As I’ve gone on about Phase One of my journey into self-publishing, I came to the realization that you, one person who somehow stumbled onto this, have no idea who I am. Well, you know my name, but other than that, I’m just some wannabe author with a Tumblr. I suppose that is an accurate description, but I thought I’d add something to it. No, I’m not going to give you my biography, but I am going to tell you what has inspired me, and, more specifically, what served as an inspiration to my future self-published novel.
I’ll start with Lost. Why Lost? I’m writing a novel, after all, not a TV show. Simple. It inspires not just one story, but everything I write. All that is published, and all the will not be published, has been touched by this fantastic TV show that came at just the right time in my life.
I was fifteen, when Lost premiered. Take a moment if you want to calculate my age now. Go on.
Got it? So it was 2004. The Internet wasn’t quite what it is now. Time was moving much more slowly, as it does when you’re younger. And a new show was coming on the air that was billed as a dramatized version of Survivor. But it was so much more than that. By the end of the first episode, I was hooked.
The summer after the first season cliffhanger felt like one of the longest ever, and it wasn’t just because I hated my job at a new summer camp. I spent hours on message boards and fan sites, reading theories, studying every clue that was presented in the show or released online. What was the monster? What was in the Hatch? Who took Walt? What was up with the Black Rock? What was the Island? Was Rose’s husband still alive?
You get the point. Season two came, bringing about a new story line, new characters, and expanding the world of The Island. And, of course, new questions arose from all of it. Some they tried to answer in the summer after season two ended. ABC invested in a Lost ARG that answered questions about the Numbers and Alvar Hanso. It was exactly the type of experience a show like Lost called for, even though not enough people were paying attention, and “What’s the deal with the Numbers?” remained a widespread question through season 6.
So, I was a bit obsessed. Clearly. Yet Lost introduced a sprawling narrative that superseded its medium. It wasn’t just a TV show. It was an elaborate puzzle, with flashbacks, flash-forwards, and flash sideways only a few of the pieces. Characters had rich histories (and futures). The mythology was immediately intriguing and expansive. There were mysteries (there still are). There were twists. And I loved every minute I spent watching.
Lost is in my creative DNA. It will show up in my writings, intentionally or not. So thank you J.J. Abrahams, Damon Lindelof, and Carlton Cuse, for making something that inspires me.
Heck, those three inspire me just on their own. But that’s for another day.