on my tongue, just as it had years ago as a child.
“We can still taste food?” I asked, and she laughed.
“Of course we can!  Can’t you hear, smell, and feel?  Why can’t you also taste?”  I immediately grabbed another handful of cotton candy from a kid passing by, this time a baby blue, and stuffed it in my mouth. A hot dog lying on a cart became my next meal, and I savored the way the hot juices exploded in my mouth with each satisfying bite. All the foods I had resisted as I worried about calories and getting fat were now beckoning me to indulge in a feast of culinary abandon. – Page 100-101

Cheeseburgers, ice cream sundaes, hordes of chocolate…  I have a whole fantasy about what I would eat if calories didn’t count….  But of course, they do.  So instead I lived vicariously through Rachel and Jane as they continued on in their food adventure, eating every kind of carnival food they could get their hands on.  My mouth is still watering…

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/YZYB8w – only 99 cents for a limited time!

Stay tuned for more!

Stained glass windows and the smell of burning incense

Church
I visualized the tall ceilings of the church, picturing the dark wood support beams that were in contrast with the white of the walls. I could see the sunlight streaming through the colorful glass windows that showed the scenes leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. In my mind the communion was all laid out on silver trays sitting on white sheets draped over the altar. I could almost smell the incense from the bronze thurible, the smoke wafting through the intricate design of the round metal censer.
And soon, I could.  – A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 7, pages 86

As a child, my Polish grandmother used to take me to her Catholic church, St. Rose in Santa Rosa, Ca.  This was the church I envisioned as I wrote out this chapter, describing when Rachel and Jane (oh, you guys will love Jane!) as they crashed a funeral about to take place.

The Catholic services of my youth were long and boring.  I never quite understood what the priest was saying.  When he wasn’t droning on and on in a monotone voice, probably telling us how we were all going to hell because we just couldn’t live up to God’s expectations, he was speaking in Latin.  There was one time my grandmother even took us to a Spanish service, despite the fact that the only Spanish I knew was how to count to ten.  My grandmother didn’t even know Spanish.  It must have looked really funny to see this Polish grandmother and her granddaughters wearing Easter bonnets among a bunch of Hispanics as they wondered why we were there.

However, the little interest I held in the actual service as a child was made up for my intrigue in the elaborate building this service was held in.  Say what you will about the Catholic church, but they know their architecture.  Catholic churches are breathtaking!  While the priest droned on, I would look up at the story the stained glass windows held, and somehow get just as much out of those as the priest hoped I’d get out of his sermon.

Censer-Incense-Burner-01I think the part I loved the most about the Catholic church was the thurible.  The priest would put burning charcoal in this bronze globe, closing it tight before swinging it back and forth as he walked down the aisle.  I liked to pretend the smoke was magical somehow; that if it touched me I’d be protected.  That smell, to this day, evokes memories of holiness and innocence, before politics and lies got in the way of the beauty that still exists in the Catholic church.

I’m no longer Catholic (not sure I ever even was), but I still recall the symbolism, the choir, the holy water, the chanting….all the holy rituals that make up the church service with fondness.

Well, everything except for the droning.

The picture above is not of St. Rose, but it is of Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco (if you click on the photo, you can see it larger). If you ever find yourself in SF, take part of your day to check out the architecture in their historic churches.  Trust me, they’re breathtaking.

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/YZYB8w – only 99 cents for a limited time!

Stay tuned for more!

Tales of the cat lady

Lucci“Muffin!  Mr. Tinkles!” Edna cooed down the hall. She clicked her tongue against the top of her mouth, creating a quick sound that echoed around the house. From a back room we could hear a drop to the ground and a low meow.
Edna had described to us two balls of playful fluff when telling us about her cats. The way she talked about them, we were expecting adorable kittens that would chase string if we dangled it in front of them. What came out of the back room was the exact opposite of this image. Two emaciated cats emerged, hurrying over to Edna for food and affection. One of them had part of its ear missing, one of its eyes closed up tight, and an obvious limp as it walked. Its dark fur was brushed well, but missing in several patches as if it had been scratched bald. The other, appearing a bit younger than the first, had short black hair all over, except for an orange patch over its eye. Its tail stuck straight up, curved in a crooked hook at the end. While the first cat ignored us altogether, this second cat took turns swirling at our feet. I bent down to pet it and recoiled at the feel of its greasy hair.  – A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 6, pages 64-65

Edna became one of those characters who just kind of showed up in the story.  In this flashback to Rachel’s childhood, she was the crazy cat lady, the neighbor no one wanted to be around.  But we can’t always choose our neighbors, can we?

This scene was slipped into a rather somber chapter.  At this point in the story, things were starting to look dismal for Rachel, the main character.  But when Edna showed up (and seriously, she kind of just wrote herself into the storyline), she added a bit of color to the chapter – as colorful as the neon dresses she liked to wear.

Oh, and that cat pictured up there?  That’s my Lucci.  He’s not an ugly cat by any means, but actually quite pretty (maybe only to me, but whatever).  And he has been missing since October when I left for my honeymoon.  I gained a husband, but lost my cat.  And he was the best cat ever.  😦  You have no idea how much I miss that cat!

At any rate, there’s your inside peek to A Symphony of Cicadas.  Are you reading along?  What do you think so far?

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/YZYB8w – only 99 cents for a limited time!

Stay tuned for more!

What a Symphony of Cicadas sounds like

cicada
Large cicada basking in the sun. (photo by Tony Wills, used under Creative Commons)

“Joey!” I called out. The word hung in front of me, trembling in the air but traveling no further than the space around me. “Joey!” I tried again, only to have my voice swallowed by the thick atmosphere surrounding my presence. I took a deep breath and screamed his name once more, using all of my power to force his name to travel with the wind, hoping it would reach his ears.
“JOEY!”
I could sense a sudden release in pressure as my voice shattered whatever was separating me from the rest of the forest. I was joined by a thousand cicadas, casting their deafening mating call in the trees as they, too, screamed for someone they loved.A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 4, pages 36-37.

Over in the northeast part of our country, a breed of cicadas known as Brood II are beginning to climb out of the earth to begin mating and laying eggs for the next generation to come. Like, a billion of them….per square mile. This phenomenon only happens every 17 years (and 2013 happens to be the year), and it is not an easy event to miss. Cicada-enthusiasts are blogging about it, creating recipes for the tasty buggers, and are even following these little guys on Twitter.

For the next several weeks, the northeast will be overwhelmed with the winged insects, making it appear slightly apocalyptic (the locusts are coming!). And the noise! It’s going to create quite the buzz. Literally.

Like this:

If you’ve ever gone into the forest, you’ve likely heard the buzz from the cicadas and wondered what that sound is. For some, it’s pretty annoying. For me, however, that sound brings back some fond memories. My husband and I are avid campers, and there is one campsite we frequent quite regularly up in Lake County. In fact, my husband even proposed to me on one of the trails of this campsite! To get anywhere on the grounds, you have to hike across a trail surrounded by trees. And in those trees are tons of cicadas, buzzing their mating call. So when it came time to begin writing this scene, I slipped in the sound of the cicadas buzzing through trees as a sort of nod towards my favorite place to be. And the scene was so powerful, I wove bits and pieces of it throughout the story, and re-titled the book “A Symphony of Cicadas.”

As for the northeast, however, it will be interesting how the cicada frenzy is going to play out. Will the states be covered in these winged creatures? Will the noise be deafening? Do people really EAT cicadas? And did the cicadas actually plan their 17 year arrival to coincide with my book just to try and get the word out?

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/YZYB8w.

Stay tuned for more!