Wow, I can’t believe it’s been five years. It seems like only yesterday I was working late into the night on my weird, subversive, romantic, action-filled, and dinosaur-packed novel Over the Rainbow.
I’ve gone on to write eight novels since, have signed with a literary agent, have a new book out on submission to editors, but there will ALWAYS be a special place in my heart for Over the Rainbow. One of my favorite films is The Wizard of Oz, and it was such fun telling a modern day version of that most classic tale.
Why draw from The Wizard of Oz so much in Over the Rainbow? The idea of re-imagining one of my favorite movies of all time was actually an accident. When I started outlining the book, I didn’t think about The Wizard of Oz, but the similarities started popping up right away, and ultimately they had to either be embraced or dismissed. I knew the main character Zippy Green was going to meet three people on her journey, and I also knew I wanted to send her to Seattle, Washington. When I learned that a nickname for Seattle is The Emerald City, I knew that The Wizard of Oz was destined to become a major part of my book.
I thought it was fun in the writing to incorporate elements of The Wizard of Oz just enough so that the fans would see how it’s all a subversive, modern re-imagining, but I also made sure to have the references be subtle enough so that you could read Over the Rainbow without thinking about The Wizard of Oz, and the book would still work on its own. Some moments are obvious (Zippy says “I have a feeling I’m not in Kansas anymore” in Chapter 2), and some are super specific, the kind of in-jokes you’ll blink and miss if you’re not paying close attention (take note of Zippy’s home address).
The first title was Once Upon a Time in Topeka, then I went with Enraptured for awhile. In the end I love that the book is called Over the Rainbow. Not only does it reference the classic film, and not only does a rainbow show up in the final scene, but the image of the rainbow brings to mind pride and tolerance in the LGBT community, which is the most prevalent and important theme that runs throughout the book.
If you care to read Over the Rainbow this Labor Day weekend, feel free to order a copy on Amazon! Your support would be greatly appreciated.