Lissa Bryan is the author of Shadows Have Gone (and of many other fabulous stories!)
Experience Writing Shadows Have Gone (Lissa Bryan)
My experience in writing this novel was one of pure adventure. I had a lot of fun with it, because it was basically re-imagining the world we live in if everything stopped. All technology, all modern convenience, all of the things we take for granted. But I wanted the novel to be grounded in reality, so it meant a lot of research.
My premise with this novel was to explore what would happen to an ordinary girl in these extraordinary circumstances. How would she cope? What would she become when faced with these incredible challenges? But I also needed to think about the little, ordinary tasks of daily living. How would she cook? Bathe? How would her community sustain itself on a daily basis?
The internet is an amazing resource for writers. Using Google Maps, I was able to trace the entire route my hero and heroine travel. I was even able to see the inside of the buildings they visited. On one occasion, I was able to find what I needed from the online travel diary of a teenaged girl who snapped photos of her friends inside one of the buildings I wanted to describe, but couldn’t find pictures of anywhere else.
In this latest novel, I needed to use online resources from midwives, and ham radio operators. I was able to correspond with some experts who patiently answered my questions and helped me make those aspects of the novel realistic.
My advice to writers is to take full advantage of this resource. Explore all of the possibilities. It may lead you in directions you never expected.
Thank you, Lissa!