Bob Ross tried to tell us there were no such things as accidents. He went on to make happy little trees or birds out of stray brushstrokes. In my writing, I try to apply the same idea. Not every turn of phrase becomes a bird or tree, but I do try to pull together the best version of prose for what I try to convey. The best of my work though, so far at least, comes when all the threads I’ve been teasing along separately, finally pull together. Emotional reactions, internal monologues, plot elements, and palpable tension all build to a crescendo of words. It helps if I’ve experienced some or all of what I’m writing about, but that isn’t entirely necessary either. The climax of Fantastic America was like that for me. I piled on the pressure for my main character, Ashley Monahan, until she couldn’t take one more thing. Then I gave her that one more thing and watched (as much as wrote) the resulting explosion. The aftermath made her a stronger character, a stronger person, and the only character capable of doing what the story needed. Serendipitous even!