|Lori Ann Grover|
Thank you for hosting me, Kirby! My, what a journey Hit has taken, first being inspired by a horrid accident in 2004. It was then my daughter’s best friend, Sarah, was hit in the crosswalk in the predawn, walking to her bus stop. Urgent brain surgery followed. At the hospital, we sat with the family as they waited through the long surgery and even longer recovery. Following all the difficulty, it took a few years for a novel to spring from the facts, but it eventually did and was in strong form by 2007.
Originally though, the text was written in verse and was told through six viewpoints. Criticism included the belief young adults wouldn’t tolerate adult perspectives. I still have faith the readers would have been fine, but I went ahead and in following drafts reduced the voices to four. Years were passing during these rewrites, of course. I had significant help from Emma Dryden at Dryden Books and recommend her highly.
A giant, late change came with the suggestion to convert the verse format into prose. Sadly, prose is easier to place, and easier to sell, here and abroad. So I clunked along, converting line by line. I filled the gaps, fleshed out the settings, and shared what my agent calls the movie scenes in my head.
The final major rewrite was to reduce the narrators down to two points of view, Sarah and grad student Haddings. The challenge was to find a way to tell the story when Sarah was unconscious in surgery for a chunk of the plot. I didn’t want to introduce supernatural solutions. My aim was to stay grounded in reality, not allow her to roam the hospital in a spirit form to discover all that was happening with her family.
It took time to find the practical solutions, but they eventually bubbled up. I believe they are credible.
It is with satisfaction from long, hard work, generous help from many in the industry, and great blessings that this title is in print. Most marvelous, it is pubbing ten years after Sarah’s accident, now, right after her wedding. Some stories have happy endings after all!
Lorie Ann Grover is an awarded YA novelist and board book author whose work includes Kirkus Prize Nominee Firstborn. As a literacy advocate, she co-founded readergirlz and readertotz. Living in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, Lorie Ann’s currently working on her next novel for Blink YA Books. Find her on Facebook or over at her blog.