Behind the Story: Freaking Love Part 1- Inspiration

Freaking Love is officially out in the world! You can read it here.

With Freaking Love finally out on Kindle Vella this week, I wanted to share a little behind the scenes about the inspiration for this story.

Please note: This contains spoilers for the first couple of episodes of Freaking Love. If you haven’t read it yet and want to remain spoiler-free, avert your eyes now. Otherwise, continue on.

When it started…

I’d have to look back at the date to be sure, but I’m almost positive it was early spring of 2017. There’s a possibility that it was 2016, but that seems too early in my memory.

What it started as…

This story started as a script. I’ve always loved screenwriting and it came very naturally to me because I love telling all the parts of a story. I love the idea of how you can overlay music with a scene to heighten its effects. I love all of that. What’s funny is I hate writing in the third person and it took a long time for me to find the right stylistic fit to make this into a book. When I heard about Kindle Vella, the serialized format really seemed to fit with that serialized way I thought of this story. That said, in its origins, it was actually set over two linear timelines. The past, the high school days that this story tells (though that’s now set in the present-ish time) and a present about twelve years later, exploring the family dynamics and personal relationships somewhat like Parenthood. Because of this, it was originally called Nontraditional, because it was about a group of families raising kids and many of those families and situations were nontraditional.

The inspiration…

Like with almost anything I write, the inspiration didn’t come from one specific place, but rather a compounding few things that came together and created this story in my mind. The first was that a boy I used to crush hard on and was once close friends with got engaged and I started thinking about the almost relationship we had and wondering how it would’ve gone if we’d ever actually dated. I realized it probably would’ve gone pretty badly. Then I laughed, thinking that I’d probably have ended up pregnant or something.

The next day, I was listening to Yellowcard in the car (they’re one of my favorites) and the song Ten came on, which is a (fairly sad but beautiful) song about a miscarriage. The singer reflects that that baby would’ve turned ten that year. And it got me thinking what would’ve happened if I’d gotten pregnant at seventeen. Which took me back to my previous thoughts.

Finally, for some reason or another, I decided to listen to Last Play at Shea by Billy Joel. I grew up listening to him but since my mom didn’t really like the song, I’d never heard Scenes from an Italian Restaurant before. It seemed to fit with the theme of this story that was rapidly building in my head. And so it became mostly what you see in Freaking Love today.

Final fun fact…

Because I originally wrote it in two timelines, I know plot points for these characters that happen YEARS ahead in the story, so there will probably be a time jump to early adulthood at some point.

Are you enjoying Freaking Love? Like and follow for more behind the scenes content and for lots more from me, follow me over on Instagram @bethanymonacosmith

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