Demon in My View
Spring, 2000
Demon in My View was started on my much beloved Mac, but transferred to my beloved IBM Evita-- a desktop IBM with Windows 95-- after Mac's final fatal crash. It is a story I have written many times in many ways. The core plot is a very simple one: The main character, Jessica Ashley Allodola, is a teenage writer who discovers that her characters are real. Needless to say, as a teenage writer, even before I was published, the idea intrigued me.

Demon's first incarnation was begun in the same blue CVS notebook as Forests. It included bookstore scenes where Ash was visited by her character in a creepy interlude during a book signing... where her "fan" began to speak to her about her characters, about things the fan has no right to know, and indeed about things Ash isn't even quite sure of herself. Another incarnation involved a lot of online interaction, as I played with the possibilities of the internet: where you really have no idea who you're talking to, where people share more information then they ever would in real life and where people can be almost anything they want to be with the virtue or a screen name or a yahoo ID.

(This was, as you may imagine, about when I got internet (via AOL) for the first time. My 1400 bpm modem treated me pretty well until it brought home an internet-transmitted-disease. But I already told that story on the previous page.)

Yet another version was actually finished, with a different breed of vampires. The main character in that one was not a writer, but many scenes-- including her confrontation with Dusk, the powerful vampire who has confronted her-- were used with minor changes in Demon in My View. The title of that work was Rising Night, and it was the book that ended up prompting my publishing impulse.

So, I had played around with the tale many ways without coming to a conclusion I was happy with, so it makes sense that on my first day of eighth grade- during one of the endless, boring assemblies- when one of my friends made a quip about "bore the students to death day" I used it. The words inspired Jazlyn's first day at school, and thus caused me to begin writing what would be my second novel. (Yes, at this point the protagonist was named Jazlyn. The change will be explained later.)

Demon had two major plot problems:

One: I had no idea how Jessica *did* know what she knows about vampires and their world.
Two: Why didn't they just kill her?

So, needless to say, the little demon crept from beneath Esc and burrowed into my brain. I ranted to my friends, about my problems. Some of them offered their thoughts and ideas, but none of them worked for me until Jessica (after whom I had already named about a dozen Jessicas, Jessies and Jess's) demanded that I "hook a Jess up with Aubrey." How could I resist such a demand from Aubrey's first number one fan?

Inspiration was found. Jazlyn's name was given to her mother, and Jessica's name was given to my protagonist. Quickly the book was finished, Jessica was thrilled, and since by this time I had a contract with RandomHouse, I had another book to give them. Life was going well.

FunFacts about Demon in My View:

Demon's working title was "Bitter Life," titled after a poem of the same name written by Jessica.

Demon's musical inspiration came from 3rd Eye Blind (Jumper, London, Burning Man, Narcalepsy), Garbage 2.0 (especially Push It) and No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" album. Originally it mentioned Jessica listening to Jumper as she wrote and waking up to the line from No Doubt's "Spiderwebs": "Now you go too deep... you wake me in my sleep."

Demon was written half in my red reclining chair (while I worked on Mac) and half in the basement, as my sister and cousin painted the laundry room next door. By the end of those few weeks, they hated Garbage, and could sing the four songs from the album nearly by heart.

Demon originally contained scenes between Jessica and her mother, scenes between Jessica and Siete, and all sorts of fun stuff in bookstores, but most of it ended up removed. :(

(on the RH site)