Inspiration Behind Practical Geology by C. S. Boyack

Practical GeologyI 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

Welcome, Craig!

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.

Practical Geology“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:

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About Sue Coletta

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is the bestselling, award-winning author of psychological thrillers and mysteries. OOTG Flash Fiction Offensive magazine published her flash fiction and her short stories are published in numerous anthologies and collections. InSinC Quarterly featured her forensic articles about Radiocarbon Dating and Skeletal Differences. In 2017, Feedspot awarded her Murder Blog as one of the Top 50 Crime Blogs on the net. Sue's also the communications manager for Forensic Science and the Serial Killer Project. As a way to help fellow crime writers, Sue created a team of crime experts (detectives, coroners, police captains, etc.) and founded #ACrimeChat on Twitter. She's also a proud member of the Kill Zone, where she blogs every other Monday.


  1. I loved reading about your dad and the smart choice he made to make you his priority. 🙂 I want to know about the rock. lol! So, I will definitely be reading the book. I’m bogged down right now with work and novels I need to read for work and my own writing, BUT I will get to it soon. Until then, I’m enjoying your blog tour and learning more about you and your writing. 🙂

  2. I’ve already bought Craig’s book, so I’ll be checking out Practical Geology soon enough! Thanks for that, Sue 🙂
    Nicholas Rossis recently posted…Emotional Beats LaunchMy Profile

  3. Love the song. I may have to look it up on Amazon and grab it on mpg3. I really enjoyed the story Practical Geology too. Interesting that your dad had geology in his background. I think it’s a fascinating science.
    Fascinating post, too! 🙂
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  4. That catfight sounds crazy, lol. Hopefully, Lisa and your detective can mend their ways. Great interview!!

  5. My tiny bit of reading time has been spent on this book for the last few weeks. It’s a perfect style of book for those of us who have to get our reading time in little snippits. All of that changes in a few days and I’ll have time to plough through the remainder as I am eager to do.

  6. Super visit on Sue’s blog. I like the idea of the influence of our backgrounds.

  7. I’m making my way through the book to this story with anticipation now!

  8. Another case of “you never know where the Muse might lead you!”
    🙂 –Michael
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  9. I’m really excited to make this stop on the tour. This post was tailored to your request, and it was a challenge not to give the story away. It’s kind of fun to include a video, and I hope your readers enjoy it. Thanks for hosting me today, and for the editing help.

  10. How very interesting that you’ve had experience with geology. It’s even more interesting that you’ve created fiction with that background. I respect authors who create credible speculative stories. It seems a contradiction in terms, but it really doesn’t have to be. Thanks for sharing, both.

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