How do you get your ideas? Do they just pop out of your head? This is probably the question I encounter the most when I chat with someone about writing. I wish ideas could just pop out of my head upon snapping my fingers. Unfortunately, it is not quite the case. An external force needs to spark an idea before it can devour my mind. In a sense, there is an interesting story behind every single one of my stories.
Today, I will share the story behind Salvaged. While I love every story I ever wrote, Salvaged was my first literary baby and it holds a special place in my heart.
My first baby was a daughter who grew up to be an amazing woman, a marine biologist and a skilled scuba diver. Many years ago, while she was doing research on the Atlantic coast, she explored sunken ships. One night she called me after a memorable dive around a ship that sank more than two hundred years ago. The eerie description she gave me was the spark that ignited my creative mind. I had found my heroine: a young feisty scuba diver named Star Fisher.
While Star shares some attributes with my daughter, she quickly became her own person with her own career as an underwater investigator. Instead of giving Star a ship to explore, I gave her an old Model T that sank in the middle of a lake at the turn of the last century. Since I knew nothing about scuba diving, I ended up calling my daughter on a regular basis. How deep can you go? How long can you dive? How much can you see? What is that piece of equipment called? What is its purpose?
I learned that how deep and how long your second dive of the day can be depends on how deep and how long your first dive was, and how much time had elapsed between the two. I learned about ascent rate, about logbooks in which divers record every detail of every dive so they know when it is safe to dive again. I learned the air mixture in the tank is not the same depending on the depth. I learned about weight belts, regulator, octopus, drysuit, wetsuit, and so much more. When I visited her from across the country, my daughter emptied her diving bag on her living room floor and told me to gear up with all her equipment. It was an unforgettable experience.
Through all those questions and answers about Salvaged, my daughter shared her passion and her underwater world with me. Sometimes I wonder if the connection would have been that intense had it not been for Salvaged.
Writing this story has been an incredible adventure and I couldn’t resist giving my daughter a cameo appearance.
This is a short except from Salvaged. Enjoy!
Hauk left the cabin and stepped onto the twelve-foot deck. According to his watch, Arnie and Fisher had been down less than ten minutes.
The oxygen tanks lined up against the storage bin beckoned to him. He grabbed the closest one and peered at the gauge. 1,700 pounds. Enough air for a short dive. Wanting to witness what had prompted Fisher's request, he geared up and dove in.
The wetsuit didn't completely insulate his skin from the colder water he encountered fifty feet below. With darkness surrounding him, he trusted the guide rope to lead him to the site as he continued his descent. Minutes later, through the shadowy waters, Hauk spotted his two divers. Arnie floated above a lamppost, and Fisher knelt on the lakebed in front of the wreck.
An object was in Fisher's hand. He swam toward her to get a better view, but the mysterious object disappeared into her bag, and she glided away from him before he had a chance to satisfy his curiosity. A few flutter kicks behind her, Hauk stretched out his arm with the intent of tapping her shoulder. Her hand swiftly swept across her belt, and a glint of light from the lampposts reflected off her glove.
She spun around. Eyes glazed with fear, she swung her arm. Sharp reflexes allowed Hauk to deflect the blow, but they didn't prevent her other hand from sneaking past his defenses. He inhaled sharply.
A silver blade, shining in the light, pushed against his hose, ready to sever his air supply with the flick of her wrist.
Salvaged will be released on October 3, 2016
J.S. Marlo spent her childhood in a small French Canadian town, reading and daydreaming stories. One day, she met her hero, a dashing young officer, and followed him back and forth across the country.
The "memorable" adventures she experienced with her young family fuelled her imagination and kindled the dream of one day becoming a published author. It wasn't until after her three spirited children left the nest in pursuit of their own adventures, that J.S. finally gave writing a chance.
Her first two dozen stories were for her friends' eyes only. To her surprise and delight, they enjoyed them and rewarded her with their encouragement and support. J.S. kept writing, and learning, and writing…
She finally captured her dream with her first novel Salvaged, and then carried on with her first series Duty Bound: Unscripted–Book One, Unearthed–Book Two, and Untamed–Book Three.
J.S. lives in Alberta with her amazing hubby, and when she's not visiting her children and little granddaughter, she's working on her next series under the northern lights.