There were several influences. I'd been writing a contemporary story about a girl who survived a suicide attempt and the reaction of her classmates when she returned to school. Ultimately it was hitting too close to home. Then I saw a commercial for a medication and one of the side effects was that it could cause suicidal thoughts, especially in young adults. I began to research suicide clusters--which I had heard about before. That became the epidemic. And once I exaggerated the idea, I was able to focus in on the loneliness that Sloane felt. The hope she'd need to survive the series.