It was a gorgeous day, and E and I were zipping along the bypass when I decided to take a photo of Rhuddlan Castle as we passed. I took out my phone and snapped, and in that instant I not only managed to get the castle in all its sunshiny glory, but a car which was also zipping along the bypass - in the opposite direction.
My phone doesn't have a high-speed shutter. We were zipping at about 70mph, and so was the other car. And I'm no fly photographer. But in that instant, I caught not only the castle, but a perfect shot of something completely unexpected as well.
And that was a revelatory moment for me. That something unexpected appearing in a brief glimpse of what you thought you were looking for...only to find yourself faced with a new prospect entirely.
That was exactly what happened to me when I first had the idea to write PURGE. My first attempt at writing it happened a few years ago, and although the scene that inspired the story is no longer a part of the MS, I'll never forget that one, clear idea and how it eventually snowballed into something I'm so, so excited about.
It wasn't so much a scene as a glimpse of one - my MC being ejected from a cylinder full of goo, lying naked on the grille floor as two salvagers look down at him in shock (they didn't expect to find anyone in a storage unit on a disused moon). That was it.
When I started to build on that, the story went in a very different direction for a while - it was more Red Dwarf-ish, with my MC tagging along with 2 life-battered and cynical salvagers in their equally battered spacecraft. But then my MC became Mason, and Mason had his own ideas. Or more specifically, he had a voice, and I couldn't not listen to him. And the MS took a very different, very twisty kind of turn, and the rest is... well, hopefully you will get to see what the rest is, one day. Hopefully.
But Mason wasn't what I expected, and neither was PURGE - and that was no bad thing. Certainly better than an old green car!