1. Like Sylvie and Cassie, a friend and I nearly drown at North Beach. I didn’t astral project like Sylvie, but I did black out and only wake up when the lifeguard was setting me on the sand.
2. The original book that sparked my interest in astral projection over 20 years ago was Stranger with my Face by Lois Duncan.
3. Though Untethered is not meant in any way to represent the reality of astral projection, I read books, visited websites and followed discussions on the subject. There is some wild stuff out there. Freaked me out but in a good way.
4. Nelson was not in the early drafts of the novel. But it was kind of hard to show how likable Sylvie could be if no one liked her! So Nelson went from not being in, to just making appearances, to being one of the main characters. He is now my favorite character.
5. The novel was not always called Untethered. It started off as a short story called My Confession and then during early drafts I called the novel Precious Possession. I am embarrassed about that and extremely glad my friend’s husband came up with a better title.
6. Untethered was tied for second place out of nearly 1,000 novels in the Mslexia children’s/YA Novel Competition for unpublished or self-published work. The other runner up was Wendy Storer, with Bring Me Sunshine.
7. In the novel, Sylvie’s mother’s cooking skills are scary. This comes from my own experience. No matter how much I love to eat, I struggle to cook. I can find a way to ruin any main meal, no matter how simple. I’m better at making dessert, but I’ve had my experiences with that as well. Like the pineapple upside down cake that never solidified no matter how long it baked, or the brownies that were compared to concrete. You know no one will like it when you need to get a saw to cut it.
8. Sylvie is an artist and often uses paint names to describe colors. My dad paints watercolor. I’ve always loved the sight of those tubes arrayed in a rainbow of shades on his painting table. Today, my living room is an “art gallery” for his work.
9. Like Kevin’s step-mom in Untethered, my mom had an out-of-body experience when giving birth to my oldest brother. She didn’t explore astral projection or OBE’s further like Kevin’s step-mom did, but she says the experience cured her of her fear of death.
10. I had a spontaneous projection when I was little and fell down the basement stairs. It was just for a moment, but long enough to make me believe it was real. Long enough for me to remember the feeling of flying over my own body.