So my friend John runs this thing where he invites people to talk about the Big Idea that lies behind their novel.
I talk about my anxiety disorder, and The Shattering, and where Keri came from without me realising it.
But of course Keri wasnâ€™t really like me. She was a biracial teenager from a low-income family who wasnâ€™t afraid of physical violence and loved sports. I was a white woman in my late twenties who shied away from physical confrontation and thought that sports were doubtless very nice for those who enjoyed them. I had far more in common with the other two narrators; smart, book-loving Sione and showy, confident Janna.
Months later, well after Iâ€™d completed the first drafts, I ended up in a counsellorâ€™s office. Iâ€™d spent weeks unable to sleep properly. I was afraid of everything: afraid of flying; afraid that my friends and family would die; afraid that I would be kicked out of university for being stupid; afraid that my first book was incredibly racist and would hurt people; afraid of earthquakes and fires and floods; afraid that every choice I had made to bring me to this point was wrong.
Twisting my hands together, I confessed to a nice woman that I thought I might have generalized anxiety disorder. (Iâ€™d looked it up beforehand. Itâ€™s important to be prepared!)
She agreed, gently, that I might.
Unlike anyone whoâ€™d spent much time around me prior to that point, I was genuinely shocked.
If you have comments, and want to make them over there, that would be great.
If you want to make them here, also fine!