Synchronicities sometimes surface in the oddest ways. The other night, I was uploading Lagoon, one of my backlist titles, to smashwords, and received a whole bunch of error messages. So I contacted the woman who had formatted the book and she corrected them. Then I successfully uploaded the book.
The next day, I received an email from Susan Berliner, saying that she had downloaded a sample of Lagoon because the novel is in the same genre – horror – as what she writes. She had found an error on page 2. In formatting these books, letters or words sometimes are dropped, so I went back into the formatted version and corrected it. Or thought I did. At any rate, I checked out her website and discovered an interesting story about how she had come up with the idea for her novel, Dust. I wrote her back and told her a similar incident had triggered my idea for Black Water, which was published by Kensington in 2003 and is being reincarnated as an ebook. We discovered some other things we have in common. But the synchro lies in the similarities of the events that birthed two novels.
The inspiration for her novel came from a something that happened in Maine, where Stephen King lives. “When I found the little article online, I saved it, and, since it happened in Maine, expected Stephen King to use it for a future novel. He didn’t – and so, several years later, I did.”
May 19, 2003:
LEBANON, Maine – A sudden windstorm lifted a roof off an auto body shop, collapsing most of the two-story building and killing the owner.
A meteorologist at the National Weather Service said Vintage Auto Body may have been destroyed by a “dust devil,” explaining that the weather conditions were favorable: Dust devils – miniature tornados that travel along the ground and suck dust into the air – appear on sunny spring days when temperatures rise quickly in the morning.
“Sometimes the weirdest things happen on clear days,” the meteorologist said.
Here’s a synopsis of her book, Dust:
While unloading groceries in her Rock Haven condo, Karen McKay notices a strange swirl of red, green, and blue dust. The swirl follows her inside, lifts a porcelain ballerina from her wall unit, twirls it in the air, and throws it to the floor, shattering it into pieces.
The following evening, Karen hears her neighbor’s dog barking loudly. Upon investigation, she finds her neighbor, Marion, at the bottom of the stairs—dead. At the top of the stairs, a colorful whirlwind of dust circles ominously.
Now the feisty librarian must consider the unthinkable: Could the dust be responsible for her neighbor’s death and, if so, would it kill again? Karen turns to her ex-husband, Jerry, for help and together they bravely confront the mysterious dust. But will their daring actions cost them their lives?
Here’s where my idea for Black Water originated:
In 2002, while visiting the Florida keys, we heard about a mysterious black water that supposedly was about the size of Lake Okeechobee – 730 square miles. No one knew what it was or what was causing it. There was speculation that it was caused by runoff from the sugar cane fields, or that that it might be similar to red tide. Marine biologists analyzed it. Fish avoided the area. I wondered if perhaps it was nature’s version of a black hole. From that thought, Black Water, a time travel story:
For years, children have been disappearing without a trace in the Florida Keys. No one, even the FBI, has suspected it could be the work of a single twisted psychopath consumed by a desire to change his past and his future. But when he abducts the daughter of psychic Mira Morales from a deserted beach where the two have spent the day, Mira pursues him through the darkest passages of the unknown, to a place where every choice has terrifying consequences that no one, not even a psychic, can possibly foresee.
Other parallels have surfaced, too. Susan and I are both ex-teachers married to writers. She and her husband, like Rob and me, collaborate in their writing. She, like Rob, used to be a newspaper reporter.
So, from an upload that had some errors, synchronicities were born.