I had the pleasure of editing a short story for my dear friend, Craig Boyack. He’s been on the blog before. Craig has an excellent blog, where he shares his writer’s life. The Idea Mill posts always get the creative juices flowing. Recently, Shawnee Daniels from Wings of Mayhem made an appearance on Lisa Burton Radio. Lisa is the spokesmodel for Craig’s blog; she’s also a fantastic character. The end result of putting a tough-as-nails hacker/cat burglar in the same room with a robot girl who doesn’t easily back down is hilarious. The one time I let Shawnee out of my sight, she starts a cat fight. Lesson learned. Needless to say, I doubt she’ll be invited back anytime soon. LOL
Thanks for hosting me today, Sue. I’m touring around my newest book of short stories and micro-fiction, called The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II. Since the first one performed so well, I decided to release another one.
Sue actually helped with an edit of one of these stories, and invited me here to talk about it. This one is unusual, for me, in that there is no speculative element. No spaceships, ghosts, ogres, or gods. This one is pure premeditated murder. Right up Sue’s alley. (Note from Sue: Oh, yeah!)
My father went to school as a geologist, and actually worked in that field before I arrived and screwed things up. Geologists spend a lot of time on the road, and in camps. That era even required six month tours of Australia and South Africa looking for precious minerals. He took a job that let him come home at night and never looked back.
This doesn’t mean geology ever completely left. We spent many a day prospecting for gold, or staking claims all across Northern Nevada. There were many campfires, and stories told around those fires. There was one particular story that stuck with me all these years. It involved a rock in someone’s shoe. Not all rocks and minerals are benign, and this one cost a man his leg. It’s a true story, but I write fiction.
One night, I was driving home from work and heard a song. It was so captivating that I pulled over to the side of the road and used my Soundhound app to find out what it was called and who performed it. Then I downloaded it into my phone so I wouldn’t forget. It’s called “The Devil Within,” by Digital Daggers. I brought it up on YouTube, but the video is crap (Note from Sue: I rather enjoyed the video). Still, the music is there, and I’ll provide Sue a link if she wants to include it. Those haunting lyrics, and all that premeditation flooded my writer brain.
My Muse’s name is Lorelei, and she was waiting for me the next time I made my commute to work. She coerced and threatened until I wrote Practical Geology. For whatever reason, I couldn’t not write it. I had to get it out of my head. Combine the feeling from that song with my Dad’s old story, and you get Practical Geology.
This left me with the question, “What the heck do I do with it?” I’ve branded myself as a writer of speculative fiction. This involves real world stuff. My last Experimental Notebook contained twelve tales, all speculative. The new Notebook contains fifteen, because there are two that don’t have the speculative element. I figure readers can look at them as freebies if they were expecting all spec tales. At 99¢, I don’t think I’m ripping anyone off.
The stories are experimental in nature, thus the titles. This is where I try out new things, and it helps me grow as a writer. There is a story where I attempt epistolary style for the first time. I wrote Practical Geology as an extended monologue. I think it works, and it would have been much longer if more characters were used. This way it’s tight and gets to the point after plenty of tension.
I’d love for you to come experiment with me. The bulk of the book is speculative in nature. There will be hauntings, aliens, monsters, and more. Then there is a little Practical Geology. Maybe you’d like to share some of these around your own campfires.
Note from Sue: I loved the murder method used in Practical Geology so much I’m adding it to the next 60 Ways to Murder Your Characters.
“No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.” – Plutarch
Connect with Craig.
On Facebook don’t be surprised when you see Lisa. She runs his page: https://www.facebook.com/ColdhandBoyack
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY