One day I was reading a local Toronto newspaper when I came across a report that shocked me. The header image for the article featured Paris Hilton in serious distress, actually screaming and crying, if you allow me to write. A guy companion of hers sat beside, looking equally terrified.
I read the story and was touched to learn my favorite idol had almost been lost in a plane crush. The article said a small private plane that Paris had taken a ride in had stalled in mid-air and then started to jerk and lurch and tilt violently. The plane struggled on, according to the report, until something just gave up and the damned thing started to hurtle down precipitously toward the skyscrapers of Dubai where it certainly would have crushed had the hero pilot not come up with a last gasp save.
The story completely overwhelmed me and I really believed Paris had almost died. It was only days later when TMZ reported all this had been a hoax. The whole thing had been a stunt aimed at promoting the Hilton hotels group in Dubai, and Paris had known everything from the start, so claimed TMZ. I didn’t of course accept this revelation as the end of the whole affair, and I remained upset because jokes that involve lying about a death or near death don’t impress me. I certainly had been taken for a ride in a bad way, and I continued to grieve even though I later realized I’d been too naïve to believe the images as genuine. Others soon forgot but I didn’t. The shock had just been too much, and I would have continued hurting until I realized the only way to get something out of the whole thing and forget would be for me to pen a novel about it. I only needed one minute to see that the thought actually had some merit to it, and voila, the idea for ALIENATED was born. My heroine is captured by aliens and spirited away!