It’s The End, But Not Goodbye
Boone and Jacque: Sahon follows two friends who are separated from everyone they love and are trying to return to Earth. Where did the idea for this novel come from, and how did it develop over time?
For starters, thank you for a wonderful review that reduced me to tears of pride and joy. Secondly, this was a hard book to write, not just because it was the last one of the series, but because I wasn’t in good health. For most of the writing, which was around six months, I had chronic tension headaches and dizzy spells due to pinched and strained muscles in my back, neck, and shoulder that was putting immense pressure on my nerves. Also, I was in a car accident with a commercial freight truck and had some inner demons that festered in my head. All of which I implemented into the story. Please know no one was hurt in the accident.
To properly close Boone and Jacque’s arcs, I had to isolate them as much as possible before bringing them back together and then return to their loved ones. Furthermore, they had to be exposed to emotions they have repressed for quite sometime.
As for how the idea for the novel developed over time, it started from when I first worked on book four, Boone and Jacque: Cytrus Moonlight. I knew that book five would be the final one because any further extension of the series would tarnish the richness of the conclusive nature of their arc. To which I had much to cover in the final leg of their journey.
I thought about how we as human beings are decision makers. Some more active than others. As in we don’t all act on our emotions all the time. We have responsibilities to uphold, people to care for, a job to go to, hurdles to overcome, endure nightmares, goals to achieve, secrets to keep for the sake of loyalty or self preservation, and many other things that occupy and complicate our minds. Therefore, getting in the way of understanding who we are. What our purpose is and what we do to get the most out of it.
Sometimes, the love we have for others is so strong, we forget to love and understand ourselves. Sometimes the ones we love see how broken and depleted we are. They try to help us but it’s not always enough.
So though Boone and Jacque have been on many adventures, it was always together. In addition, because they were so focused on surviving and keeping each other alive, while also dealing with interpersonal issues and enduring the complexities of life without parental or peer guidance, they never had a true opportunity to find themselves in a more holistic way that solidified their fate as human beings. Where they go in life as adults is up to them.
That’s why the series is complete. Because even though they have much longer to live and endure other chapters in their lives, I can’t spend my entire career obsessing over them. When I will include them in other novels, their may be a few things for them to grow from, but it wouldn’t be enough for another segment of the series. Enough as secondary characters or passersby, but not primary characters.
One thing that stands out in this series is the bond the characters form with each other, not just Boone and Jacque. What was your process in writing the characters’ interactions to develop the bond they have?
One thing I always ask of myself as a writer, is to create strong bonds or chemistry between enemies, lovers, and friends. Because how others act around us or in our world, can have a strong effect on us. Especially when we meddle or have any part in their lives. Take for example Mayor Gander and Myamirah. Those two were meant to be secondary characters and antagonist that kept the interludes in the story active and engaging. So what I did was see how the ripping and tearing of their marriage, caused by a need for more power than the other, could create a continuing need for Boone and Jacque to grow. To forget about themselves once they’ve had a sense of who they are and therefore protect others before it’s too late.
I did all this by intriguing myself in dynamics outside of my own. In the real world, people in power don’t bother getting personal or violent with the public. But what if they had the gall to do so with those that could tarnish their position and ambitions? That’s the question I asked when creating that type of relationship.
As for Xantia and Shammy, I followed the natural progression of their relationship and the weight Xantia carried with her as she did her best to accomplish many things. Help take care of children even though she had no practice in being a caretaker. Unraveling the truth Myamirah kept secret then teased Xantia when she saw how close she was getting. I saw the relationship between Xantia and Shammy as a good counterbalance to Boone and Jacque’s need to find purpose and protect the ones they love as heroes, fathers, husbands, and humans desperate for sense of stability and undying love. Their wives are striving for the similar goals but because they had no idea of the when or if they’d see their husbands again, they became territorial and valiant warriors protecting their home base and children.
In a nutshell, I love characters and intersecting relationships to make a cohesive story. Because if I had Boone and Jacque come home to no conflict, I’m saying that the world stops living until they come back. Which is not realistic and would make the story fall flat. That’s why the interludes were implemented. To show the readers that while we are fighting for the life we want, the world is doing the same in different ways. We may not see it because it doesn’t affect us directly, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening all around us. More importantly, when it involves the ones we love, the ones we are interconnected with, it’s even more important to put our need to pick up our pieces by ourselves down and help them. Lastly, when we fight for freedom, peace, and love on our own, we forget that others can help us as well. More importantly, that they may be struggling as well. We must learn to drop our baggage and help someone let go of theirs.
What was one of the hardest parts in Boone and Jacque: Sahon for you to write?
The final chapter because I drew from my experience with my mother’s passing. We never had a wake, so I imagined what it would’ve been like. I knew I had to have something raw and powerful to finish the series. And I knew it was going to be hard for me. So, despite being exhausted, scared of the series ending, being overwhelmed, I wrote the last chapter in two days. Total four hours. Because if I took any longer, I would’ve watered down the emotion and dragged it out. I couldn’t do that to Boone and Jacque. Certainly not to myself as an emotional person.
Where do you see your characters after the book ends?
Boone will be a secondary character in a stand-alone novel called Red Widow Waltz. As for the premise, that is still up in the air. All I can tell you is there are three things. A seedy government agency, widowers, and a boogeyman. Jacque and Xantia will have an important role in a book called Tar. In which a dark entity from the depths of a desert spawn from earth’s core seeps into a grungy town called Barlocke.
As a bonus for the readers here, once Tar is complete, I will be working on another fantasy series I’ve been meaning to write. In which for now it will be called Zephutra. Which is inspired by my sister and I’s relationship as brother and sister.
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