Have you noticed that by writing novels you become a predictor of the future? Check it out…see if this weird ‘do.do.do.do’ Twilight Zone thing has happened to you.
Here’s what happened to me. When my father died in 2005, I helped plan a personalized memorial for him. From that experience, I came up with the idea of a boutique funeral planner, a person who designs unique celebrations, very different from the conventional ones organized by churches and mortuaries. Think ‘Wedding Planner,’ the movie with Jennifer Lopez. Why, I asked, couldn’t we have a ‘Funeral Planner’ who individualizes a ceremony much like a wedding planner does?
My research let me know that most churches mandated specific rituals for funerals, down to certain songs to be sung/played, a set liturgy, etc. Mortuaries help with some personalizing of memorials, but rarely employ ‘planners’ who go beyond the ordinary organizing of the viewing, the wake, the burial or cremation rites.
So, I decided to call my novels THE FUNERAL PLANNER SERIES. FADEOUT, SWOON and FAINT would be the titles of the first three novels, because my funeral planner happens to have a fainting disorder. What’s more, my Janice Anne Solvang would be a funeral planner intrigued by secrets that might be buried with her dead clients. Could she solve their mysteries? Yup, she thinks. Will she face danger if she does so? Of course!
Here’s the prescient part. I began to add on to my main character’s services. She and her father became adept at choreographing special celebrations of deceased soldiers’ lives and even more unusual, they began to conduct memorials for people who were alive, but beset by life-threatening illnesses like certain cancers or Alzheimers.
By around 2008, I began to notice articles in newspapers and magazines about memorials with out-of-the-box features. Lately when I go on the Internet to word-search ‘individualized funerals,” I find a smorgasbord of offerings, everything from a “ We’ll fly your ashes to the moon” service to Eco Friendly funerals.
Looks like if I hadn’t been busy conjuring the Funeral Planner Series, I could have started a franchise, just like my character has in mind. Without meaning to, I predicted a trend and designed a business. I might have made a good deal more money becoming a funeral planner myself instead of writing a novel about it. Still I had fun conjuring a future that ended up coming true!
I’d enjoy hearing your story about an expertise you’ve gained through the writing of a novel and if you’ve found yourself stumbling into the role of a seer, tell us all about it!
SUSPENSE SPIKED WITH ROMANCE
LAST RESORT on sale now; FADEOUT (October), SWOON (November); print & download