In the world of my book, New L.A., April 17, 2000 is a very important date. It is on this date that the event that turned Los Angeles into a 20-mile wide crater happened. It is on this date that events were set in motion that led to the story told in the book. But why this date and how did it come about?
Before New L.A., I started another story that took place in this world. The tentative title of that story was Lost Souls, and it was basically the story of twin teenage girls who discover that have incredible abilities and the discovery of the secret organization that keeps people with abilities from becoming public knowledge. I got a ways into that story and I consider what I did write in that story canon for my world and referred back to it when writing New L.A. My plan was to have the world discover the existence of these Paranormals, and that Los Angeles would pay the price. But I never quite got that far in the story. Close, but not quite. So, when I decided to revisit this world, I knew I wanted that event to have happened and that was the springboard for the actual setting itself.
So, why April 17, 2000? How did I come up with that date? Once again, I went back to the original story. In that story, I started each chapter with a journal entry written by one of my main characters, Terry Stonewall. These were mostly her reflections on the events happening in the story and I thought it was nice little thing to have. One of the last chapters I have finished had the following entry, which I will warn has never been edited.
Until today, I had never realized how sheltered my life was. Yes, I had known there were individuals out there that were less fortunate than myself, but I had never been exposed to them before. Even the less fortunate at school didn’t seem to be that bad off from my point of view, but I was viewing them in the school environment. Today, I saw the environment they must’ve lived in and I was shocked that people could live that way. I still have a hard time imagining what their life must’ve been like growing up living like dogs sometimes. Makes my problems seem a little insignificant, as I’m sure any one of them would love to trade places with me, as I have the power to do something about my life. The power of my mind.
April 16th, 2000
As you can see, I dated each of these journal entries, to give an idea of when chronologically the events in the chapter happened. Where did I originally get the dates? Honestly, I picked them at random when I was first writing this 15 years ago or so. This journal entry had the date April 16, 2000. I decided, based on how events were going to unfold linking what happened in that story with the new story, the event that destroyed Los Angeles was going to be the next day. After that, it was a matter of doing a little research and finding out more about that day, like what day of the week was that (April 17, 2000 was a Monday).
For me, it is important to get as many details as I can right. Am I going to get everything 100% right? Nope! But, I try to get as much right as I can and whatever I don’t get right, I will consider it artistic license. But I know there are people out there who will call me out on the details and I will do my best to get as my of them right as I can. But, mistakes will be made as I am only human. As are we all.