A few days ago, I found the notebook where I planned out The Adventures of Sam Hain in general and the first book, Liam’s Doom, in particular. A lot of what I penned in those pages (yes, I actually used the notebook and wrote things in it!) made it to the final product, but a few things changed. So, I thought it might be fun to give my readers a peek into the background and my original thoughts.
I’m sure I picked up this notebook at a Barnes & Noble somewhere, but I don’t recall where or when. It’s a gorgeous notebook with gilded pages. Of course, this was before I put aside the Harry Potter series, as J.K. Rowling made it impossible to enjoy any charm the series had due to her doubling down on bigotry.
The fall of a writer whose work I enjoyed did inspire me. It gave me newfound resolve to be mindful of diversity and presentation in my own words and the importance of using my writing as a platform to call out bigotry.
The first page is where I began my world building. Almost all of this made it into the books without change.
Of the lore that changed, I can see I changed “The Hunters” to the “Watchers.” I think I like the idea of watchers more than I do hunters, but “hunters” might be a more accurate depiction of their original purpose and, oftentimes, methods.
Much of Samantha stayed the same, but this page shows where a few things were different. I’m sad I forgot about this when I started writing, but I’m still happy with the character as she is.
Sam originally had two pets, a white rabbit named C.B. and a gray British short haired cat named Uncle Aleister. I’m going to assume C.B. stands for “Cotton Ball,” but I honestly do not remember. The white rabbit was obviously an allusion to Alice and her adventures in Wonderland
The judgmental British cat, Uncle Aleister, was named for 19th century occultist Aleister Crowley.
Of course, both pets got replaced with Sam’s muted calico cat, Sandy Paws. Sandy was, as I mentioned in a previous blog, based on my calico Zuzu.
The Original Plot
The original plot summary had the Redcap showing up to ask for help for his cousin, a brownie who got caught while switching out a changeling for a human baby.
It was a simpler, more straightforward plot than what I settled on, but even as I look at it now, I don’t know what I would do with it/how Sam could rectify the matter.
But I do appreciate that I made a note to save this nugget for later.
Good planning, past me!
When I reworked the plot into something more familiar to those who read Liam’s Doom, I can see I kept the idea of a demonic entity as Sam’s enemy. There was a big change, because I originally had the demon Sitri, a Goetic demon. I replaced Sitri with the possibly Sumerian Zozo, a demon of whom little is known beyond a few paranormal investigations and some horror films.
I didn’t record why I made that change, but if memory serves, it had something to do with shapeshifting and causing/exasperating mental illness being part of Zozo’s power set. But I don’t fully remember why.
Those are the most noticeable changes I made from my original concept to the series as it stands. I honestly forgot some of this when I started writing. It didn’t help that I couldn’t find my notebook amidst the chaos of the pandemic and moving into a new place. I’m satisfied with how the series is progressing, but I am also curious to know how it would have turned out had my notebook been beside me when I drafted.
Writers/Creatives, how much changes in your work from your original concept to the final piece?
My debut novel, Liam’s Doom, is on sale at all major and minor retail outlets from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to Bookshop.org. I request that you support Bookshop.org, as their site supports local and independent bookstores. The eBook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through my webstore.
Carmilla’s Ghost is now on sale. The paperback version is available all major online retailers, including Amazon, Bookshop.org and at Barnes & Noble. Currently, eBook pre-orders are only available at Amazon and through my webstore.
It Hungers (formerly Stone Cold), the third book in the series is currently available for preorder as an ebook on Amazon. Paperback preorders will begin in approximately one month (likely earlier)! The book will officially release on 3 May 2022.
My prequel novel, Blood/Lust is also available as an Amazon exclusive.