Inspiration for Remember Newvember really did come from the people who surround me, and my daily interactions with them. The premise of trying one new thing every day for 30 days was easy enough to come up with, but to make the character and her actions believable; everything had to be kept on a small scale. It wouldn’t be physically possible for her to be bungee-jumping one day and then parachuting the next, especially since she did have a daily routine that had to be followed.
Who would have thought taking the stairs instead of the elevator could lead a person into a journey that would forever change her outlook on life? That simple change in her daily routine sets off an incredible ripple effect throughout the rest of the main character’s daily life. Each small event adds to the person Willow has the capacity to become. By the end of the book there are still shadows of the old Willow lurking about, but a more self-assured and confident young woman emerges.
Admittedly, several of the things Willow tries during the month of Newvember were either new to me, or recently experienced. This did not make the book even remotely autobiographical – it just made for more accurate descriptions of the character’s emotional and physical reactions to the various activities in which she engages. The story isn’t really about her new experiences; it’s about how she is able to change her outlook on life because her mind becomes more receptive to the workings of the world around her.
To be honest, I couldn’t imagine writing a book that wasn’t in some way influenced by my daily life. After all, how could I possibly describe in vivid techni-colour detail something I haven’t had the luxury of experiencing first-hand. Is Willow an extension of myself? Probably – but you won’t find me lurking in any stairwells.