A Lightning Bolt: How The Want Series Came to Me

Have you ever had a bolt of lightning strike you?

Neither have I. That would be terrifying not to mention life-threatening. But I have had a good idea come out of nowhere.

As I read a story and get enthralled by the plot and characters, questions always come up for me. “Hmm, I don’t like that. What if…”

Or “That doesn’t seem realistic to me. What I would’ve done is…”

One day as I was hanging out with friends in Seekonk, MA, watching TV, a random errant thought came to mind as we were discussing movies.

“What if the Grim Reaper was an actual living person?”

It’s a stupid question but I was stuck. I couldn’t move beyond this question. I was essentially paralyzed. I had to write this idea down. My friends won’t remember this but I immediately shot out of my seat and said that I had to go home. I jumped in my car and repeated the idea over and over in my head as I rushed the 20-minute ride back home.

I grabbed the nearest notebook and I wrote for a good solid hour. Fleshing the idea of the Want and pulling from my Christian teachings about the deadly sins. How would the idea of Japanese folklore of Shinigami play into this? Anime? Angels? The Seraphims?

I planned out the entire series that day. Not to say that it wouldn’t change over the course of five years. But it felt like kismet that day. This was the idea I was supposed to run with, to cry over, to get frustrated over, to pour sweat and tears into. And would be proud to call my first novel.

If that’s being struck by a bolt of lightning, then you can hit me with that a couple of times over the course of my life. Because it was and it still continues electrifying.

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