A few years ago there was an article in the paper about venomous sea snakes washing up on the shores of California, thousands of miles from where they should be.
I filed that away.
Then Linda and I went for a weekend on the Oregon Coast and there were Tsunami signs everywhere we turned. It's wasn't hard to imagine the panic, the running for the hills.
Put the two together and it's a book. I start writing the book, and an autistic character pops up who is affected by the venom of the snake, and suddenly the book has slightly more depth.
I wrote this book with the template of "Tuskers" in mind, but of course within a few chapters it went in a different direction. Looking back on it, there's a real "Jaws" element to it, though it wasn't intentional.
I thought when I finished that it was my best book.
Geoff at Cohesion felt I'd dropped the snakes a little too much in the last third of the book in favor of the tsunami. Without de-emphasizing the tsunami, I was added four snake chapters to the end of the book, and he was right. It was a better story.
AJ and Geoff put me through too more rewrites, each time amping up the danger of the sea snakes and the earthquake/tsunami, and again they were right. It made it a better book. Frankly, this is the first time I've really had an editor ask for substantial changes, and I welcomed it.
I hope people like it as much as I do.
9 hours ago