Friday, September 24, 2010

Story Spotlight: 'Rough Draft,' 'Fair Game,' 'A Case of Extremes'

Five days until 'A Sudden Outburst of Cosmic Duck,' and I thought I would start a 'Story Spotlight' feature. Today we will take a quick look at three of the book's fifteen stories.

First up is 'Rough Draft.'

Rough Draft is a rather autobiographical story, in some ways. I got the idea as I finished up my first novel, 'Under the Wall.' (Which you can get a free eCopy of for pre-ordering 'Cosmic Duck' in the sidebar to the right!) That novel was about a psychic cat facing off against a serial killer, and I was thinking about serial killers and writing a lot while working on that book.

So it's little surprise that on February 15th, 2010 I got the idea for this story as I walked down my stairs, home alone for the day. Combining my anxiety about my uncertain future as an author with my fear of being hacked to bits by a madman, I managed to turn my nervousness at completing my first novel into a story of a young man nearly passed out drunk in his living room among piles of discarded, sticky energy drink cans.

It's not that autobiographical. :)

Next up we take a gander at Fair Game: Love Suspects. This is one of the rare stories in the book where nobody gets eaten, shot, walks through a wall, or the like. No monsters, talking animals, or sinister extra-terrestrial plots here. This is the reader's introduction to the 'Fair Game' internet prank-show: the near-future's number one comedy program.

In this episode, a loving housewife signs up to be on an episode of what she thinks is a show along the lines of 'Cheaters,' to catch her husband with a disturbingly gorgeous Russian redhead... Why she decided to publicly humiliate herself becomes a pressing question in her mind as she heads to the massive, on-camera confrontation that will change her life.

And a giant dinosaur comes out and eats them! Nope, sorry - you'll have to wait for the other stories for that sort of thing.

Finally, we'll take a look at A Case of Extremes. The first of today's three stories to proudly feature completely fake elements, this tale explores the contrast between two young couples. Both renting homes, they seem like they should have a lot in common.

The primary difference? One couple are so jumpy they might attribute the light in the refrigerator to 'spirits,' while the other are so damned smug in their scientific beliefs that demons could jump out of their fireplace and rattle chains in their face, and they would complain about the creaky boards in the walls.

Just which of these two couples is smarter? I submit that they are both pretty ridiculous. Just how far can they be pushed and just how fanciful will their reactions be?

This was my first attempt at a 'horror-comedy,' and it's one of my favorite pieces in the book. I really had a blast writing it, anyway!

So, you have 5 days to get the pre-order.

Preordering gets you an autographed paperback copy mailed out in one week, as well as download links sent right to your e-mail with a FREE copy of my last novel, 'Under the Wall,' and my 2008 MP3 album 'Chordata.' It's SOOOO worth it!

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