the day i wore purple
I think I was a junior in college when my mom told me my grandma was dying. For some reason this sparked in my mind a vivid image of lovers laying on a mattress together, knowing they were about to die.
I wondered what would happen if this couple had spent more than a single lifetime together. What about hundreds of lifetimes? Wow that would magnify the sadness and beauty of the moment?
This became the driving image for The Day I Wore Purple, a book that would consume me for almost a decade.
Word Count: 195,729
Chapters: 3 parts, 17 chapters + prologue & epilogue
Months to Write: ~30 (on and off for 10 years)
Current Book Edition: 1
Sequence: 4th book written and published
Where I Wrote: I wrote the screenplay in Chicago, then the first version of the novel in the office of my Grand Haven apartment. I started the final version of the novel in NW Arkansas, and it followed me all the way back to my current home in Spring Lake.
WHAT I LOVED About Writing Purple
- The central love story between Jon and Hannah captured me immediately. I knew these would be the characters choosing to die after spending multiple lifetimes together. Watching them stumble in and out of each other's lives was beautiful and heartbreaking, even as the writer. Trying to make the reader feel the same emotions was a difficult but fun process.
- Writing the last two chapters of the full version of Purple was a visceral, completely indulgent experience that I will never forget. The bounds were literally endless. The story gave me a playground of imagination to invent anything that might captivate readers. I was able to experiment with language in a way I had never tried before, blurring the lines between adjectives, verbs, and nouns. Overall, it was a cathartic, energizing experience.
- the research changed my worldview
- the scope
- the madness, shaken up by ideas for the end,
- keeping track of the timeline
- predicting the near future
- balancing the story with the science
- the internal heartbreak of knowing it's too long for most readers
- research, how do you research something that is constantly changing?
I listened to these nine songs at least two-hundred times while writing the last few chapters of Purple. If you want to contemplate life as galaxies collide around you, this is the playlist for you.
Aside from the last paragraph of the final chapter ("those perfect fucking circles") it would have to be Anna's words to her daughter in an alternate universe:
- There is a short stanza near the end of the book that suggests Hannah altered the fate of OUR universe... though it may be too subtle for anyone to notice.
was supposed to be part of my "blank canvas series," but it took me three years to finish instead of the three months i was hoping.
the art of archan nair
ASK ME ANYTHING
If you have questions about The Day I Wore Purple, Goodreads has a great Q&A forum where I can respond directly to readers. Check it out!
Book Club Questions
My "Delve Into" pages serve three purposes:
1. To provide more content for fans of the books.
2. To preserve my writing experience for my sentimental self.
3. To be as transparent as possible with my writing process to help others.
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