Behind the Scenes

If you’ve read “Barely Breathing In Depth,” you’ll know that in the original version of this series, Jonathan died in BARELY BREATHING. So when I continued with OUT OF BREATH, Emma’s struggles were two-fold: guilt for leaving Evan and plagued by nightmares of killing Jonathan.

When it was determined that Emma couldn’t  kill Jonathan, then I had to completely rewrite OUT OF BREATH. I had to redevelop the plot from the first page. Figure out what I was going to do with Jonathan since he was obviously alive. It became apparent to me in both versions of the story that Emma had to confront the two conflicts in her life in order to heal: Evan and Jonathan.

Jonathan was the catalyst for so much of Emma’s pain, whether it was intentional or not. But I had a difficult time bringing his character back into the plot since he was never there in the original version. I tried to give him a scene with Emma on the cliff. That didn’t work out. In the end, even though he wasn’t actually present for most of the book, he was very much a part of the storyline.

I kept most of the underlying plots the same—Emma confronting her demons, forgiving and healing. Rachel’s fate was always what it was. Evan’s point of view was to tell the parts of Emma’s story she was unable to tell. And the sub-characters remained to provide substance to Emma’s college life, and add fun side-stories.

And yes, they were always supposed to be together at the end. Evan surprised Emma at the house in the original version. (I’ll let you read that one someday.) Upon rewriting the story, I decided it was time Emma was finally able to surprise him!

There were so many drafts and versions of the last part of this trilogy. I cannot even begin to tell you how many pages I typed over the years, trying to complete Emma’s story. But the version I began last summer and concluded five months later is the one I’m most proud of. It has a strong emotional connection with me, one that runs deeper than the words typed on the pages. I am so very proud of the result, and the person I’ve emerged as upon completion.

Thank you for following me along this life-altering path I’ve been on for the last couple of years! Emma has bonded us! I can only hope you’ll there for the next story I have to share.

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