Counteract began as a prompt for a writing exercise.
In 2010, I was acting as mentor, editor, and writing buddy to Chase, a friend of my teenage daughter’s.
He’d recently finished a short story about baseball, a broken nose, and a broken heart, and we were both ready to work on something new. He got the ball rolling when he asked, “What would the world be like if everyone was on LSD and all thoughts were communal?”
Well, it was certainly an interesting question, and we decided to see where it would take us. He wrote scenes in which he created Tommy, then Eduardo. I liked what he had done, and responded with “I think we need a girl character, too.” Soon Careen was in the mix.
We wrote hallucination scenes for each character, but nothing was connected. We needed a plot.
“Why is everyone on LSD?”
“Maybe it’s a government conspiracy?”
“What would the government hope to achieve by doping the population?”
We kept asking Why and What if, and before long, the original idea had evolved. We had an outline, and several more characters awaiting their cues.
We lived five states apart at the time, so we did our brainstorming over gmail chat. We called those sessions “gressing” because we often tended to digress and regress as we worked. In one gress, he said, “Instead of a foreword to this book, I propose a fiveword.”
“And what would the fiveword say?”
“This Is The Best Book.”
Eventually, it became more practical for me to carry on with Counteract alone, but I’ve kept those words in the back of my mind every step of the way, and I hope the final product lives up to Chase’s early expectations. I’m so glad we had a chance to collaborate and bring these characters into existence.
Tommy and Careen’s adventures continue in Resist. Ignite, the third volume in the series, is slated for release in Summer 2016. Revolt, the conclusion, will follow in Summer 2017.