I began writing Dragonfly shortly after having a strange dream. Dreams have never before informed my fiction and I don’t generally recommend that authors depend upon sleep as a muse. However, in this case, the dream was so vivid and interesting that I couldn’t shake it. What was the dream? It was that we existed in world in which it was possible to bring the dead back to life.
Not zombies. Not those buried for centuries. Not the dead dead. But that people who were dead, say, a few hours ago or even a few days ago could possibly be rejuvenated into existence once again. If a process (one I later named “post-death recovery”) was possible, what would it mean to the world? Would it mean that those who were able to afford the best of medical interventions could lead second or third lives while the poor could lead only one? Did it mean that we could begin building the brain, itself, in a laboratory? What would this kind of intervention mean? And who would come up with it?
That’s when I invented my protagonist, Kira Adams. Kira is a high school senior completely obsessed with science and with enough youthful enthusiasm to let her plow through boundaries. She’s got an unusual mind, a prodigious memory, the ability read research papers the way I might read an issue of the New Yorker, and she’s young enough to not stop herself imaging something apparently impossible.
Not that I make it easy for her. It’s been said that a writer’s job is to put their characters into hot water, then turn up the heat. That’s pretty much what I do with poor Kira from the moment she arrives on the page, with school problems, money problems, family problems, and a big lie that will turn out to change her life.
Dragonfly will be published in early 2020 but Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins USA