Intro to CURE ME


Good news (maybe): I’m writing a thing.

Bad news: I can’t really talk about the thing.

Because if I talk about the thing, I will probably spoil the thing. And then I’d have to kill you.

I'm a pacifist.

The thing is Cure Me, and I wanted to write a whole post on it, but after I sat here and stared at my screen for a while, I realized that I couldn’t really write about coming up with the initial idea without spoiling the rest of the book.

But LOL I’m gonna try anyway.


You know how I had some bad experiences with trains… recently…

At first I was like, “Wow this is awful maybe I should do something about it like Google how to properly ride trains or talk to someone who understands rail systems.”

And then I realized that ACTUALLY, the solution was to WRITE AN ENTIRE NOVEL ABOUT IT.

I mean, sort of, because this novel may have started with a train, but it’s continuing with a web of CIA secrets and a government conspiracy.

Let me go back. I had this idea. This girl. I’ll be the first to admit that she kind of crept up on me, and even after I acknowledged her, she was incredibly illusive. She was someone I couldn’t pin down right away, someone who kept changing every time I tried to write her.

And then, all of a sudden, last month, I knew why.

It was because she didn’t even know who she was. She was screaming because if she kept silent, she felt like she would disappear. She was fighting because if she stopped, she thought she would never matter to anyone.

I thought for a while that that was just an excuse that I made up to make myself feel better about not knowing how to write her. But then one day it hit me that actually, this was what her story was about—fighting to understand who you are, to be heard, to matter.

So I decided to put her in prison. Because METAPHORS.

No, not just because of metaphors, I swear. I decided to drop her into a world that I’d tried to create multiple times over the past few months, but hadn’t been able to (seriously, this was an idea I’d stopped to write down while walking across the Charles Bridge in Prague). All of a sudden, with this character, that world became… right.

And my character, just by being there, changed it. It never ceases to shock me how I can think I know exactly what’s going to happen in a story, but the characters will always manage to do something to throw me off. Basically, I’ll always end up staring at a line I just wrote, going, “That was definitely not part of the plan.”

As I was outlining, one phrase kept running through my head. I don’t remember. I would sort of shake it off because a.) I was not going to write a story about amnesia, and b.) I was not going to write a story about amnesia.

And then she would pipe up again, I don’t remember any of it.

So now, I’ve got to deal with this delinquent high schooler who’s in prison and doesn’t remember what she did to land herself there. But other than that, she’s average. Completely average. Which is interesting to write, after spending a couple years with Charmaine, who is utterly extraordinary in every way. But I think, in this case, it was important that at one point, this girl was just a normal teenager, despite her unusual circumstances.

Because she desperately wants to be special. But she always has that voice in her head, telling her that she’s not. So where do all those secrets come in? Um… guess you’ll have to read to find out? *winks* *offers you many bribes*

This is Evynne Holt.

Evynne Holt

CM wordcount: 19,200 words.

Samantha Chaffin


10 thoughts on “Intro to CURE ME

  1. deshipley says:

    “It never ceases to shock me how I can think I know exactly what’s going to happen in a story, but the characters will always manage to do something to throw me off. Basically, I’ll always end up staring at a line I just wrote, going,
    That was definitely not part of the plan.'” — I live for this. It’s mystifying and horrifying and EPIC.

  2. Bri says:

    You are a genius to be able to connect with your mind and emotions to create such amazing storie…and Cure Me…this is outstanding. I admire your skills and am awestruck by this alternate world full of mystery and suspense. *sigh* this story is taking you places so,do not let go.

  3. thejaneite says:

    GURL. You know that machine in Alias that they use to reconstruct a person into another person? I wish I had one of those so I could be you. I realize, however, that that level of admiration might weird you out, so I won’t pursue that research. Let’s just say I think you’re awesome.

    But all fangirling aside (LOL my fangirling is never really aside) this is going to be a fantastic book. I really love that Evynne is a normal person, but that she’s not bland. She’s got a voice. And that picture is perfectly how I pictured her; it’s kinda crazy just how much I was picturing something like that. Also, 19K words?! Beast.

