I grew up in Iowa and currently live in Chicago. Swallowtail was inspired by events which occurred shortly after my dad's passing in 1998. My dad and I engaged in regular conversations regarding the possibility of life after death and exchanged numerous books on the subject years before he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
After a year of unexplainable events following his passing, it occurred to me that had I transitioned first, I would've done everything in my power to get his attention. I assumed that most people had similar experiences and set out to create a work of fiction that would encourage people to discuss those experiences more openly. It worked - yay!