I always find I have so many things I want to comment and explain about my writing process and the story so I’m putting together a series of “Behind The Scenes” posts to talk about those things and some facts which I think are fun.
I’ll try to avoid spoilers although there might end up being some things that you didn’t notice but would pick up on later so I can’t promise it won’t change your experience of the story as a whole.
I began daydreaming about the story which would become Tamika Wood’s Birthday Party a long time ago. I don’t know exactly when. But I do remember that in the late 00s I had a coworker named “Scott” which felt mildly weird for a few days because I spent so much time with a fictional Scott. But in real life sometimes people have the same names as each other. That also happens in this story sometimes which I, much like Alan Sebastian, find unreasonably annoying. It is also unreasonably annoying that it doesn’t seem to happen much in fiction? So although I wrote a lot of this fairly rapidly it had been brewing for a really long time.
But the first chapter you read (unless you were one of my cheer-readers) was not at all the first chapter I wrote. Chapter 1.8 (The Tape where Gillian briefly revisits her past) was the second chapter I wrote. The first chapter I wrote has yet to appear on the site.
This part of the story is set in the late 90s for two reasons. One – this is when I was the same age as the characters (I have given Alan Sebastian and Michelle my birthday!) and two – I have storylines planned out until Mani – a newborn baby in this part – is in his early 20s. One of the reasons I didn’t feel like I could write Tamika Wood’s Birthday Party for a really long time was that I’d worked out that some of the storylines I’d dreamed up wouldn’t take place until the 2020s!
So as we proceed through with the stories about the Parker family we’ll get closer and closer to the present day and hopefully the story will come pretty close to catching up with us eventually!
That said the story breaks up pretty neatly into different parts so everything that you’ve read already will be resolved long before that.
- The text in 1.5 was originally my summary notes for the chapter but I realised very quickly that I could not improve upon it. It’s still the chapter I am the most pleased with.
- There is one typo which is both deliberate and meaningful.
- The chapter which made me most want to start recording this story as an audio book was 1.10 Stop.
If there are more Questions that you have about Tamika Wood’s Birthday Party please feel free to let me know in the comments and I will try my best to answer them because I desperately desire to infodump about this story.