Finding the Story for Orion’s Gift
February 11, 2014
Authors are often asked what inspired them to write. For my novel Orion’s Gift, the answer is easy.
One winter, I was on vacation in Baja California, a state of Mexico, living in a travel trailer for three months. The sun and sea were glorious, and on days I didn’t feel like fishing, swimming, or snorkeling, I could go hiking in the desert. Life was easy and fun at this small beach where only about six other campers stayed.
One day an elderly woman arrived in a camper van with San Diego plates. She parked by the beach and never got out of her vehicle for the whole three days that she stayed there, preferring to sit in her van, smoking cigarettes and listening to audio tapes.
I wondered at her strange behaviour. Why would she drive all the way from San Diego and not get out of her van at this beautiful beach? Why was she inhaling that thick cigarette smoke when she had the cleanest air in the world right outside her door? What was she listening to? Maybe it was one of my novels on the audio tape and she just had to hear what happened next. I wish!
I had no answers and it bothered me that I couldn’t figure it out. I decided then, that hers would make a good story, if only I knew what it was. I imagined all kinds of scenarios and Orion’s Gift began to take shape.
Instead of this poor old strange woman, I created Sylvia, a young and beautiful California girl in her thirties. I gave her a reason for suddenly leaving her seemingly perfect life in Chula Vista, near San Diego. I couldn’t have her be without a romantic interest, so I created a man for her. While Sylvia and Kevin spent time star-gazing, watching the constellation of Orion, each kept a secret from the other. When the spouses they had deserted come looking for them, the young couple’s new love is tested and their lives are turned upside down
I still wonder about the woman from San Diego though. What was the real story? Probably, I’ll never know.
Please click the book cover image to read more about Orion’s Gift.