Goodreads
Goodreads asked W.P. Johnson:

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

W.P. Johnson It's a combination of things.

I've always had this idea about the compartmentalization of human thought (memories, emotions) and the ability to somehow capture it, keep it, give it to someone else. I've written about this before in other stories, but this is the first novel I'm tackling the idea with. In particular, my main antagonist collects the essence of musicians in hopes of somehow achieving transcendence through their collective epiphanies.

As for the seed... I think I just had this idea of a pale man in black going from place to place with a pocket full of glass bottles, collecting people's thoughts. I don't think this is very original, if I have to be honest. The man in black is def something that comes up a lot in dark fantasy. But old ideas can always be done differently and the more I thought about it, the more I started to see a story unfold from start to finish.

The protagonist is a girl named Jolene, but she calls herself Joe. She's sort of inspired by Joan Jett and the singer/guitarist from a band called The Screaming Females, but her experiences are largely drawn from my own experiences playing in bands. She loves music and really values her experience playing live, more so than recordings to the point where she doesn't really listen to records of new bands because she'd rather see them in person. She's the type of person that if a man in black said they wanted to collect her, she'd say no.

And that's pretty much where the whole started to grow. It's a weird story, with elements of fantasy, horror, mystery, and surrealism. And it's pretty much everything I want to say about what music meant to me for a time.

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