May 5, 2016

After The Ending -- The Story Behind Book One

As mentioned in our last post, this series of blog posts are about Team Lindsey's story and how The Ending Series came to be. Why are we spending time on this? The answer is simple. Most of our readers haven't been with us from the beginning and know little about us. Even those loyal readers who have been around over the past three plus years aren't aware of how The Ending world came to be.

So, here you go! This is our story of when it all began--when After The Ending wasn't even a book concept yet, when Dani and Zoe only communicated through one-dimensional emails, and the world was just starting to fall apart... THIS is how the world of The Ending came to be, how Dani and Zoe grew into complex, commanding characters who would traverse the world in order to find each other--in order to survive the Ending.

The Story Behind the Book  
The Inspiration by Lindsey Pogue
It all began with two women, a longish car ride, and a lot of passion and inspiration...

Well, that's only part of the beginning. To start off, Lindsey Fairleigh and I met working at a bookstore in 2010. LF had recently moved to the Napa Valley and LP had just returned home from traveling through Europe. At first, it was cool because we were both Lindseys, tall, awkward, quirky book addicts. But our similarities didn't stop there. 
For most of our lives, we’ve been conjuring up fantastical worlds, heroes, and leading ladies, but neither of us had the confidence to do much with our passion for writing.

Fast forward to October 2011...
We were on a several hour car ride back from an exhaustingly awesome NCIBA (Northern California Independent Booksellers Association) conference on behalf of Copperfield Books. LF, being the science fiction and fantasy connoisseur that she is, got to talking about an idea for a blog—a correspondence between two friends as they experience the end of the world. We started brainstorming, developing our characters, a name for the project, and so on. Apparently all we needed was a seed of mutual enthusiasm, a sprig of inspiration from all the authors we'd met at the conference, and a spark of intrigue as we browsed the endless tables of lavish book covers to get our creative juices flowing, and... dun dun dunnn... Team Lindsey was born! That car ride began the After The Ending journey that would inevitably change our lives.
As a result of our enthusiasm and collaboration over the next year or so (and an immense amount of revisions), After The Ending, book one in The Ending series, was born. And when I say born, I mean it morphed into a completely different project from the one we initially set out to create. While the concept and storyline essentially remained the same, the format went through multiple revisions, transforming from the original online blog version into the nearly 500-page book that was finally published in February 2013.
Because our initial idea was to start a blog where our two characters documented their apocalyptic survival experiences solely conveyed through emails, we started off writing in first person and only in the format of emails between Zoe and Dani. It didn’t take us too long to realize that we were severely limiting the story that Zoe and Dani had to tell. We realized we were unable to convey the depth, dynamics, and true nature of our characters because we only allowed the reader to see them through their silly, realistic, and sometimes melodramatic emails. We wanted more! We wanted to share our characters in a way the emails wouldn’t allow, so we did a complete overhaul of everything we’d written. Happily, this not only enabled us to learn more about our characters, but it allows our readers to see beyond their quirky emails—to see our leading ladies as they truly are, including their fears, passions, and even their secrets. 
Eventually, we realized we don’t have to limit ourselves to Zoe and Dani’s perspectives either. These two young women are only part of the world of The Ending so we spread the love, including other perspectives throughout the series. Since publishing book one, we haven't looked back!

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