My novel, Shadowmark, grew from one question: Would I survive a zombie, alien, or viral apocalypse?
Yes, of course I would survive an apocalypse! I answered.
I would fight my way out of danger and survive in the forest with nothing but my wits to guide me. I would stand triumphant, surrounded by the slain bodies of my enemies, out of breath and heart racing from having vanquished the unearthly foes. I would gather friends and family and keep them safe until humans could unite and reclaim the Earth to begin civilization anew!
No. I would be a zombie. Or the aliens would crush me. Or I would eat the wrong plant and die twisting in agony before anyone found me. The truth is hard.
But I wanted to create a character who would survive.
So I researched. I read a myriad of survival books and blogs. I watched documentaries about preppers. I watched survival movies (yes, “research”, who says it can’t be fun?). And I realized I wasn’t prepared for doomsday, which, according to the internet, is a sure thing. After delving into the world of survivalists, I was ready to move to an off-grid bunker, surrounded by a hoard of food and weapons, cut off from the world while I awaited the end of it.
And then I calmed down. And wrote.
During an alien invasion and subsequent end of civilization, a person who knows nothing about survival would need help. Enter new characters. What if one of those characters was helping the aliens? Enter a plot.
And that is how a novel is born.