Many years ago I set off a bookstore's metal detector with a bag full of grocery items. A security guard took a quick peek to see I hadn't pilfered anything. When he saw it was only ginger ale, a loaf of bread, yogurt, and a box of Twinkies he let me go on home. As I walked the street, I wondered what it would be like if this rolled out into an ordeal? What if I was detained for shoplifting and nobody would believe me. What if I'd been imprinting books in my head? That is, if I had a photographic memory and what if that was a crime? It took me a number of years to write "Shades of Luz". I had many failed attempts with other books, but the "Shades of Luz" idea - or at that time "Book Thief" as my file was known kept coming back. I had to write it out of my head. And the book kept evolving as I grew to love my characters deeper and deeper. It became a coming-of-age love story, and a quest for meaning and hope.