J.D. Woodson was born Chicago, Illinois in 1992. He grew up in Palos Park, a quiet suburb southwest of Chicago. During his early years, J.D. gained a fondness towards poetry and continued to writing it through primary school and high school, winning small awards for his work. He would attend Columbia College Chicago with intent to major in poetry, however he shifted his focus and major to Fiction Writing due to his love for storytelling. After his sophomore year, he would take a leave of absence to study outside of the workshop method he was taught and gained experience as a ghostwriter which his projects spanned from fiction to non-fiction. To read more about J.D., you can visit him on his website.
I was fortunate enough to snag a spot with a Guest Post on this blog tour, even more fortunate to have J.D. Woodson elaborate on the conception of his first volume in A Space Between Worlds. Thank you and I hope all of you enjoy reading this post.
To initiate things, I would like to give many thanks to Sissy Lu for showing interest in my work and honoring me the chance to write in her stead today. I’ll try to be as clear and concise in discussing the conception for my debut novel, A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception.
To preface, A Space Between Worlds originally started as entirely different story, to tell you the truth, however in the four iterations it saw, many of its core themes were retained. Originally, the idea blossomed three years ago at university. One day in late October, there was an abundance of rainfall; gentle and hushed. I always held a fascination towards rain and no different than what I would usually do, I stepped outside and allowed myself to bath in it. For some reason or another, I wondered how it would be if I couldn’t be kissed by raindrops. As I pondered, I lowered my eyes and focused on my reflection rippling in a nearby puddle. The world captured within that reflection was foreign to me, along with who I saw. There was a time in my life where I carried an unnerving regret day after day, as if I was at guilt for breathing. I always questioned who I was simply because I hadn’t an inkling of identity. This is connected to the reasons why I gravitated toward writing poetry at a very young age, it was the method of uncovering the answers I was seeking. I took the image of the rippling world and myself and those regretful thoughts to compose Static Rain, a short story which followed a man named Reno who found himself in a world of eternal rain; a rain that refused to sooth him.
While bits of Static Rain were retained such as the character Reno, several themes, and motifs, A Space Between Worlds wasn’t truly conceived until after the unexpected departure of a dear friend from this world. A wonderful young woman she was. One of few who pushed me to follow my goal of being a novelist. I found out about her suicide which transpired few weeks after we last had spoken; Static Rain was the basis of our conversation. As always, she praised my work and was confident that I would one day be what I longed for. Though we hadn’t seen each for quite some time at that point, she still held me in high regard. We made a promise to each other that we’d fulfill our lives’ purposes. And I reiterated that promise at her wake.
The story was born of lost, regret, introspection, identity, life, death, cycles, bonds and self-discovery but more importantly a promise. Shanti and Reno both reflect those concepts through their own journeys. For instance, the curses Shanti and Reno bear are personifications of their plights.
I wanted to write a story that gave emphasis to the concept of self. Unfortunately, there are those, including myself at one point, who hadn’t had a chance to explore the world born within themselves. In this place, I believe, who you are truly are rests. Both the positive and negative aspects, persona and shadow. Often times than not, people are given a false map devised by others that lead them to wander and become lost. This story and series, advocates introspection; a practice all of us need to partake in.
Ah, there is so much I would be willing to discuss but I rambled on long enough! We can continue this dialogue sometime soon. If interested, I’ll always be around on my site and other social media.
-Ja Ne Minna!
Songstress Shanti’s final performance is no different than any other. Gazing into the mirror, the Songstress laments her faceless curse. To hide her unsightliness, she dons a beautiful mask. She knows she doesn’t belong in the darkness. Her desire is to live in a world of eternal light, to be seen for who she truly is.
An enigmatic man who calls himself Avidia beckons Shanti, claiming to know how to conceive the world of light sleeping inside of her, and escape her current world of darkness, Cauraaha. Avidia poses the question that will be the key to her desire, as well as an unresolved pain:
“What is your first memory?”
Reno, a gentle florist, has his own stigma, a translucent coil of thorns wrapped around his arm, draining him of life at the utterance of the word “Promise”. Hidden away in his heart is the knowledge of a past he doesn’t wish to face, one that connects to Shanti, Avidia, and her curse.
A dual narrative of introspection and self-discovery, A Space Between Worlds eloquently questions the truths of life and death, timeless bonds, and regret through lyrical imagination, philosophy, surrealism, and a journey through the unconscious mind.
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