8 Facts about 8 Souls
As an author, I don’t only love sharing my stories with the world, I like sharing the behind-the-scenes bits and pieces that make up the entire tale of the books themselves.
So without further ado, here are 8 facts about 8 Souls.
The 8 Souls backstory is based on the true story of the unsolved ax murders of Villisca, Iowa, and the ax murder house in the book exists in real life. I grew up just a few hours from Villisca and have always been fascinated by the true crime story. (Check it out here: https://iowacoldcases.org/case-summaries/villisca-axe-murders)
The main character’s name is Francesca, which is one of my all-time favorite names, and I’ve loved its nickname Chessie ever since watching the remake of The Parent Trap.
8 Souls is set in Villisca, Iowa — a very real town. But the supermarket in the story, Dotty’s Market, is based on a small grocery store located in The Black Hills (SD) where I used to vacation a lot as a little kid. Dotty’s is described in the book as smelling of “oranges and cheese,” and that is, indeed, the smell of my favorite childhood grocery store!
I changed the title several times while writing. I nearly called it “Villisca Blood,” but ultimately chose 8 Souls because it better reflects the modern-day conflict of the main characters.
It took me only three months to write the 8 Souls rough draft, but nearly a year to refine it into a query-ready version. And don’t even ask how many times I re-wrote the first chapter.
I moved while writing 8 Souls. I have “old house books” and “new house books,” but 8 Souls bridges that gap. Even though it was started and finished in different homes, it was all written at the same kitchen table.
8 Souls was written almost entirely at night, which might account for its creepy scenes. I’m a night owl and naturally gravitate to the late hours and all that hides in the dark. But nighttime writing also worked best with my day job at that time–so it was practical. (But practical is boring, right? So we’ll go with the creepy night owl vibes instead!)
8 Souls is the 9th book I’ve ever written and my 5th book published. It’s also my first foray into the paranormal, which I found both difficult and freeing. The “rules” of a paranormal realm are looser, but everything still has to make sense! I used a ton of post-it notes to keep Chessie and David’s world organized.
Okay! Now that you’ve been behind-the-scenes of 8 Souls, be sure to grab your copy and dive into the macabre world of Chessie and her recurring dreams!