Behind The Scenes: Writing of Saving My Heart

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So, I've been working off and on over the last year to rewrite and perfect this novel. I've added an additional section to make it longer, and drew out the story. So, I'm kind of pleased with the process. But I thought it might be interesting to take you behind the process a little. To see how this story has been developing and reworking itself on Wattpad.

I started writing this story back in 2015 when I got sick. The picture above was the original novel cover I made. The picture is of a mansion in Malibu, CA where I got the idea. In fact, it was a dream I had, wandering around a mansion and it was being torn down. I saw the bull dozer outside wrecking the house behind the main house from an upstairs bathroom. I went home from this trip, opened a Wattpad account, and started writing down my dream that I wanted to turn into a story. 

Then, I had a heart attack. Yes, you heard that right. After a week of getting back from taking this picture, I got sick with what seemed like bronchitis. It later turned into pneumonia. Yup, at age 46, at the peak of my teaching career, I found myself in the hospital 3 weeks before Christmas 2014. While I was in the hospital, my lungs started filling up, and I got sicker and sicker. I had a heart attack and was dead for 60 seconds. But luckily, remember, I was in a hospital. So, they revived me and I ended up in a coma for six days. 

During that time, I had five doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I was basically living at the center of my own live "House"(American Doctors TV show) episode.  But things were looking bad. First the doctors told my family I wouldn't live through the weekend. Then, they told them to think about making arrangements for me, I might not make it through the night. At about 24 hours after the heart attack, I was starting to have organ shut down and I went septic. Finally, one of the doctors thought, let's do an ultrasound of her heart. Guess what? There was a 1.6cm blood clot inside my heart behind a valve. They gave me a blood thinner (Wafarin), and I started to get better. So, to make it short, I am lucky to be alive. 

So, after all this happened, and 13 days in the hospital total, I came home and found myself needing to do physical therapy for months. I couldn't do much but lay on the couch. But I could write. So, I wrote the story for that novel I had the idea for a week before I got so sick. I named it "Saving My Heart" because that is also what I was doing while I was writing it.

Some other behind the scenes interest to you might be how I got some ideas for the characters. I've always observed people and noted details. It's fun for me. I've always made up stories about what I see too. That guy walking by, he's shuffling. Maybe he just got dumped by his girlfriend. I know, weird. But it's just something I basically did sometimes to keep from being bored. Now it's really useful in developing characters.

I also base characters on people I know. Sometimes I even tell them. ;-) The character of Mark in this story is based on a real friend of mine while growing up. I say that because we hung out together in our early 20s. We are both almost 50 now. So, yeah, I've known him 30 years almost. He is gay, just like Mark, and does have that infectious humor. 

I'll also tell you a secret. Julie, the MC, is based on me. Authors often base the main character on themselves, or even part to themselves. I gave her some of my background. I think I mention it in earlier author notes as I wrote the chapters. But I really did have my boyfriend die in a motorcycle accident, and it sucked. I couldn't talk about him for a year. It's easier now, since it's been 30 years. He was my first love. So, yeah. Can't forget him. In fact, I wrote him as a character in another one of my books in which he is a time traveler that dies. So, I guess, I'm still working out that hurt in my writing. 

And the whole scene with the funeral was really his funeral 30 years ago. But I changed it around a bit to fit this plot. It was his ex-girlfriend that was a friend of his older sister that came to the funeral and took the role of girlfriend with his family, even though I was his girlfriend at the time. She just showed up at the funeral, rode with the family, sat in the front row. His friends just looked at me, because they knew I'd been dating him when he died. But I didn't want to make a scene. Maybe his family didn't either, but it hurt a bit, because where was she when I was ironing his clothes to be buried in with his sister. But I digress. Sometimes somethings still stay with you 30 years later. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the ways I've come up with characters and the plot for Saving My Heart. I hope you enjoyed reading the novel. Maybe some day I'll self-publish it, but since it was born on Wattpad, it will always have a home here. It was my medicine for getting through healing my heart, and a true labor of love to write. So, hopefully no matter it's future, it will remain an active part of Wattpad for years to come. 

Thank you for reading. Please add comments on what you thought of the novel, my writing process, etc. And PLEASE check out my other Wattpad writing projects. Thanks for stopping by and reading my novel. 

For more information on Marilyn Vix, visit her website at:

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