A few blogs ago I mentioned that I would share some examples with you of some of the strange and often trippy coincidences that kept taking place as I was writing the first couple of books in The Deceiver series. So, at great risk of creating a couple of spoiler alerts, I’ll go ahead and tell you about a few that stick out in my beady little brain.
As a preface, let me say that there were numerous times while I was writing when ideas would pop into my head that I hadn’t previously thought of or mapped out. I had many nights where I was wide awake, unable to sleep as the story would flip through my mind taking twists and turns I couldn’t foresee and shooting up an over mental barriers I didn’t know I had.I would see the story shift and evolve in my mine almost like watching a movie; the scenes in colorful details. Imagination and creativity really are an amazing human experience – if you haven’t tried to be creative, I strongly suggest doing something like writing, painting, playing an instrument or even dancing to express your hidden creative nature. It feels amazing.
Sorry, got off track there… Anyway, for some of the scenes that seemed to write themselves, I found out months or even a year or two later, that they were very close to real life events that took place after the fact, and in some cases, decades before I was even born.For example, a certain nasty villain in my book gets his paws on a smuggled cell phone during his “stay” at Folsom Prison. A few months after writing this, I was watching the local news and when a story breaks about cell phones being smuggled into Folsom Prison through illegal channels. It was probably a coincidence, but it still tripped me out a bit. Especially since the method of delivery was how I had “seen” it in my head.
Then, there was what I like to refer to as “the trip to the bathroom”. It’ll make sense in a minute, I swear.So, a month and a half ago I looked up the town where part of the story takes place in my books on Google Maps. I was scouting for locations that might match up with places I'd made up in my mind when writing the books. I wanted to find real locations to visit and see them with my own eyes as well as to feel them out. I’ve never lived in this town or anywhere near it, nor have I ever explored that area other than just driving straight through on the highway. I had no way of knowing until I got there if the locations I had picked from Google Maps would be right or not. I was basically seeking a 3D visual from which to extrapolate more authentic details.
I had in my mind what I wanted things to look like and what kind of locations some pretty brutal events take place in my books. I had a certain park on my list of places to visit that day and went into the ladies bathroom where this terrible event occurs in book 1. No one was inside, so I walked down the aisle and into the last stall, it gave me the absolute willies as in the major creeps! There were four stalls and the last was the larger handicap stall, a perfect place to corner someone. It was cold, dark, smelly and nastily perfect.
The bathroom itself was set far away from the road where traffic wouldn’t be able to hear anyone inside should they need to scream. There was a wire barrier above the walls and beneath the ceiling to let in fresh air from the outside. It could act as a cage to keep the occupants trapped inside if cornered. Oh, and there was crap – no really – there was literally crap on the toilet paper roll. I know, I know. Gross! Yes, like I said, it was perfect.I could feel as well as see in my mind all the terrible things I had already written taking place there. It gave me the shivers. I took pictures of the bathroom and was about to leave when I noticed that the door to the bathroom was solid medal and had a deadbolt. Again, perfect for the story. It was just what I needed to make the scene even creepier! But then… I looked down and I saw a name. Just one name, scratched into the grey blue paint on the door. It was the name of the victim in my book who had this horrible thing happen to them in the bathroom.
As you can imagine, I was tripping out. Of all the bathrooms, in all the world, and I picked out and walked into that one? I called my husband to look at the name on the door and he tripped out too. So it has me wondering, was it just a coincidence or had I already written by discernment about a real life event? God, I hope not. Once you read book 1, you’ll understand why I re-e-e-ally hope not.On that same location scouting trip, I was driving to another location to check out the surrounding areas to take pictures, see with my own eyes, feel out, and take down notes of my impressions to later incorporate those details into the books. As I was driving around, I had thoughts repeatedly race through my mind that this back road I was on seemed like it was infested with a lot of places to dump a body. I could feel the atmosphere shift and darken as I drove down that stretch of road, or perhaps I was just creeping myself out. Either way, it turned out to be an accurate impression.
I found out from a local, that the stretch of road I was on was actually where a serial killer in the 70s used to dump his victims when he was done with them. He had done horrible things to children before murdering them and dumping their little bodies along this stretch of road. I was sickened and then tripp’in. I had no idea.I wish I still had the luxury of hoping that the terrible things I wrote about two years before hadn’t happened in the real world in this instance. But realistically, it most likely may have been pretty close, all without having a clue!
So, let me state that for the record right now: These types of trippy coincidences flooded into my brain and came out of my fingertips before I was any the wiser to their real life connections. As they say, nothing new is under the sun, so maybe my books will just help shine a spot of blinding light on the nastiness in the world that isn’t so new, but is definitely amongst us.So what do you think? Was it Coincidence or Discernment? I choose to accept all these strange little twists of fate as further confirmation that my story was on track with what needed to be told. Hopefully when you read the books, you find something in it for you, other than of course, a good mystery twisted up in the delivery of a thriller.
R. J. Machado De Quevedo(Follow me on Twitter @TheDeceiverBook )