Where I got the idea for The Departed.
A lot of people have asked me where I got the idea for a book about a fake rapture. I have always been fascinated by the idea of the rapture, and I've met a lot of people over the years, who seemed to not only believe it was going to happen soon, but also wanted it to happen as soon as possible. I even had a friend in high school tell me there was no point in recycling, because she was expecting to be brought up to heaven very soon so there was no need to preserve or reuse our natural resources. That was twenty years ago . . .
I began to imagine what it would be like for someone to fake the rapture and how they could convince so many others to go along with them. I always saw this story with teenagers being the main characters, because I still read a lot of YA and I feel like this type of narrative made the most sense for me as a young adult novel. I've always considered it a dystopia, but I know it's not necessarily one in the traditional sense.
This story germinated for years until I finally sat down and made myself write it. When I began figuring out how the entire conspiracy worked, I realized there were actually several layers to unveil for the reader about who was behind it and what their motivations were. At that point, I knew this story was a series and there were a lot of crazy things that Gwen, Isaiah, Mindy, and the rest of my characters could discover on their journeys for the truth.