I started writing Alice and the Warden back in February, when I was about halfway through my pregnancy with baby #5. Naturally, I was having *a lot* of dreams about pregnancy and babies at the time.
One in particular really stuck with me, about a young woman living alone in a tower, and I found myself thinking about it more and more. The pieces of a story started to come together in my mind, so I decided “what the hey” and went with it. Given the circumstances of my life at the time, I figured that it was going to be a “purely for fun” side project.
Aaaand seven months later, I’m 40,000 words in with a 3-month-old baby.
A little bit of trivia is that in the original dream, Alice had a brother who was friends with Damon. When Alice texted a picture of her baby to her brother, Damon saw it and put the pieces together that he was the father. However, once I started writing, I realized that the brother would function more as a prop than a character, so I cut him out.
Also, in the dream Alice and Damon broke up with a nasty fight after Damon replaced her with another girl. Again, a new girlfriend seemed more like a superfluous prop rather than a character, so I dropped that idea as well. Having her be flat out abandoned worked better with Alice’s neurosis, since she was still too “controlled” to suddenly blow up at Damon at that point in time.
Hackett was Hackett — basically no changes there. He fell in love with Alice the moment he caught her stealing his books with the intention of actually reading them.
There you have it, the origins of Alice and the Warden.