On my way home from the post office one afternoon, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Grace happens.” I love the idea of grace, which I define as the unsought, undeserved good that comes to us. And I thought, Grace! What a great theme for a story. I knew I wanted to write a novel about a dog, and at that moment I decided to name her Grace and show her as a grace in someone’s life. From that spark of a beginning, the story slowly evolved.
I also wanted to show the importance of the bond that can develop between a person and an animal and the influence they can have on each other. So I tried to think of ways they could both be vulnerable at the beginning of the story and then help each other become healthy and strong. I’m not sure how the idea of going postal came to me except that I was looking for a dramatic first chapter. After that, a quest was inevitable to answer: Why did he shoot me?