Blog Tour: Impostor by Jill Hathaway
Spotlight on Setting in a hospital Waiting Room
They say, “Write what you know.”
I do and I don’t.
I mean, obviously I don’t know anyone who can slide into other people’s heads. That idea probably came from some old Quantum Leap reruns skittering around in my brain, combined with me wondering what would happen if I found myself standing over a dead body, holding a knife, with no idea how I got there. (Yeah, I’m weird.)
But the rest of it--characters, dialogue, setting… all of those come from what I know. I’d find it very hard to write a story set in Tokyo because I’ve just never been there. I wouldn’t know where to begin.
When I flesh out a scene, I draw from places I’ve been. Things I’ve seen and heard. The way something smelled, how it felt against my skin. I guess this is how I ended up writing a few scenes set in hospital waiting rooms lately. I blogged about my mother’s brush with death a couple of years ago. I was supervising study hall when I got a phone call from my sister-in-law that my mom had a brain aneurysm.
Not going to lie.
Those were the scariest hours of my life, the ones spent in that hospital waiting room while the doctors worked to save my mother's life. All of my senses seemed to be heightened. I can still remember the way the metal bar of my chair cut into my leg. I didn’t try to find a more comfortable place to sit because it distracted from the thoughts that were in my head.
I remember playing chess with my brother on his new iPad. I remember the things we said, the things we didn’t say. Hugging my aunt, my mother’s sister, and thinking that in a strange way it was like hugging my mother. Wondering if I’d ever get to hug my mom again.
Everything about that hospital waiting room is engraved in my mind. It came pouring out when I was writing a scene near the end of IMPOSTOR. All of those feelings spilled onto the page. It felt good to get them out.
In a way, writing is such a personal thing. It’s weird when your book comes out and other people start to read it and it’s not just something in your head anymore. It’s strange when people tell you they can relate to a certain character or event or thought.
When you read that scene in IMPOSTOR, now you know where it came from
Impostor comes out March 26 2013 from Balzer+Bray