Guest Blog: Christine Dzidrums

The Library Mistress welcomes Christine Dzidrums author of the SoCal series

16 Little Known Facts about Kaylee: The “What If?” Game

♥ The title character in Kaylee: The “What If? Game was first introduced in Dzidrums’ debut novel, “Cutters Don’t Cry.”

♥ Kaylee: The “What If?” Game offers an update on Charity, the lead character in “Cutters Don’t Cry.”

♥ Like Kaylee, Ms. Dzidrums moved from Southern California to Issaquah, Washington, and then back to Southern California.

♥ Kaylee: The “What If?” Game tells the story of a suicidal teenager who is institutionalized after suffering a nervous breakdown. Ms. Dzidrums based part of the story on her own nervous breakdown many years ago.

♥ Many characters in Kaylee: The “What If? Game were partially based on real patients and hospital staff that Ms. Dzidrums met during her stay in a psych ward. The first patient to reach out to Dzidrums was an anorexic whom she nicknamed “Air.”

♥ Like Kaylee, Ms. Dzidrums also suffers from panic attacks but has revealed that she rarely gets them anymore.

♥ “Kaylee: The “What If?” Game took three and half years to write. Ms. Dzidrums explained that it was harrowing reliving the darkest time of her life. She would periodically take long breaks from writing the novel because it brought back so many disturbing memories.

♥ In early drafts of the novel, Kaylee only communicated via lengthy emails to different recipients, including her father. The idea was scratched when the author felt the idea seemed too similar to “Cutters Don’t Cry,” which featured a teenager writing a journal to her father.

♥ A love interest for Kaylee was cut from the novel. In early drafts of the book, Kaylee fell for a fellow patient named John. The storyline was dropped because the author feared it might romanticize the psych ward setting.

♥ In early drafts of the book, Kaylee had a fourth roommate, a 75 year old widow who ignored everyone and spent all her time on her cell phone chatting with friends. The character was cut because she took attention away from the more interesting characters.

♥ Mark, the young husband and father in the book, was originally a larger character who often interacted with Kaylee.

♥ A detailed layout of the psych ward was created but not included in the final version of the book.

♥ Several additional scenes centered on Kaylee’s panic attacks at the hospital were omitted from the book’s final version because they were deemed too repetitive.

♥ Dzidrums often listened to the song “Irvine” by Kelly Clarkson to get into Kaylee’s mind before she began writing.

♥ The initial cover of Kaylee: The “What If?”Game featured the title character overlooking the Pacific Ocean with the famed Santa Monica Pier in the background. The cover was scrapped because it didn’t represent the character’s ever-present anxiety.

♥ Ms. Dzidrums next book, “Life Before Elmo,” will focus on Susie Alvarado a minor character referenced in Kaylee: The “What If?”Game. Dzidrums stated that the whole time she was writing Kaylee, she fully anticipated that her next book would feature “Air” as the lead character. When she chose Susie as the lead in her next book, it surprised even herself.

Title: Kaylee: The “What If?” Game
The SoCal Series #2
Author: Christine Dzidrums 
Publication: March 5, 2014
Publisher: Creative Media 
Genre: Young Adult
Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | BN | Kobo

“I play the 'What If?' Game all the time. It's a cruel, vicious cycle.” In the follow-up to Cutters Don't Cry, meet free spirit Kaylee McMathews, the most popular girl in school. But when the teenager suffers a devastating loss, her sunny personality turns dark as she struggles with debilitating panic attacks and unresolved anger. Can Kaylee repair her broken spirit or will she forever remain a changed person?


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