I started The Blue Jar when I was 30. I was 44 when it was published. The manuscript stayed unlooked at for months at a time. I finished it. I rewrote it. I finished it. I rewrote it. It had a massively different ending in an attempt to include all the characters. I finally simplified that.
What is it about? It’s still about two teenage girls experiencing a dark and troubled summer in 1985 in a small Florida town. The town is loosely based on my own hometown. Very loosely. I have the town in ind, but I change things to suit me (like I never could in real life!), and nothing in the story is autobiographical.
In the novel, the girls end up at The Red Moon, a place down the highway that purports to read your palm and your Tarot cards. When I was growing up, I was fascinated by a house at the edge of town that had a huge sign in front of it advertising palm reading. The sign had a red hand palm facing forward.
At some point, my mother told me that the place was really a house of prostitution. She wasn’t sure it was true, but she thought it likely.
I don’t know why this stuck in my head, but I wondered about the house and the people it in and what was true about them. I had that fortune-telling house in mind when I wrote about The Red Moon.
One thing I love about writing is being able to imagine what places might have been.