At its core, “Once Lost, Gone Forever” is a coming of age story. As a huge fan of novels like The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, I set out to create a supernatural tale that transforms the chaotic nature of teenagers into an overt “gift” that the two lead characters use to express themselves, albeit with dangerous results. For so many reasons, Inali and Melissa are unlike anyone I’ve ever met, yet they both share similarities with virtually every friend I had growing up—in particular their desire for belonging as well as their craving for a life that’s just over the horizon but always somehow out of reach.
Just before I wrote “Once Lost, Gone Forever,” my own best friend from high school moved across the country to start fresh with a new partner. While I was (and am) so happy for her, it got me thinking about how much our bonds forged when we’re children impact us for the rest of our lives. We don’t require friends in the same practical way we need family. Friends fill a different type of need, one that helps us understand who we are and how we fit into the world. With these themes in mind, I wanted to craft something dedicated to that profound feeling of young friendship. An ephemeral, even ethereal experience, I hope I’ve done it justice.
Be sure to check it out on February 28, 2015.