A few answers…
Plot points that never made it to the story…
Probably the biggest one was something I wrote a lot about and then abandoned.
I wanted Tommy and Julie’s parents to be found alive.
I had initially thought of bringing them back into the story as being held captive all these years. I was going to have them be a part of the plot behind Nathan’s death, pawns of Janet.
This was before I had revealed Chris as a part of the attack and I ended up bringing him back from the dead instead of David and Juliana.
I never intended on making David and Juliana bad people, but I thought about them being captives for all these years. I thought about the relationship I could write with Julie and Tommy coming to terms with all that happened and how their lives were turned upside down by this event.
Ultimately, I chose to bring Chris back and that was after I made Bill an integral character in the story. My initial idea was to have Bill killed in battle with Mike and the rest of the men and if I did that, bringing Chris back wouldn’t have worked. The juxtaposition of Chris being as evil as Bill is good could only happen with Bill on the canvas.
So it happened the way you read. The one character I was asked to bring back more than anyone else was Nathan, but that isn’t going to happen…yet…or at all…
Anyway, I am super pleased with how the character of Chris impacted so many people. I always planned on having Chris be a bad guy; abusive both physically and emotionally, but when I brought him into Brittany’s attack, it added an element of creepiness that I felt was needed. It was something more horrible than any of them could process, and for Bill, it was a knife in his chest.
Another plot point I wrote but never used was Ron’s death. I wanted to explore more about Jack’s relationship with his father and more about their past, but there hasn’t been a lot of time for that. I also love having Ron there and being such a great grandpa to Bee and Tessa. I like that Jack and Ron have come to terms with their past and have become closer. I also think it’s important for one of them to have a strong parent present in their lives.
I also planned on identifying the person who drove the car that killed Juliana and David. That was something that never went anywhere. Drunk driver, and no other character intent.
There are also a few plot points that I wrote, but weren’t initially planned. Things that I can’t imagine not being there.
Naomi was never meant to be born. I intended for Red to lose the baby during the kidnapping when Stephanie was taken with her. I felt it was so incredibly unlikely for Red to be able to carry a baby to term; not because of the HIV, but because she had been so close to death and her platelet disorder was incredibly dangerous. It just seemed completely improbable, but Naomi has proven herself over and over and I will never underestimate her.
Tramp came from a suggestion from a pilot reader who said Tommy and Brittany needed a pet.
Megan was someone I never imagined turning out as evil as she was. I wanted her to have a crush on Tommy and almost be an irritant to Jack because she wasn’t into him. I developed her obsession as a way to bring an element of involvement to the attack on Brittany that came from modern time, and not the past. She was a stalker who took it too far and became obsessed. What she did to Tommy when she tortured him in the cabin has never been fully addressed and it needs to be.
Making Rebecca a bad guy wasn’t the initial plan. I wrote her at first to be a support to Mike, but I always imagined her being more insecure and needy than Julie. It was when I began to flesh out Mike, that I realized, along with him, that Rebecca wasn’t a good person. I think I had trouble writing him because I felt like he deserved better. I wanted him to be loved and respected for who he was and the amazing person he had always been.
That’s why Jade became an important character. She showed up in the beginning of the series in book 1, but it wasn’t until book 10 that I began to really see where she fit into the series. I think one of my most fun relationships to write has been Mike and Jade, and I am so appreciative of the positive response to their story.
I would love to answer more questions if you have them and I can’t wait for you to read “Breaking Point”!