When sixteen-year-old Kelli McNeil sets into motion an ancient prophecy from an extinct civilization, memories of past lives return to her. As the dreams intensify, Kelli discovers that she is the answer to the renewal of her lost race and without her, her kind will never rise again.
In every memory and dream is a man: Sebastian, whom she loves…and fears. When she meets him in the present-day, Kelli can’t help but fall for the man she feels she’s always known. But there is more to it than love and the fate of her people. Because in every incarnation, Bastian isn’t only her true love—he’s also her murderer.
Heaven Below was a LOOOONG time in the making. I started it almost ten years ago! I was working for The Buckle in our local (ghetto) mall. I was about to turn 17; I HATED working in a clothing store–the tediousness, every day the same, etc. So, I asked to be moved to stock when our former stock girl took another (better) job.
I liked stock. I got the back entirely to myself for four hours. It was quiet, introspective, and the act of preparing new clothes for going out in the store was a little less tedious (and definitely kept me busy.)
I was working in the stock room one night when an idea just popped into my head. It wasn’t a brilliant flash of insight or anything; just a niggling feeling that something was inside of me, desperate to be written. Snippets of dialogue flooded my mind, and I knew I had to get them down. I grabbed a couple pieces of computer paper from the desk and started writing–not only those snippets of dialogue, but also the concept. I still have those two pieces of computer paper 🙂
Over the course of a few weeks, in between school, homework, and work, I wrote the first 3/4 of the book. It wasn’t long by any means–maybe 30k. But, as life has a tendency to do, it got in the way, and Heaven Below was put on the back burner.
I didn’t pick it back up to finish it for nearly six years.
I was living in Nashville at the time, scraping pennies and trying to keep my electricity from being shut off. Life sucked, big time. I was barely scraping by as I worked three part-time jobs. I was dating a complete loser (what girl doesn’t at some point) and wasn’t in a great frame of mind.
Great time to pick up an old book, right?
I finished it almost overnight. It was like my soul NEEDED that book again. I finished writing it, then started rewrites immediately. I got quite a bit done, before I set the book aside once more.
Fast forward through a terrible time in my life–I lost a cousin who was one of my best friends, lost a car, moved back home to my parents’ house. I started pulling my life together again–got a good job, got a good man. This past autumn, Heaven Below begged to be completed.
So. I did. I spent much of October slowly working my way through it and cleaning it up, then cast it off to my beta readers for their input. Early December, I did another pass through, incorporating my betas’ changes, before sending it off to an editor.
And here it is. Ten years from concept to execution. It’s a great little story for my debut! I’m looking forward to many more YA releases in the future 🙂