“You two are dancing in a snow-globe ’round and ’round/
He keeps a picture of you in his office downtown.”
You Are In Love – Taylor Swift
Those lyrics are the sole inspiration for What Comes After. I’m a playlist writer. Every single thing I write, there is a corresponding playlist I crafted on my Spotify. The songs on the playlist would play on repeat as I wrote. Each song represents a particular scene/moment/chapter and the lyrics or the beat (mostly the lyrics) would help pull creativity out of me. Music makes me feel really deeply. I mean, I can’t be the only happily married person that sobbed like I was going through a tragic break-up when T-Swift released folklore. Mainly, though, it’s because certain songs make me think of characters—characters I’ve written, I’ve outlined, or that I’ve read.
So, in all honesty, music inspired me to write this book. Well, music and a dream I once had. To be clear, there was no personal experience that pushed me to write the love story of Jack and Eliza. However, one time I had a dream (nightmare) that I was living in Dallas with a close friend and my child (I have no kids) after my husband passed away. My friend, Tori, was the friend I moved in with. In my dream, my daughter and I were decorating the house to welcome Tori back from being a contestant on The Bachelor. It was quite the wild ride. I woke up and immediately texted her about it because it was so insane. But … I could not stop my brain from crafting a story out of it. A young single mother who loses her husband and starts over with her best friend. And, since I am a romantic at heart, I had to make it a love story. The rest just fell into place.
My childhood best friend, LaKeisha, was the inspiration for my main character’s best friend, Simone. Encouraging, free-spirited, empathetic, and supportive is every trait Simone has and every trait that came from her. I lived with LaKeisha once, and she was the perfect person to give me a kick in the ass when warranted. She kept my deepest secrets and eased my darkest fears. She was my lifeline during a time where I was extremely lost. I don’t think she even knows how much of an impact she has made on my life. As I wrote Simone, she is all I could see.
Every other character were bits and pieces of people I know and love. That said, every character is also uniquely their own.
I will leave you with a link to my What Comes After Spotify playlist. I simply cannot wait for you to experience the story that awaits you.