How Hydraulic Began

How Hydraulic Level Five began
It’s no secret that I have a fanfiction background. It was a fantastic way to dive into writing, and I met some amazing people and developed lasting friendships because of it. I never would have pursued a graduate degree in creative writing if I hadn’t been encouraged by these friends.

I began writing Hydraulic Level Five when I was in grad school, as a pressure-free counterbalance to the material I wrote for my classes. I think because it was for fun and not for academic recognition, I wasn’t afraid to give myself over to it. It also helped that I didn’t have to hand it over to a classroom of peers for a face-to-face critique: the anonymity afforded by a computer screen is emboldening (of course, it can work for better or for worse!)

How Hydraulic Level Five became a book
In 2009 our first child was born prematurely and, tragically, didn’t survive (this is why the charity Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is near and dear, and I advocate for the work they do). It was extremely difficult to pick up my laptop and begin to write after we lost our son. When I did, of all my work Hydraulic Level Five is what I returned to first.

I believe so many women can connect to Kaye because they have felt the joys and pains she has felt. It also deals with real life issues society tends to shy away from, and shouldn’t. Because of this, I wanted Hydraulic Level Five to be my first fiction on bookshelves above anything else I’d written.

When I reread the story, I noticed something interesting—my writing style in the second half of the book (now Skygods) was more “grown up” than the first half (now Hydraulic Level Five). So when I rewrote Hydraulic Level Five for publication, one of my challenges was to make it match Skygods’ tone. I also moved the entire setting to Colorado, which opened the story up to some entertaining characterizations, culture changes, and delicious metaphors. A lot was also chopped, quite a few scenes were added, and it helps the story’s pacing immensely—it only makes the read better, in my opinion. I’m very happy with the end result, and I think readers both familiar and unfamiliar with the story will be, too.

And now, readers have Fourteeners to look forward to–the third and final book in the Hydraulic series, never seen before and currently being written!

Hydraulic Series