For Tylar, her conception came from watching Zorro, strangely enough. I pictured her as a young Catherine Zeta-Jones, but with watercolor eyes. The movie Entrapment only solidified this image of her in my mind.
Probably the most interesting inspiration is that I had an imaginary friend growing up whose name was Sam. He was an older man with chrome colored hair and ice colored eyes. Every story I’ve ever written had Sam in it, and this one does, too. His personality is nothing like my make-believe buddy from elementary school, but every time I wrote about him, I had the clearest image of what he looked like in my brain.
As for the concept behind the human trafficking facility, it was modeled after the hospitals I was in and out of as a kid (minus the sex slave training, of course). It shaped how the place would be locked down, the privilege system for keeping its victims in-line and the seclusion rooms used for punishment. The sex slave plot was a byproduct of sexual frustration, though it did give me an outlet for dealing with a sexual assault in my early twenties. I gave it the silly name as a sort of double entendre (the place even has proctors and students, for crying out loud), since when I first sat down to write it, it was going to be a plotless short story of erotica. But my muse had other plans and gave Corbin, Chase and Tylar character depth, elaborate story lines and inserted plot twists into various parts of the enormous tale. So much for the cheap smut, I suppose.
Although I wrote it, the Shattered Lives series is not the type of book I would normally read. I’m a sci-fi nut who also enjoys high fantasy, horror/suspense and the occasional mystery novel. My most loved author at the moment is Brandon Sanderson, and I’ve read a lot of Frank Herbert, Dan Simmons, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and some Earl Emmerson and Patricia Cornwell. To throw you off further, I just recently picked up the Harry Potter series, and I’m loving it.
Writing is my outlet, so the story has been heavily influenced by what was going on in my life during the creation and the evolution of the tale. When I write, things get a bit out of control for me. I become unable to concentrate on anything other than the story I’m creating, and I often forget to eat and sleep. If I try to ignore the urge, it increases in intensity to the point where I feel like my mind is being ripped apart. Ideas will often wake me up at night, and I won’t be able to get back to sleep until it’s been purged into existence through emailed notes to myself or another chapter, revision or extension. This is how Shattered Lives was born, and this story decided its own beginning, character developments, plot twists, and ending as it was weaved onto the pages.
But, I digress. I am Subject BGD, and I welcome you to my world of Shattered Lives.
You may call me Subject BGD. I began my journey inside the Shattered Lives universe in 2001, and in the winter of 2008, my muse sputtered the final line for the 112 chapter story, much to my reluctance. I wasn’t ready for it to end, but there it was… the last of this portion of Corbin, Chase and Tylar’s story. As I started to shop for editors, it became apparent the world I created was far too large to be published in a single volume. It would need to be split into a series. Initially this was a difficult concept for me, but eventually I was able to identify places where it could be split into multiple books.
My initial idea for Corbin and Chase was for them to have a dynamic akin to the one Sonny and Jason had in the 2001 era on General Hospital. Yes, I’ll admit to it. For years, I would record the soap on VHS while I was at work so I could watch it later. Of course, the Mannings are a lot different than the Corinthos family. Corbin isn’t part of the mafia and Chase’s backstory has nothing on the Quartermaines. He was brought up by a single mom, Ashlynn, who did the best she could to raise him to be a decent human being.