Happy Release Day "Purple Daze"! Sherry Shahan was nice enough to share about her inspiration for the book and sent me some pictures to post.
"While cleaning out a closet I unearthed a shoe box jammed with letters from a friend who was a Marine in Vietnam. He was one of my girlfriend’s (Nancy in the novel) boyfriends. I became his most faithful pen pal, long after Nancy broke up with him. I had kept his letters more than 40 years. Rereading them is what inspired Purple Daze, originally called Love, Phil, which was how he signed them."
"Then I began playing around with viewpoints of other kids I'd known in high school. I wanted to be inside the heads of each character to explore their innermost thoughts and feelings, not just describe them from the outside looking in. I could have accomplished this with an omniscient viewpoint -- but bouncing in and out of some many minds could be confusing. Instead I chose journal entries, letters, free verse and traditional poetry. Verse mirrors the pulse of adolescent life. To me, condensed metaphoric language on a single page is a good reflection of their tightly-packed world."
Shahan was nice enough to send me some pictures to share with all of you. I thought these were so cool and I am so glad she sent them!
Here is Sherry in High School
2- The man that inspired Mickey.
3- The inspiration for Phil with his machine gun.