The Beginnings and Story of Writing Unknown

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Well, this story begins very long along, in a distant land … just kidding. It does seem like a very long time ago when I first started writing Unknown back in late 2018. I’d just come off of writing a trilogy of Civil War books (what I consider my first “real” and finished books.) For some reason, I decided I wanted a change of pace and chose to write something in a modern setting.

And then somehow, I decided to set it in Russia. And why’s that?

I wish I had the answer! I think it was a combination of things – a semi-obsession with spies (I really need to get off of that kick … I think maybe I’ve escaped, but all of the Civil War books also had spies. *sigh*) And what better place for a spy than Russia, right? 🙂 Also, at that point in my life, I was becoming a serious armwrestling fan, and that sport is really big over in Russia and Eastern Europe.

So it all came together.

Or not.

Originally, my male protagonist, Gabe, was going to be a spy. The thought of that is incredibly laughable at this point, because that man would not be a good spy. Like never. I’m glad that didn’t come to pass … yet the whole spy thing didn’t disappear completely 🙂 (mini-spoiler for the following books in the Grace Sufficient series.)

Sofia, my female protagonist, was always a ballerina, and at some point, Gabe became the son of missionaries to Russia. A bit of a change, there, huh? No more spying for that guy. I’m pretty sure that was Kristina’s suggestion, so she gets the credit here. (Side note: she gets a lot of credit, because she’s patiently listened to my ramblings about writing for so many years. She’s the best. 🙂 )

So that’s how it began in 2018, and I merrily wrote the story, never knowing it’d be my first published book—or the drastic changes that would come about at a later date.

When I decided to publish (more on that here), I realized Unknown needed major help. The plot was convoluted, the characters not as established as I’d like, and there were myriads of writing issues. I didn’t know how to write a modern-day book (or really any book at the point I’d written it), and everything just sounded so weird and awkward in my attempt to sound “cool” or something. Yeah, it was bad.

So then came the major edits – basically a rewrite. Poor Gabe became way less angelic, Sofia became a much more hardened ballerina, the plot was tightened up, and the writing (hopefully) stopped sounding awful. I added in a sub-plot to tie in with another plot, deleted sappy scenes, and changed orders of events. I changed several character’s names – even poor Sofia’s name from Sophie (though a remnant of that clings on in the book) to Sofia to make her sound more authentically Russian.

So there were many, many changes to this book until it became what it is today. Originally, this book was meant to be a stand-alone novel. And then it became two, then three … and I still couldn’t stop writing about my beloved Russian friends.

More on that in a bit. 🙂

9 thoughts on “The Beginnings and Story of Writing Unknown

  1. I always enjoy hearing about how stories began!!! It was so cool learning about how you came up with Unknown. AND SPIES! I LOVE SPIES! Seriously, I already love the sound of your Civil War series! (Please tell me you’ll still write a Civil War series! Please!!!) 😉 I digress. Thank you for sharing this! I look forward to the next post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, they always have sketchy, weird beginnings. And I’m glad I’m not the only one with an obsession with spies – even though I usually don’t have much of a clue what spies actually do. Research time. I *might* have a Civil War series coming someday … no more information on that yet. 🙂 But definitely not the one I referred to in the post. That one is safely hidden away forever. 🙂 But I also remember a Civil War series you mentioned writing yourself … so excited! 🙂

      Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • So do mine! 😉 You are definitely not the only one!!! Hmm, yes, I probably ought to do some research on that myself… YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have just made my day!!!!!!!!!! Ah, yes…I think you’ll like that one…when I finally finish the first book, of course. There may even be some *whispers* espionage in it… 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hahahaha, maybe we need to do spy research together. 🙂 And yay! I have quite a few books to get through until I get to the point of considering publishing those, so it might be a while. And there’s espionage???? YES. 🙂 I will love it!!! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. WEEE! I love hearing BTS of book writing!! I’m about halfway through your book right now and AND OH MY GOODNESS IT IS SOOOOOOOO GOOOODD!!!!!!! (I already cannot wait for the rest of the series!!!! And I cannot wait to hear more about it!! 😋😉) YOU WRITE SO SO WELL. I’M LOVING IT. And yeah, Gabe would not survive in espionage. 😂 Anyway… my kindle is right next to me right now waiting for me to finish the book sooooo goodbye for now…………. 😋😋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thank you so much – I’m glad you enjoyed reading the behind-the-scenes of a crazy author. 🙂 Thank you again for reading the book – and thank you for stopping by and reading the post, too! 🙂


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