Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tell Me About Heaven: 
A Behind the Scene Look at Don't Fear the Reaper

Tell me about Heaven, Dad
I really want to know,
Because ten long years have passed,
And I miss you so...
~Michelle Muto

The above stanza is from a poem I wrote to my father ten years after his death. I cannot begin to describe what it was like to lose my father, whom I loved more than my very being. All these years later, I'll freely admit it: I'm a Daddy's girl. We're so much alike, he and I.  was robbed of him far too soon by multiple myeloma, a brutal and incurable cancer often contracted by toxins through the skin. He worked his whole life as an airline mechanic for a large airline - a job he loved.

For those who have read Don't Fear the Reaper, it's easy to see the real life example I used. It's easy to spot the grief, the emotion I used for my main character, Keely Morrison.

After all, there's the old writing advice of write what you know, right?

But there's so much more to Don't Fear the Reaper than just that. There's the story of literary agents and why the economy played a part in my decision to go indie.

There are other things, too. Like research. The strangest research I've ever done? Interview a morgue. Yep. I needed to know about the condition a body might be in, tools used in an autopsy, among others.

On a less morbid note, there's a playlist. No book is ever really complete without one, right? So, what did I listen to once the book was in place?

For the movie goers, there's always the question of who'd play Banning (Simon Baker), Keely Morrison (Claire Foy), and Daniel (I still don't have a clue). Ideas anyone? I'd love to hear them.

If you haven't read Don't Fear the Reaper, the first chapter is one my site here.


  1. Wow, Michelle. What a personal story. I was all choked up at the first line! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I came across this randomly through links... beautifully written and moving. I make playlists too when I write or read.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad Michelle. I lost both my parents to cancer before I turned 23, so I totally understand. I have not read DON'T FEAR THE REAPER, but it's close to the top of my TBR pile--and your post today makes me think I ought to boost it higher.

  4. Thanks, guys. The beauty about writing is that it's also a release.