Chapter One

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Fun fact: when I was little, I had auditory hallucinations. I can remember them very clearly because they were quite particular and persisted to my mid-teens. I never told anyone back then.

The good news: they didn’t tell me to murder anyone, or that I was God. In fact, they were seemingly quite benign: after a microsecond delay, in my mind, I heard my words repeated back to me in a high, mocking voice. It was something like what happens when your cell phone echoes you while you’re talking, but if your cell phone thought you were a complete idiot and hated your guts.

Eventually, this curious phenomenon ceased, and it’s never happened since, but I think whatever is weird in my brain is related to my writing process. At its best, I hear my characters speak, and I have to listen.

I was driving in my car when the narrator of The Likely World first spoke to me. I didn’t pull over. I reached for the nearest piece of paper and, as I drove (sorry Route 89!) I transcribed the first few words. The paper was a drawing by Coco and that act, writing and driving, is still in the final version of the novel. You can read chapter one right here. While you’re here, if you like, you can take a look at the marketing campaign, and pitch in with your opinions.

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