I am re-listening to Stephen King’s 11-22-63. Mr. King’s works have kept me inspired throughout the various stages of my writing career. Taking a cue from King (say it out loud, it’s fun.) In celebration of Read an eBook Week, this blog, inspired by Nightmares and Dreamscapes, will give you a behind the scenes look at what inspired my short stories, featured in One Foot in the Door and Other Short Stories by Lynda Rodriguez and one of the many FREE Ebooks available at Smashwords this week.
The title of this collection is a bit on the wordy side and is a bit flimsy. I put a lot of thought into the title. I personally feel that this story, One foot in the door ( the other one in the gutter),is not the strongest in the collection, but I wanted the title to stand out on the many, many eBook markets. The rest of the title, and other short stories by Lynda Rodriguez is a tribute to the late Steve Garrett, whose impeccable timing and booming voice could stop a conversation with a well placed . . .. and other short stories by (insert appropriate author here). Snarky comments could be addressed with . . .. and other short stories by Dorothy Parker.
The cover art was created by my brother, George X Rodriguez, who read all of the stories and designed it after the focal character of his favorite Both Sides. Now. with a tribute to the protagonist of When All is Said, its Done.
One Foot in the Door (the other one in the gutter.) is from the Replacements song “I Don’t Know” The story itself is an extension of a short story I wrote that was based on my Writing for Radio-Televison final in college. The assignment was to write a proposal and pilot episode for a TV series. My proposal was for a show called Choices (I know, I know, but I was a very young and naive writer with limited exposure to actual people.) The show used an ensemble of actors who would appear in every episode but as different characters as the audience got to see all of the what if’s of a single incident. I still think this is a good idea, but it’s a bit convoluted.
My story was actually a what if from my own life. I have always wondered what would have happened if I had kept on dating the guy who introduced me to alternative music and then went back to from whence he came. I tweaked a few things and emerged with the story of a young couple who drifted apart and drifted back together briefly when she shows up on his doorstep offering him the chance to meet their son who she gave up for adoption. The extension takes place when the son, at twenty years old, wants to meet his biological father.
The rough draft of the story was written for a short, short story contest. I fleshed out the 1500 words for this collection
When All is Said It’s Done
This one is a first person narrative of the focal character from my novel Circumstance (coming soon! By June!) I wrote this one to answer the question “Why did she leave?” Unfortunately no one in the reality of the novel ever gets this answer, but having been left hanging by many an author, (Ouida Sebestyen, I’m talking to you!) I wanted someone to know what actually happened, and who better than sweet Vanessa Riley to tell the story to her BFF’s ?
This one is my favorite. I wrote it for a short story contest and it was highly rated. It came about from a conversation I was having with Actor Boy as we browsed in a bookstore. I was quite vociferous in my dislike of the overused zombie/vampire/werewolf genre. I wondered what would happen if the genre logically extended to include the Blob. The main character, Zach and his brother Miguel are based on two of my former students. Once I had the characters in my head, it wrote itself. I called it The Classic because of the classic terrible horror movies that Zach and Trix adore.
Beneath the Bereft
My novel, Circumstance (coming soon! By June!) was originally this epic tome filled with characters all based on some of my favorite people. The characters soon took on lives of their own and I know all of them better than I know most of my blood relatives. The editing for the final draft eliminated several scenes that reveal emotions and motivations that enhance the characters. This story gives the reader a chance to see beyond the character, Sara Harris’s, chilly and sarcastic demeanor.
Both Sides. Now.
This is an idea that I have been knocking around for awhile. It may yet take on a larger life as a book length work. It is based on the concept that there is a reality that is parallel to ours. Not a new concept, but the other universe can observe all of our shenanigans and in the past have exchanged people in order to prevent disaster for us. As the population and media has expanded on our side, the other side has stopped interfering. A teenage girl on their side hijacks the technology to switch out with her person so to prevent an assault. I do like these characters. The opening of the story was brought about by an actual event I saw played out in the hallway of a high school.
Bonus: Chapter One of Circumstance (coming soon! By June!)
The chapter that appears in this book was in the second draft. The third draft version, as well as chapters two-six are available at http://www.ellesview.com