This is a little intro piece I wrote that was published by DarkFuse as bonus material at ASH AND BONE’s original launch. Thought I’d share it here, since Crossroad Press just re-released that creepy little novella. Enjoy!
Often I will encounter some odd little thing that triggers a story idea, especially for my shorter work. Almost anything might strike me. For example, a little coin-operated clock I saw in a museum inspired my short story Caught in Time (published as bonus material with my novel THE JANUS LEGACY).
It can be a turn of phrase. Once on a road trip, we stopped for gas in Iowa. We happened to pump $6.66 worth. When we went inside to pay, the clerk took one look at the amount and declared to my boyfriend, “That’s a bad number, Mister.” That sentence was too good to ignore. I used it in a short story entitled Hunting with the Boys, in which the protagonist stops for gas on his way to a rather ill-fated hunting trip involving some deer bent on revenge.
More recently, a wonderfully photographed scene from an old movie struck me so strongly, I remember sitting there and thinking I just had to use it in a short story or novella. ASH AND BONE opens with this dark, foggy noirish waterfront scene. I started drafting the novella with that scene, but still had to decide (and I went back and forth on this!) who would be in that scene, what that person would be doing there, how that scene would tie into the remainder of the story, and so on.
Mere words on a sign can spawn a story, too. When we lived in Minnesota, there was a small office building not far from home. On one side were the words “Control House.” Well, if those words don’t burst with potential, I don’t know what does. I thought about it for a while, and eventually came up with my short story, Control House.