Goodreads asked Andrew J. Stillman:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Andrew J. Stillman Technically, my most recent book, "Tides of Darkness" is the sequel to "Immortality Awaits," but the answers kind of go hand in hand together.

I started writing "Immortality Awaits" in the summer of 2007, right after I graduated high school. The months between graduation and the start of college were, for some reason, highly inspirational for me. I just wanted to write all the time.

At the time, being 18 years old, I was a relatively lazy writer. I didn't want to focus on character development, or setting, or any of the other factors that go into writing besides a general plot line. I just saw a shadow in my mind -- a shadow that was floating above characters who were running in fear from it. (And if you've read the book, that shadow became two shadows known as Varnio and Xandio.) I saw a flash of lightning illuminate the shadow as it chased them. And I decided to figure out what the shadow was all about.

Originally, this idea started out as a Harry Potter fan fiction. I'll be honest about it. It was right before the last book came out, and in a sense it was my idea for an ending. Voldemort was going for the Horcruxes, but they were ruled by the Powers of Inwit, and Harry decided to go after them himself. I got about 33,000 words into the fic, and I had only covered "fire." With three elements still in mind, I decided to venture out and make it into my own book. (Just one. Just one book was all I wanted out of this.)

I sat down and wrote the first sentence of the series, "The night air was cold against his flesh." (Which now no longer exists, but that's a whole different story.) I spent the remaining month of my summer working out the story of Jonathan and Isabelle, as well as introducing Donovan, Logan, Gabrielle, and Kaylee. It took me about a year and a half to write the first draft, and the rest (after a really intensive editing process) is history.

More Answered Questions

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more