Introducing Rafe Keyn and the Real Jake Calcutta

So, there’s this time-travel fantasy I’ve been working on . . .

Round 1: Too Conservative

Years ago I wrote a book titled (at that point) Anodyne. It was going to be the first in a series of connected stories each with a different protagonist, each telling their story under the pseudonym Jake Calcutta.

Long before the book was finished an author friend pointed out that the artsy intellectual guy in the book was nothing like the name would suggest. Jake Calcutta, he said, is a modern day Indiana Jones.

He was right.

I changed the protagonist’s name to Jesse Donovan and the book’s title to That She Is Made of Truth. It may become a series, but not in the way originally intended.

Round 2: Too Cerebral

Continue reading “Introducing Rafe Keyn and the Real Jake Calcutta”


Stephen King’s Yellow Card Man 11.22.63

I’ve stayed up past midnight 3 nights in a row to finish Stephen King’s 11.22.63. Yes, it’s that good (and that long; nearly 900 pages.)

Not a fan of horror, but this one is fantasy/scifi rather than his usual genre. It has time travel. It’s a historical novel. It has romance. In the end notes it has a nod to Time and Again which I agree with King is the best time travel book written.

One small but vital character interested me because of a parallel to Rafe Keyn and the Temporal Lisle. It seems guardians of time travel are a common idea. I’m giving a little away here, but you can’t read the first few chapters of King’s book and not realize that the yellow card man is going to be more than a bit player, no matter how few lines he speaks.

So there you have it: Stephen King is starting to write like me because we like the same time travel book.

(Speaking of fantasy . . . )


Special Opportunity for Newsletter Members (And You)

This month’s newsletter went out two days ago and included a special offer/request for help with my science fiction adventure work in progress, Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle.

If you’d like to hear about that opportunity, sign up for the newsletter before next Wednesday’s blog post (the date will be November 23rd) and I’ll resend the info, just for you.


Q’noge Woman Escapes from Her Captor Scene Experiment

Q'noge womanAfter three variations I found myself stumped. The third feels right, but is it?

It’s easy to fly through storytelling, getting my readers to The End with the least fuss.

It’s better to make the critical scenes more than simply the conveyance of information. The deeper I dig into the core scenes, those that turn the story’s direction, the more memorable and emotionally fulfilling they are.

I’ve never done that, pushing myself to rewrite a scene multiple ways, looking for the best version. In the past, I’ve been satisfied to note the scene’s purpose, write a direct sequence of actions fulfilling that purpose, and let my editor tidy it up.

If he tidies brass, you get highly polished brass.

I want my books to be solid gold.


Q’noge Woman Escapes from Her Captor v03

Q'noge woman“I have money.”

He didn’t reply. She tried again.

“My owner will pay whatever ransom you want.”

Still nothing.

“How much am I worth to you?”

“Stop talking. If you were only a possession to barter with you would already have been sold.”

“Then what am I? Why are you taking me?” She suspected an answer but wondered if he would respond.

“Stop talking.”

“Don’t I have a right to —”

He slapped the back of her head. “Stop talking. I won’t say it again.”

She turned. “I will not. If you intend to drag me through the forest you will hear me every step of the way.”

He had stopped a moment after her, one step too close. As he slid his machete from his belt she kicked him, hard, below that belt.

Before the machete dropped from his hands she was holding it.

“Do not follow me.”

He backed away. She stepped closer and flicked the machete in her two hands. The middle of his tunic split; just a small split, but the tip had touched him.

“Do not.”

He continued backing away.

She turned and ran without a backward glance.