The other day was trying to do the math of when I actually started writing London Escape. I'm pretty sure it was January 2011. But I began envisioning the story when Sophia was just a baby. Now, it's not ironic that I decided to write a strong, kick-butt but also normal female character after having my first daughter. I thought about all the things I'd want her to read when she's older. It's also no coincidence that I happened to read a very fabulous book series with one of the best female characters of our time...The Hunger Games.
So I'm not sure how it happened, but I suddenly had a character in my head. Several things were obvious right away...her name was Kit, she had bright red hair, and wore green Converse. Don't ask me how and why those three things were so important, but that was just the beginning of it. I knew basically what I wanted the plot line to be. I wanted the girl to save the boy, for sure! And I knew exactly where it should take place.
Okay, so I clearly have a thing for red-heads...I've always wanted to be one. And after a good dye job I usually am one. The green Converse, I don't know, they made a nice contrast with the red hair in my mind. I didn't wear them at the time, but I do now! And as far as location, well, I sort of have a thing for London too! Don't get me wrong, I love other cities, NYC is great, and living just an hour or so out of the city has been amazing. But I wanted something different for my novel, I wanted the character to be a bit of a jet-setter (despite her protestations!). London it was.
When I was a kid I was a military brat. I was born first in Tacoma Washington, and then my family moved to ....Knob Noster Missouri. Yeah, fun huh? So you can imagine my parent's excitement when my dad's next assignment turned out to be High Wycombe Air Force Base just outside of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England.
The best thing about moving there? Like our current vicinity to New York, Marlow was just a short train ride away from THE city, London. And so we went, many, many times. So not only do I have a lot of fond, family memories of visiting there, but also it was the first big European city I visited. I think in a way it will always be my favorite.
When it came time to brainstorm for ideas for the cover, my very first thought was that I wanted a London skyline, oh and look what I got! So amazing.
My next two books take place in completely different locations, from the Amazon rain forest in Peru, to the huge metropolis of Hong Kong, China. But I have a feeling we'll soon be revisiting London, one way or another.