I’ve been struggling with this concept and it has taken me a long time to pluck up the courage to write about this out of the ordinary opinion.
More than a few people have asked how is it that a guy of my age is able to write such a tactile story from the perspective of a 15-year-old girl. It’s a question I’ve asked myself several times, trust me.
I locked Rebecca & the Spiral Staircase away on my laptop for a number of years. One day, a friend mentioned my novel and asked if I was going to do anything with it, or just leave it hidden away. I really didn’t know what to say, although inside I knew why I had kept Rebecca out of sight. She had become so important to me, to the point where I would have adopted her, if possible, haha and I was frightened of negative comments.
So, let’s start at the beginning. I started writing around fifteen years ago, and my first attempt at a novel was a manly style sci-fi chronicle. I struggled with this tale and eventually realised this style just didn’t suit who I was, or what I wanted to say. With my writing shelved, I returned my attention to my art for the next couple of years. In the back of my thoughts though was this unrelenting voice telling me to write. Something I might add that’s been there since I was young.
Then unexpectedly one night that voice woke me at o-clock. It was Rebecca and she was shouting, loudly, so loud I couldn’t ignore her. Sixteen hours, and several thousand words later, the start of her story had seamlessly appeared on paper. I might add, although initially, her voice was like a dream, unlike a dream, all the details were there at the front of my thoughts, almost as if I had just watched a film.
Interestingly, as Rebecca’s story continued to unfold, there was a constant, almost subconscious influence saying, “Not like that, likes this.” I of course mostly ignored this, believing my ideas where best. With 150,000-words on paper, I believed my girls’ story was done. Something though was telling me it wasn’t finished and something was missing. Somewhat lost, I shelved her tale and returned to my art. Around a year later that influence told me to return my attention to Rebecca.
This time, my approach was different. Having now accepted my literary voice had a distinct feminine influence, I started afresh on page one. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say I virtually rewrote the whole thing. Importantly this time, I listened to that influence that was suggesting alternative words, and decisively how to put those words together. It didn’t stop there though because this increasingly clear voice was saying yes or no to certain scenarios. After a long slog, I once again believed her tale was finished. Still, though, I wasn’t ready to set her free on the big wide world.
Four years went by, what with a job in the real world and such like. Bit of painting, fishing, family, football, not in that order, you know how it goes. Then I was fortunate enough to retire early… The truth, I was sitting there filling in a lottery ticket and somewhere in the back of my head Rebecca was once again shouting. “Write a lottery ticket,” she said.
I opened up her chronicle, which now had a few thousand miles on the clock and read through. Something’s missing, I thought, staring at the last page. Then, as if she was sitting next to me, Rebecca handed me the last puzzle piece. No sooner that game-changing chapter was complete I was ready to let the world decide if she belonged on the ultimate book-shelf. I bit my lip, uploaded my beloved girl to Amazon, and shaking, sat there for at least an hour, umming and erring. I took a deep breath, pressed the go button and she pushed her wings out, glanced at me, and left the nest.
Soon wonderful reviews started to flood in, inspiring me to write the next chapter in Rebecca’s life. This time, I listened to her voice that was now stronger than ever, to the point of arguing with me, and often changing my planned direction.
If this sounds odd to you, how do you think I felt?
So, with my second novel, Rebecca – A Way Back, complete and on the shelf, I mentioned to an interested friend of mine how I could actually hear Rebecca’s voice telling me what to write. A couple of days later, he returned to me suggesting he had mentioned my story to a friend who was a spiritualist. That person asked if I’d had a near-death experience.
When I was sixteen-years-old, I was in a house fire. On the fourth day in the hospital, I briefly slipped to the other side, being registered as dead for nine minutes. When I told of this, the spiritualist suggested I should consider a reading. He believed I may have picked up the spirit of Rebecca while on the other side.
Initially, I laughed at the idea. I guess if I am honest, I wasn’t quite ready for this unexpected twist. A couple of months passed, and I decided to give it a go. Long story short, I went along to have a reading, and the person who performed the reading knew of Rebecca the second I walked through the door. Head shaking…
Now, I am not suggesting that I believe, possibly I should, perhaps I do, because it does answer a lot of unasked questions, hmm. Importantly, it somehow, all-be-it weirdly, explains Rebecca’s voice telling me what to write, and how to write her tale. One thing I will say, if this is the case, which it could be, it explains the complex nature of Rebecca’s tale. A few have said that I have an amazing imagination. Hey, maybe I am telling a true story, Rebecca’s story. Perhaps, just maybe, she does know of a portal through time and the spiral staircase is for real. Not just a Disney ride. Now, there’s an idea…
Conceivably you’ll laugh at my account, possibly you won’t. Either way, if you read Rebecca, you may now be a little closer to understanding what drives my words and this odd ability to see it from a feminine viewpoint. I might add, that just a few days ago, someone suggested I was a female in a previous life, although she did assure me that view was only triggered after she read my books.
Of interest, volume 3, Rebecca – Beyond All Reason is due for release September 2019.
As always, please feel free to have your say.
Steve – Stephen M Davis
Available through this Amazon Link:
Rebecca will take you on a journey through time that will challenge the most vivid imagination. Join her and find out what lies beyond the Spiral Staircase. These chronicles will suit all ages from 15 to 91… That’s the oldest person I know who has read and loved Rebecca 🙂