    So, from all the hints and imagination-bunny-trails that I’ve gotten from your tweets and our conversation, I’m so excited to read on in this novel. Also, PRAISE THE LORD it isn’t an amnesia story. I’m sure if you wrote one, it would be stellar, but there are too many of those. And this is so much better.

    As an after thought, the Lion’s Blaze gif kind of made my day. *cyber high five* (It’s my favorite quote from that video.)

    • samchaffin says:

      LOL I love that you keep referencing Alias whenever we talk about CURE ME, because it’s so true that freakin’ show is where it all started. I mean, not the obsession with spies (I’ve always had a thing for those… See: Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series). But the whole idea for CM. And then you come along, making all of these connections and it just makes me happy. Haha

      Anyway, CAN WE DISCUSS HOW EXCITED I GET THAT I GET TO HAVE YOU AS A READER AGAIN. 😀 As self-indulgent as this might sound… I’ve definitely missed being able to post new chapters of a story on Figment and get your feedback and thoughts.

      YES AMNESIA STORIES ARE EVERYWHERE AREN’T THEY. I was literally sitting there, talking myself out of writing one. …it was a low point for me. Haha

      Gosh I LOVE OLAN ROGERS SO MUCH. I just made my brother watch a bunch of his old videos, because he’s never seen them before, and we both died at Lion’s Blaze. 😛

      • thejaneite says:

        Haha and I’ll try not to *keep* referencing Alias, because CM is totally and completely unique. Sometimes when I discover someone else loves Alias, I get a little crazy. Ahhh yes Ally Carter! I’ve only read the first Gallagher Girl book, but the ‘Heist Society’ books are favorites.

        Haha I’m super excited to BE your reader again!! It makes me so thrilled.

        Oh Olan. He’s really just insane and that’s what I love about him. There are some that just kill me, and Lion’s Blaze is one of those. I just turned my dad onto him recently. 😀

      • samchaffin says:

        Psh, it’s totally okay. 🙂 I get the same way—none of my other friends watched/watch Alias! And yes, Ally Carter’s books were some of the first YA fiction I ever read, besides Shannon Hale. I think I could say that Ally was among the first contemporary YA I ever read. 🙂

        Also I just realized that in my last comment, I began every paragraph with a sentence in caps. *facepalms* I really should stop shouting when I get excited. Haha

  4. Kim says:

    WOW! You did such a great job at describing CURE ME! I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of spies. I think I was at the wrong end of the table when all the spy movies and books got released while I was in high school (Spy Kids, Spy Kids everywhere O_O). However, there are elements in those stories that I certainly love, and I had no trouble getting attached to your new story. There’s so much mystery to CURE ME already and I love the MC 😀

    BTW, I went back and read your train post (TROOOOLLLS IN THE DUNGEON!) and I can see why you feel sore about them. When I rode the trains in England, the only problems I came across was trying ot find a non-reserved seat to sit in. Ugh. But other than that, I was wagging my metaphorical tail as I looked out the window, delighted to actually be on a train (I hadn’t had the pleasure since elementary school).

    I remember the Cambridge train though – at King’s Cross. We were warned that the same train would split during the journey, so we had to make sure we entered the right train car. Considering that none of them were labeled, it was a stressful experience. We asked passengers as soon as we stepped inside, though, so at least it wasn’t a complete guessing game. But yeah. That was REALLY weird. Why do they do that?

    • samchaffin says:

      Thanks, Kim!! Ah yes, the Spy Kids era! That was middle school/junior high for me, and I was drinking it all in. Haha but I totally understand how that would come across for a high schooler. 😉

      LOL the trolls-in-the-dungeon incident still cracks me up every time I think about it. I don’t think that moment could have been more perfect!

      Haha, I am admittedly dramatic about the trains. I’m sure there’s not a secret Let’s-Make-Sam’s-Life-Miserable train club or anything like that… but yes, aren’t the Cambridge trains confusing?! I don’t know why they do that. I’m sure that the English people on the train I was on were laughing on the inside (too polite to do so outwardly). *sigh*

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