A year ago I did my first radio interview - which was fun, and it aired the same day as the September Quake in Christchurch.
But what was really freaky was the manuscript I'd turned into my publishers originally had an earthquake scene in it set in Christchurch. Now it was so ridiculous a thought that I toyed with moving the entire setting to Wellington (earthquakes are not unusual up here.) but that would've involved a huge re-write and I got lazy, so I ripped the scene out. As you do. And it happily went to my publisher and subsequently to print without the implausible Christchurch quake... four months after life imitated art and there was a quake.
Roll on the next radio interview (for a radio station up in Hamilton)... I felt really bad after that one, seriously... who knew it would level the CBD in Christchurch?? And then an interview that wasn't even radio and bang it hit Japan. I was on a roll.
There are other weird things that I've written and had to remove from manuscripts - one was a helicopter vs small plane over the Hudson, again EXACERBYTE. I removed the scene and re-wrote it because as I wrote a helicopter crashed into a small plane over the Hudson and looked up Hoboken for part of the scene... a kiwi helicopter pilot was killed when his helicopter and a plane collided.
Of course the thing I left in EXACERBYTE, because it was so far from left-field it couldn't possibly happen, did. But the betrayal was every bit as devastating as the betrayal Ellie felt upon finding out that someone she trusted had caused so much destruction.
But I have to say when I realised what I'd written - and it was after it had gone to print... it made me smile, in a don't-fuck-with-me kinda way.
So, it should come as no surprise that in SOUNDBYTE there is an in depth scene where Ellie reassures her daughter that there isn't going to be an earthquake in Virginia, to the point where she uses historic data to calm the teenager. AND... a few days later finds herself trying to get home after a big earthquake strikes Virginia.
Had the earthquake today caused extensive damage and loss of life, I'd be re-writing again. But it hasn't... except for some cracks in the top of the Monument, a spire on the National Cathedral fell down, and part of a building collapsed in Tyson's Corner... so I think I'll keep these scenes.
Because the whole idea of this being the biggest earthquake to strike Virginia since 1897 really floats my boat - and the original scene with the panic caused by the rest of the worlds earthquakes on an impressionable young teenager, works. I can say no more. But it works. And it's going to knock a few people on their asses.
(As for the original earthquake scene from EXACERBYTE - it's in pieces in a collage on our bathroom door along with a scene from FLASHBYTE, that I was going to remove but I really had fun with, so it stayed... no, nothing horrible happens but it does have the words 'Death Retardant Specialist', in it.)
Makes you wonder what else I'll stumble upon in my writing, huh?
Maybe I should start writing with my eyes shut and brain off... whatever will be, will be. :D
Now because this amuses me greatly and way too many people Google these words... here's the links to the respective posts!
Cooked turtle, Plasticuffs, Death by Chlorine gas, walk of shame, blood on concrete, murder board.