As authors we leave bits of ourselves behind in our stories; Sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously.
Recently a reader asked me about the statue I mentioned in His Soul to Keep. In the story it is used at Cassidy’s fake memorial as a remembrance (possible spoilers).
I called the statue Awakening Dawn, but I never described it – and yes it is real; only the statue is actually called “Morning” by August Rodin 1906.
I first saw this statue in the 80’s at the National Gallery in Washington, DC and fell in love. I could not afford the replica in the gift shop so I bought a picture postcard which I squirreled away in the photo album with the other postcards of inspirational works of art.
Jump ahead twenty some years and as I was writing the discussion about Cassidy’s memorial service the image of that statue popped into my head and then into the story.
Didn’t really think about it to be honest. But after the reader asked me if the statue was a real work of art, and I pulled up a picture to send her, I realized why my subconscious had pulled up the memory of the statue. I was struck by the symbolism I didn’t even know I’d used.
Mornings are literally a new beginning, a chance to start over, and that is exactly what Cassidy is doing – starting a new life.
But more than that, her arrival is a new beginning for Rail.
I’m not a person who analyzes their own work, so what amazed me is that I had no idea what I was doing when I chose that image (even though I didn’t describe the statue) and that the name Awakening Dawn was in its own way a symbol for what was happening in the story. I naturally followed the path that my characters lead me down. And since they live in my mind someone found the memory of that statue, pulled it up at just the right moment and thought it perfect.
Sometimes writers surprise themselves.