In honor of the three months since An Absolute Mind came out, this month, I shall be doing a weekly series of behind-the-scenes glimpses at the process and the decisions made with the creation of the novel. Be careful for potential spoilers if you haven’t read it yet, and I hope you enjoy.
There are so many details and backstories that make up An Absolute Mind, that to cram it all into a month-long series just doesn’t do it justice. Additional details may be revealed if asked about, some may pop up in future posts if appropriate, and others just may be kept only to myself and never grace the minds of anyone else’s other than my own. But there’s still quite a bit to say about the novel, that I just had to do an additional post about it. So before the month officially bows out, today I want to go over just a handful of fun facts about An Absolute Mind:
- Some of the names of the characters either have interesting meanings regarding who the characters are, or interesting origin stories. Allow me to give a few examples of both. Sonya’s last name, Ogino, carries a particular origin, for it is actually in homage to the character, Chihiro Ogino, from Hayao Miyazaki’s film, “Spirited Away.” In the instance of President Gomez, her first name, Mamela, is a Sesotho (South African) word for “listen;” a head nod to an important task a president should always do.
- The scene where Coretta would eventually reveal Sonya’s Absolute Memory went through a number of variations as to where it could take place. I wanted it to be at a voluntary, recreational setting for a large number of college students to be present. Ideas that I had considered included a basketball game, a frat house party, and even a version of a DeCal class. Finally, I settled for a nighttime game of Sardines, which is derived from the time I played that same game, while visiting a friend at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
- Gaya’s Garden was somewhat modeled after the garden my great aunt had kept at her home in the Philippines. This was particularly emphasized through the orchids that were growing in the garden, and the oversized koi fish that could be seen in the pond.
- As I’ve emphasized several times already, same-sex marriage was legalized while I was writing a novel set in a future where same-sex marriage has long since been legalized. However, that unforgettable day in 2015 still had some influence on the story. The White House glowing the colors of the rainbow later that evening inspired the moment the White House glowed the color purple in An Absolute Mind.
- The speech President Gomez gave did not come easy. To prepare for writing a speech that sounded like one only a president would deliver, I studied both the text and the actual deliveries of speeches delivered by two different presidents: President Richard Nixon’s speech following the Watergate scandal and President Barack Obama’s speech following the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
- When referring to Sonya’s ancestors who were incarcerated during World War II, I had originally used the common phrase “internment camps” to indicate the places they were held in. However, in the midst of editing An Absolute Mind, I changed the phrase to “incarceration camps.” This decision was made after reading an article published by UCLA, where scholars spoke of using more accurate terminology when describing the incarceration. Since this story is set in the future, it only seemed right to apply such a change.
- All the locations that An Absolute Mind is set in either are or inspired by places that I have actually been to before. I’ve visited Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. before, and Palekaiko, in case you couldn’t figure it out from reading the novel, was inspired by Hawaii, which I have visited a long time ago.
So there are a few facts about An Absolute Mind I hadn’t revealed before. Once again, these are most surely not all of them, for to reveal them all would be like a magician revealing their secrets. For those who’ve read the book already, I hope these facts shed some new light on aspects of the story that you may have never realized before. For those who read this and haven’t read the book, two things: a. It looks like you partially spoiled the novel for yourself and b. I hope it inspires you to go read it.
This concludes this month-long exploration about the making and development of An Absolute Mind. I hope you all enjoyed it. Like I had said earlier, depending on whether or not it calls for it or if anyone asks, I might reveal more about the novel in future posts. However, don’t expect to know everything about it, for where is the fun in that?
An Absolute Mind is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. If you read it, please leave a review, for they’re greatly appreciated and help me grow as a writer. Also, be sure to check out its Goodreads page, and feel free to leave any questions you have about the book.
Also, if you can, please donate to the Indiegogo campaign for “The Geek Show,” for we the cast and creators want it to be the very best when we put it on in April.