I wrote the first chapter of IN THE SHADOWS OF MY MIND one night over winter break my Senior year of undergrad. I was sitting in my apartment in Ruston, Louisiana, a college town bigger than, but not unlike, the small town in the novel. It was after midnight, so all I could see out the two big windows opposite my couch was darkness.

The plot of what was supposed to be a short story involved a man and a woman with atypical minds trying to help and comfort each other in the darkness of the night outside my apartment. But as the histories of the two characters became longer and more involved, it ended up being the beginning of a larger tale. After I had finished, and Stephen had returned home to Natalie, leaving Olivia in the darkness outside, I knew that I would need to continue the story when I had time. I also knew that I would not have that time until I graduated, five months later.

About a year after writing the first chapter, I had completed a full draft and no idea what to do with it. I kept writing, but I took that draft with me, tweaking it and working with it, trying to figure out where it would go. It went to China with me while I taught English as a Second Language to college students. It went to Chicago with me while I worked on my Master’s Degree in the Humanities. A classmate at the University of Chicago told me about Savant Books and Publications, and a year later, I was in Eastern Kentucky, signing a publishing contract for the novel.

Over the next two years, as I began living and working in Louisville, we wrote, and edited, and polished it, until we had the finished novel. It’s very different, and much more robust than that first chapter I wrote in Ruston. And why not? It’s travelled, matured, and grown.