new beginnings

How Two Country Songs Inspired a Science Fiction Trilogy

How Two Country Music Songs Inspired a Science Fiction Trilogy ||     All about the two songs (and twelve years!) that went into writing Every Last Minute

Today is the official release day for Every Last Minute, the first book in my Time Wrecker Trilogy. I am so excited to share this story with you--especially since it's taken twelve years to write!

Yep. Twelve. Years.

Back in 2005 (when I was first dating the man that is now my husband!), there was a country music song I really looked forward to hearing on the radio: Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts.

So twelve years ago, I would be singing along whenever this song came on. I'm a romantic at heart and I had just met the man of my dreams, so I liked the idea that all the bad things in my past had really just been working together to bring me to this wonderful, happy place in my life. But at the same time, I've always had a relentlessly practical nature. Even while the song was still playing, these little what-if questions would pop into my mind.

What if a couple's love story really did hinge on the terrible, even traumatic events in their pasts?

Or what if it didn't? What if the couple would have met anyway through Fate, or Destiny, or Ridiculously Good Luck, and they really didn't have to go through that "broken road" to get to each other?

How would they even know, either way? The past can't be changed, so why not assume it all worked out for the best?

But...what if the past COULD be changed?

Over the next five years, these what-ifs became the seeds of a story. Very slowly, the idea started to take shape. I wanted to write about a husband and wife that had been brought together by traumatic circumstances. If they had the chance to go back and change the past, would they take it?

Then, in 2010, another country music artist released a song with a similar theme: This by Darius Rucker.

Listening to this song brought the idea to the forefront of my mind. I couldn't stand just thinking about this story anymore: I had to try and write it down.

My first attempt at writing it took over a year. I revised and edited it several times, but in the end, I knew my story just wasn't ready. I put it aside and wrote and published another book instead. Then in 2015, with encouragement from a good friend, I finally picked up the story again and started rewriting it from the beginning. This time, the characters took shape, the plot came together, and my original story grew from one book to three.

As you can see, it took twelve years of stops and starts before that first glimmer of an idea finally became Every Last Minute--Book 1 of the Time Wrecker Trilogy. I guess you could describe the writing process as a long and broken road.

But, led me here to this:

Every Last Minute officially releases today! I'm excited for you to finally meet Will and Mara Sterling: a husband and wife with an improbable love facing an impossible choice.

4 Literary Quotes on New Beginnings

I love January. After the December holidays are over, I feel ready to start the new year off on the right foot. I clean up my workspace, break out a new calendar, and imagine all the things that could happen in the new year.

This January, the season of new beginnings coincides with where I am in my writing life. Last year I drafted all three novels of the trilogy I'm working on. I took a break from writing for the holidays--it's good to recharge--and rang in the New Year by going back to the beginning of Book 1. As I edit and rewrite, I'm starting to feel really connected to these characters and excited about putting the finishing touches on their story.

Well, I'm mostly excited. Editing a rough draft is a lot like looking back at old pictures of yourself. Sometimes you look back and think, "Wow, that was a really great day. I love this picture." Sometimes you look back and think, "Really? Those jeans? That lipstick? What was I thinking?"

So as I'm beginning this new year and taking a fresh look at my work-in-progress, I decided to look for a little inspiration. Here are four quotes on new beginnings from some of my favorite writers:

4 Literary Quotes on New Beginnings |

T. S. Eliot

Eliot seems to have the words for every occasion. He was one of the most influential poets of the 20th century, even though we're still trying to figure out what to make of him. Case in point: he wrote both The Hollow Men and The Triumph of Bullshit. Didn't learn about that second poem in Literature class, did you?

Anyway, here are his (PG-rated) lines about welcoming the new year:

T.S. Eliot quote on new beginnings |

Mary Shelley

We all know Mary Shelley as the author of the horror story Frankenstein, but her own life wasn't too sunny, either. Her mother died shortly after Mary was born, her father remarried a woman who didn't care for her, and she met and started a relationship with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley when she was just a teenager. Whatever may have inspired this quote, it's a great reminder that every day is a chance to begin again.

Mary Shelley quote on new beginnings |

Annie Prouix

Prouix's Pulitzer-prize-winning novel The Shipping News is entirely about new beginnings. Quoyle and his two daughters relocate to the family home in Newfoundland, where they each try to make a fresh start during the cold, stormy winter. Maybe that's why this quote strikes me as especially lovely at this time of year:

Annie Prouix quote on new beginnings | 5 Literary Quotes on New Beginnings from

L.M. Montgomery

I love L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables. Anne is imaginative, headstrong, tempermental--but most of all, she's hopeful. No matter how many times Anne gets into trouble, she's always ready and willing to learn and try again. This line is spoken by Anne to her adoptive guardian Marilla:

L.M. Montgomery quote on new beginnings |


It's a new year--and even better than that, today is a new day. Write on.