My daughter loves animals. Nearly every job idea she has expressed an interest in through the course of her young life has had something to do with studying, caring for or treating animals. She also loves reading and unsurprisingly, those two passions often overlap.

The other morning we went for a walk with our dog and stopped for a coffee/hot chocolate at our local coffee shop. I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the query process for Through the Stone Gate and decided I needed another project to work on while waiting for rejections. So, we started talking about what sort of story I should write next.

The idea came together quickly, and soon I had an intriguing little writing prompt that quickly began to seem like a real possibility for a book. My daughter and I knocked the idea about for the length of a cup of coffee/hot chocolate and established a starting point for a story set on an animal rescue farm in the Adirondaks, a place that is very special to our family. Then she insisted I tell her nothing else about it so that she could be surprised.

I have since sketched out about half of the plot and started to develop a few of the key characters. I hope to map this book out from start to finish before I start actually writing, but I know I’ll miss my collaborator’s input before too long. Still, I can appreciate her wanting a story that surprises her, and I hope I am capable of writing it.