Inside my closet sits a large storage bin. It’s heavy enough that I claimed my work-out for the day after hauling it up a flight of stairs, completing squats and bicep curls as I transferred it from one location to another.
I’m no packrat by any means, but some of those items inside that bin have been hauled around since I was nine-years-old, traveling with me from country to country as I lived the “military brat” lifestyle of moving every two to four years while my dad served as a diplomat in the foreign service.
From Thailand to Indonesia, back to Thailand, and eventually returning to the United States, I’ve hauled these personal journals with me all over the world, accumulating a new one every year until I reached my mid-twenties and began capturing memories through a family blog.
The backaches and muscle burn of relocating those books has proved its worth though. Utilizing my plethora of journals, I’ve followed the advice to write what you know, turning reality into relatable fiction.
Each of my young adult books pull[s] from experiences in my own life, often skimming from the very pages of my handwritten memoirs. However, it is not the events themselves that I replicate into fiction, but rather, the emotions.
In Lingering Echoes and Rumors, Allie Collins struggles with guilt and loss after her cousin dies under her watch. Did that happen to me? No, but I’ve lost a child and suffered the wreckage of those emotions nonetheless, including some of the healing elements that the main character embraces.
In Vanishing Act, Kate Palmer is a young adult escaping her broken past, only to be forced to face it again when she encounters a lost relationship in her life that will no longer stay hidden.
As the author, I explore child abuse and fear from situations I witnessed when I worked with foster kids, and frustrations I’ve felt when unwanted things from my past resurface against my will. Themes of anger, courage, and justice blend together into a confusing cocktail where the right answer is not as clear as it may seem.
In my new series The Second Window, lies and betrayal emerge as seventeen-year-old Olivia Cole is confronted by secrets that unravel beyond her control.
These books explore how little in life is black and white, especially when it comes to our relationships. Having felt the entanglement of deception, love, guilt, and loyalty, I understand the sea of grey that waves beneath my feet, and I’ve placed it in my writing. Thus, the emotions of reality weave together with a fictional story, passionate and believable—at least, to the extent that stirring drama with mystery, romance, and suspense allows!
The fun part about fiction is that it doesn’t have to be completely realistic if elements of the story, or the feelings touched upon, are relatable to readers.
That said, writing should not be limited to what you know.
Imagination, day-dreams, nightmares, and what if scenarios are part of the fun in creating something unique and time-worthy. However, if you’re struggling for a starting point or a drop of inspiration, dig deep inside. Pin-point those experiences that made you feel deeply, poignantly. Let those passions ink themselves onto blank pages, allowing a taste of reality to dance with fiction—nameless, untamed, and memorable.
Title: The Second Window by Erica Kiefer
Published by: CTP Pulse
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
As her senior year flies by on cruise control, seventeen-year-old Olivia Cole yearns for excitement—something her upscale private school no longer provides. Her job as a grocery store bagger isn’t much help…until the day she has a bizarre exchange with the cagey town recluse. When the woman abruptly surrenders to the police, Olivia feels compelled to dig deeper into her perplexing story. But the investigation stalls when Olivia receives another piece of news—Andre Steele, the golden boy of Westmont and her previous tormentor, has unexpectedly returned from his four-year stay in Brazil—and the whole school is buzzing! All at once, Olivia’s dull and predictable life is uprooted, and she wonders if “boring” was so bad after all.
Click to add The Second Window to your Goodreads shelf.
About Erica Kiefer
Erica Kiefer’s debut novel Lingering Echoes was published by Clean Teen Publishing in November 2013. She continued the series with Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel) and her newest release Vanishing Act.
All of her books can be read as stand-alone contemporary YA fiction, touched with romance, emotional drama and suspense.
With a degree in Recreation Therapy from Brigham Young University, Erica’s experiences working with at-risk youth have influenced the realistic and relatable nature of her writing. Her first inspirational non-fiction entitled Borrowed Angel (published in April 2014 with Currawong Press) describes the loss of her infant son and her journey towards healing.
Married since 2005, Erica resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her four children and can often be found satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk. Now and then, she dusts off her collegiate rugby skills and dives back into the game.