— Gwyn Hyman Rubio, author
How a Special Girl Comes to Life
"I always knew I was going to write about a little girl who was different. I grew up with epilepsy in rural South Georgia. I decided to give my little girl a neurological disorder that would set her even more apart."
"I knew I was going to give my little girl Tourette Syndrome, and I knew a lot about her — but I didn't have a name. So, one day my husband and I were walking in the cemetery — it's not a strange thing to do in [our town] — and our eyes simultaneously fell upon the marker 'Icy'."
"And then, a few markers down, we saw 'Sparks' and that was that. My little girl's name would be 'Icy Sparks.' The next day I began my novel, and the words just flowed easily for me."
"I had a young cousin, Rachel, who died tragically at age 20. She was into performing arts, and had a beautiful voice — a lot of energy. And she had that beautiful, yellow, golden hair. So, that's when I thought about Icy. I decided to tap into Rachel's energy."
Keeping the Reader in Suspense
"I waited until the end [of the book] to let the reader know what was wrong with Icy. You don't know until the epilogue that Icy has Tourette Syndrome. I did that deliberately, because I wanted people to grow to love her."
"A novel writes itself. I thought the novel would end on a sad note. But as I wrote the novel, I began to feel healed, because Icy was feeling healed. And at one point, she just took a hold of my heart. She led me into a positive direction and into a hopeful ending."