Sunday, October 18, 2015

What if...and what if...and what if....

Andre Norton and I used to exchange phone calls and letters, and I treasured that because she had an easy way of stirring my imagination. She liked to talk about where fiction ideas came from, and sometimes we'd make a game of it.

She liked archaeology magazines, would mention articles, and ask: What if?

Once we discussed shipwrecks long buried under San Francisco; she'd read about them somewhere. And she asked: What if someone could go there?

Indeed, what if.

What if I sent a character there?

So that particular 'what if' served as a springboard for part of a case file Evelyn Love and Thomas Brock had to tackle. The duo appear in The Love-Haight Case Files, co-authored by Donald J. Bingle and published by WordFire Press.

What if someone could go there? Under San Francisco?

Well, if you're curious what my take on that underground ship graveyard contains, you'll have to read the book. It's part of an AMAZING STORYBUNDLE that's running in October. I'm downloading the bundle 'cause I want to read the other Matt Forbeck, Keith R.A. deCandido, Kevin J. Anderson, and more. They're spooky books. Gotta love spooky books.

And the Love-Haight book has spooky bits, creepy bits, fun stuff, and sections that make you think: What if?

What if a hippie from the Summer of Love couldn't cut ties with the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood? What if his spirit hovered around and continued to seek that 'ultimate high'?

What if a murdered attorney had unfinished work? What if he continued to practice law? And what if he defended other undead?

What if the attorney's resident gargoyle learned how to play World of Warcraft?

What if the city's dark heart started beating more fiercely? What would flow through San Francisco's streets then?

What if Don and I were to write more cases for our intrepid legal team? Indeed, what if.

I browsed Amazon and eBay and found all sorts of odd and old books on San Francisco. I've been reading chapters during the commercials and halftime (football junkie me)...and so I'm asking 'what if' a lot. Go Pack! (Hmmm...didja know I managed to work a Green Bay Packers reference into a case file?)

Andre Norton (not a football fan) taught me a lot of things, including how to twist the ordinary into something otherworldly by asking one question.

What if?

You should try it yourself. What if...and what if...and what if....

And what if you're interested in this AMAZING batch of books, that includes The Love-Haight Case Files? Visit -- you can jump in for as little as $5.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

There's a Bundle of Stories About Time

It’s About Time

My mother was an Imogene Coca fan, and so she watched It’s About Time back in 1966 and 1967, a goofball comedy about two astronauts who accidentally traveled back to prehistoric days and fell in with a caveman clan. I was too young to appreciate it (was it worth appreciating? I dunno), but the theme song was catchy, and that’s all I really remember about it. Oh great, now I have that playing inside my head.

I like the notion of time travel.

In fact, I’m a bit obsessed with the notion of time travel, and have devoured novels on the topic: The Corridors of Time (Poul Anderson, 1965), Timescape (Gregory Benford, 1980), No Enemy But Time (Michael Bishop 1982), Timeline (Michael Crichton, 1999), The Door Into Summer (Robert Heinlein, 1957…I had to read it because of the title alone),  Dinosaur Beach (Keith Laumer, 1971, which I also had to read because of the title), and one of my favorites because I treasure all things Twain: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Mark Twain, 1889). 

I even watched all the time travel movies that came along. Despite the special effects (I am a special effects junkie) I still found that reading about time travel was more satisfying.

In junior high school “The Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury was required reading. It still remains bright in my mind…the thought that stepping on a butterfly could change everything.

I’ve written a few time travel short stories, and I’ve edited time travel anthologies, including Timeshares and Time Twisters, published by DAW Books, and Time Traveled Tales by Silence in the Library, which is included in the AMAZING storybundle now being offered. I am sooooooooooooo looking forward to devouring the other books in this bundle…’cause it’s about time.

I have a story in Time Traveled Tales, but it’s about a character who has traveled forward, rather than back, and how she siphons time from people to keep living. I was inspired by a trip to the Bristol Renaissance Fair in Wisconsin. I saw this beautiful woman painted emerald green, wearing leaves, and hiding in the flowers to surprise visitors. I took her picture and built the story around her. The illo in this blog is from my tale in the book.

If I could travel through time, I’m not sure where I’d go.

Maybe Ancient Egypt because I studied it and find it all so fascinating.

Maybe Rome to see if I can remember any of the Latin I studied.

Maybe early America because I would love to chat with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (the latter penned my favorite quote: I cannot live without books).

Maybe the Jurassic period because I would love to see honking big dinosaurs (from a safe hidey-hole)

Most likely back to the days of my early childhood so I could revel in the company of favorite dogs.

Or maybe I’d be inspired to go somewhere else…based on what I’m gonna read in these books included in this bundle. Thirteen books!

In fact, I should stop writing this blog. It’s about time I started that reading.

Yeah, it’s about time.

Here’s the link so you can indulge your imagination: