Rudi and Raven are characters I have had in my head for twenty-plus years. At first, I wanted them for a series of comic strips about a day in the life of an average teenager, Raven, and her younger brother Rudi. It never really developed from there and that’s probably a good thing. There is nothing worse than trying to fit something into a scenario that doesn’t work, just because you feel you have to and don’t want to let yourself down.
So, instead, I started putting pen to paper and wrote the bare outlines of a novel. From there, it took on a life of its own. Writers are often asked: “where do you get your ideas from?” And the simple fact is that we don’t know and couldn’t tell you. A character has a way of speaking for him or herself. As soon as you start, the stories come into focus and it flows. The key is to start. Sure, a lot is said about plot formation and planning but that’s something that works for cookbooks. Not for stories. As long as you know the general direction you want to go in, let the story take over. It’s like whittling a piece of wood: you can kinda-sorta see the shape in the wood, almost see what it is supposed to be, but once you put knife to wood it decides to be whatever it was intended to be.
The end result is that I know as much about Rudi and Raven as you do. No, I don’t know how old they are. I have an idea, but it’s my idea and not yours. But I do know that are beautiful, and rich, and complex, and simple, having all of the things that you have: a love of life, a problem to solve, a mountain to climb. Just like you.
After all, my job is not to describe what you see. My job is to give you just enough room to see it for yourself.
Thank you for reading my books. I hope they bring you as much joy as they have me.