Excerpts from TOGInet Radio Interview
What was your motivation to write this book?
I was just having fun. I have always written stories. When I was in high school, I wrote them for the same reason Rebecca Jean does—to have some personal control, even if it was an illusion. At some point my interest in the esoteric and quantum physics began to show me that personal control doesn’t have to be an illusion. Then the book became a sort of mission. And I was still having fun!
Who does the book appeal to, and why?
Quantum Leap is written in the voice of a teenage girl, and it resonates with me particularly as a message for young women in their teens. But it’s for women of all ages, really. And the amazing thing to me is that men, also of all ages, are interested.
A major appeal lies in the simplicity of the solution for personal control in one’s life. Who doesn’t long for that?
Another part of the book’s appeal is that it blurs the edges between magic and science, so it’s fun. At the outset, Rebecca has no scientific framework for what is happening. So it must be magic, right? What else could it be? I think we are attracted to magic because it’s bigger that we are, and it gives the user power. It provides a means for escaping from the humdrum, of solving the unsolvable.
What was the most challenging part about writing this book? The most fun/rewarding?
The most challenging was being sure the science was understandable and also correctly represented. I needed to keep it simple, but at the same time, accurate.
The most fun aspect has been the way the characters took on lives of their own. They are very real to me; I sometimes quote them to my friends. When I was writing from “the zone,” which is how Rebecca refers to that place where it just flows, the characters seemed to be acting of their own accord. I was just along for the ride.
Tell us something you feel is important for people to know about the book.
It really is all about the energy.
Both ancient beliefs and quantum science speak to this. A favorite quote of mine is by Albert Einstein. He said:
“Everything is energy. That’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get it. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”
Just think of the possibilities.
What is one of your favorite scenes that you’d like to highlight in the interview?
Rebecca Jean has written several little stories that played out exactly as she wrote them and has come to believe she is making things happen. She calls her stories “Events.” It’s pretty heady stuff, and it has given her the courage to stand up for herself in situations where previously she would have frozen up or emotionally disintegrated.
But there are consequences to this perceived power, one of which is that Laney, the main character in Rebecca’s earlier stories and the girl Rebecca wishes she could be, has taken up residence in her head.
One hot July day Rebecca finds herself at the pool with none of her friends around. But her nemesis, Jackson, is there with some of his buddies. Jackson is a jock, larger than life to Rebecca, and was the target of her first Event. Her initial reaction is to bolt, but Laney urges her to “just have some fun with it.” She’s caught, anyway, because Jackson has seen her. So she gives it a try, going for a moxie, irreverent character.
Rebecca took a deep breath. She willed herself calm. She pictured herself in casual banter with Jackson. Relaxed, detached, no big deal. She took another deep breath, and then she walked leisurely but deliberately toward him, stopping at the foot of his lounge chair.
“S’up?” she said.
“Just waitin’ for you, darlin’,” drawled Jackson. He was grinning.
She pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head. She cocked one hip and planted a fist on it. She looked down at him. “So,” she said, “I’m here.”
Jackson looked startled. The grin dissolved, leaving him with his mouth half open.
Rebecca noted this with glee, a little smile playing around the corners of her mouth. She tilted her head at him. “Can’t even? I didn’t quite catch that.”
A tortured version of the FIGJAM grin played across Jackson’s face. He uncrossed his ankles and recrossed them the other way. “Uh . . .” he stammered.
Rebecca waited. “I’m not feelin’ it,” she said.
Rebecca had never seen Jackson tongue-tied. She relaxed a little, feeling triumphant.
She watched him watching her. He shifted in his lounger and linked his fingers behind his head. Fierce concentration overlaid with confusion radiated off him. She could actually feel his energy. And now she was the one startled. She was still smiling at him, but it had started to feel a little wooden. She was not practiced at this and was now at a loss. She stalled, taking her time settling into her chaise, and then she turned to look at Jackson again.
Jackson looked amused. Laney remained silent. The moxie character apparently had stage fright. Rebecca was on her own. She sighed.
Jackson had recovered his easy
irreverence. “So what’re you up to this summer, Becka? Are you writing clever
stories with rad endings?”
Rebecca’s stomach fluttered. She looked hard at him. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t mean anything. I’m just asking.”
Rebecca didn’t answer.
Jackson’s grin was solid now. “Aren’t you making up stories? You do write stories, don’t you?”
He was definitely baiting her. And he was amazingly good at it. “Well, yeah. I did. Some. It’s no big deal.”
“It seemed like a big deal when I snatched your notes that day.”
Rebecca gasped. This is what had triggered her first Event. The feel of remembered fury uncurled from her belly. She clenched her fists and glared at him. “You were a real shit!” Her voice was low but venomous. “And Fat Mr. Hammond took your side.”
Jackson was grinning broadly now.
Blake called from the pool. “Jacks! Come on in. What’re you waitin’ for?”
“Cool your jets, man.” Jackson got to his feet.
Rebecca’s head rotated up as she watched him unfold from the lounger. He stepped over to her. He bent toward her. And then everything slid into slow motion. She froze, her face turned up to him. She couldn’t pull her gaze away. She couldn’t move. Jackson’s face was within inches of hers. She could smell chlorine and suntan lotion on his skin. His breath smelled of peppermint. He reached for her. Rebecca couldn’t seem to draw air into her lungs; the sounds around them faded, as if distant. His hand curled around the back of her neck.
“Stick around, Becka,” he said softly. He twined his fingers into her hair.
The shock of it brought Rebecca back to herself. A huge gasp of air filled her lungs and fired her brain. Her fist flew up, catching Jackson squarely in the solar plexus. He exhaled with a grunt, nearly going to his knees.
Josh exploded with laughter. When he could get his breath, he choked out, “Not one of your regular groupies, Jacks!”
Jackson struggled to stand upright, one arm around his middle. “You’re goin’ down, man,” he said to Josh. He stepped away from Rebecca. He rubbed his stomach, his blue eyes fastened on her.
“You’re breakin’ my heart, darlin’,” he said softly. And he grinned the FIGJAM grin.
Rebecca laughed out loud. “Sure I am, Jackson,” she said. She smirked back at him, her smile wide and satisfied.