That’s what we started calling it after awhile. I’m not sure when the oddities actually began. They could’ve been there all along, trying, but failing, to get my attention.
The first one that I can distinctly recall happened several months after I started writing, and had to do with Sunny’s name.
I’m not sure why that name popped into my head when I was searching for a name for her. There was never any other. I tried to change it several times. After all, it seemed a pretty silly name for a creature of darkness. But she wouldn’t give it up, so I let her keep it while in the back of my mind I searched for another.
March 18, 2009, I stopped fighting it.
Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the movie Twilight, was scheduled to appear that day at a Wal-Mart in Lancaster as part of a publicity tour. She’d just released her memoirs in a wonderfully-organic little book called Twilight Director’s Notebook: The Story of How We Made The Movie.
Being an avid fan of both the Twilight book series and the movie, I made the three-hour drive to the desert city. Like several hundred other fans there, I bought my books (yes, several as gifts for friends) and dutifully waited in line for Catherine’s arrival.
It was while I was sitting in line chatting with the people around me that I saw Sunny’s name. It was printed on a Wal-Mart security badge, and hung around the neck of an attractive dark-haired young woman who seemed to be somewhat in charge. Whether she actually was or not, I don’t recall, because at that moment, the only important thing to me was – that name.
S-U-N-N-Y. Spelled exactly the way I’d been spelling it. I’ve wondered since then if it was short for Sunshine, like the character who had taken over my life.
But there it was, in big, bold letters, appearing to me out of nowhere at a time when I was most determined to change her name.
My first reaction was mild shock. But the more I thought about it, the weirder it seemed to get. Because it wasn’t just that it appeared at a time crucial to the writing of Watcher. It appeared, surrounded by vampire-lovers, at an event celebrating one of the most-cherished vampire stories ever made into book or film.
It is really odd when you think about it.
After several minutes of stunned contemplation, I just looked up into the air and said, “Alright. I get it. Your name is Sunny. I’ll stop trying to change it.”
I’m sure she was laughing at me, glad she didn’t have to beat me over the head with it. Which she kinda did.
When I tried to rationalize her name, to explain why she had such a name, I suddenly understood why that was the best name for her.
Belonging now to the night, she clung to her birth name as a reminder of her human life, to symbolize that even in darkness there can be light.
Sure wish she’d explained that earlier.
Anyhow, that is the story of how Sunny got, and kept, her name.
And, that is the first example of what I call ‘Watcher Weirdness.’
Stay tuned to the blog – I have plenty more, and some of them are really weird.