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Behind the Scenes of New Perspectives

I thought it may be of interest to share a little back story about the creation of New Perspectives. The idea for the novel came into being several years before the book. I was a very active SCUBA diver. The plot had been mulling around in my mind for a while. After a long weekend underwater at the lake used in the book, I sat down and began creating. The plot didn’t come pouring from me, just the opening. The story developed over time.

I admit I had help. Like the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child”, it took many voices to create the story. The voices weren’t all in my head. I had many conversations with supportive friends. I’d listen to their ideas. Some I used, some were discarded. Most of them got twisted to suit my story.

John, my villain, was modeled after a very close friend. My friend isn’t exactly like John, but he did like being written in as the villain. Real-life “John” has the genius qualities I needed and that’s why I chose him. Our conversations about the interactions between the hero and villain helped lend realism.

I am also grateful to “John” for keeping the sci-fi aspect in check. I wasn’t aware there are rules to realism. I did research and learned there is a major difference between time and dimensional travel. New Perspectives is the dimensional model. I found the guidelines for time travel too constrictive.

Most of my characters were developed from my friends and loved ones who had the qualities and mannerisms that I wanted. The characters grew into their own identities as they developed. A few characters, like Amanda, were created from my imagination. What’s scary, I have met several ladies since then who I could see as Amanda.

To set the record straight. Rick is not me! The character is way cooler. I don’t see myself like him. I don’t have all his skills. I am a free independent spirit like him, but I’m not nearly as brave. Rick is also more of an extrovert. I learned, after the fact, that the author sharing the name as the protagonist is an amateurish mistake. I should have picked a different name, but Rick developed too fast.

Some of my characters were meant to be thrown away. I had feedback on one particular character, and he will make an appearance in my current work. I killed off a couple of my primary characters in Can’t Go Home. That’s one of the plights of the pantser style. They died for the good of the story. My editor and fellow author, Jack LaFountain, has admitted when he offs a character they’re not necessarily gone. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in my story world.

New Perspectives is written for my mom. I wouldn’t have found my artist touch without her. She was fearless in trying new things. We became interested in SCUBA diving as a family. Her second husband was the first to certify, followed by me, and then Mom. SCUBA has no age limits; the lady began diving at age 50. The family and friends’ aspect greatly influenced in the book. It’s bittersweet for me to be a published author only after my mother passed on.

I haven’t been an active diver for a long time, but there is a Star Lake. Last I knew there is a culvert tube on a stand under water. Is it a portal to another dimension? If you are certified to dive, I recommend you dare to find out for yourself.

Rick Shaw

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