phoenixIn order to answer that I have to give you some background on me. My father passed away when I was two and my mother spent her life mourning his loss. I grew up hearing stories about his humor, his music, his writing and that, in a way, forged who I am now. As I grew up, I was always making up stories in my head, writing short stories about incredible worlds. But as I became an adult, my attraction for contemporary fiction and science grew dramatically and I stopped writing. I couldn't translate the complexities of the stories in my head to paper.

Then two years ago, I began role-playing. The ideas finally burst onto paper with the rapid fire writing of on the fly role-playing. I realized I could put old and new stories down easily that way. To top it all, I found a partner and together we created fantastic scenes.

Now that you know some about me, let's get back to the book. Countermeasure came to me as a dream full of details and dread. When I was beginning to feel comfortable with role-playing and writing, some events forced us to quit playing with the group. I felt lost, adrift. I needed to continue writing and the idea of doing it alone was not a fun or satisfying one. I guess the feelings I carried inside reflected in my dreams because I experienced the despair, the loss, the heartbreaking knowledge that something bad was about to happen. I received the same emotional punch as I watched the whole scene in the cabin develop in front of my eyes.

But then I woke up and Trevor's story took shape, solidified as I relived the dream over and over. The next morning, when I talked to Cecilia, I told her the dream, the central idea, and we began our own quest: to develop those characters and story to the fullest.

Trevor's quest resonates within me. His quest mirrors my own. The need to find answers, the excruciating pain of not-knowing, the soothing peace of a newfound love that although strong and unchallengeable, adds a new layer of fear of another loss.

Trevor's quest can be seen as a search for the truth but also a search for part of himself lost in the fray of the day-to-day life. People become so immersed in their routine, in their own lives and careers, they don't see what's happening around them or to others. That's exactly what happened to Trevor. Now, the guilt can only be subsided by the complete understanding of what, how and why things happened the way they did.

As I said, it reflects my own quest. For a long time I had forgotten--or possibly ignored--the creative worlds inside me. Now, the quest is to bring all that out in a cohesive way, mold it all into stories that can make people think, experience, feel. And the best of it all is that I am doing it with my best friend and the one who helped exorcise my demons, bring the creative phoenix to life again.