In honor of Mother’s Day I want to talk about my mother’s influence on my writing. Without her, a lot of vital aspects in my stories wouldn’t exist.
She has helped me immensely with cleaning up the plot for Ruby Caves. The same goes for Radiation Road, Mutant Cowboy Space Pirate, Vodka Men, and the extended cut of Atrocity (called Wish List).
She lets me know when a scene is too gory and helps tone it down. This primarily goes for Wish List. The Wendigo story was the first (and bloodiest, so far) story I ever wrote. I’m trying to give my readers an adrenaline rush through my writing, not gross them out. She’s helped me find my own limits. Too add to this, she also lets me know when a scene has dragged on for too long.
Dave being Polish. She gave me the idea for his last name (Kaczmarczyk) and from there his life was filled out. It roughly translates to “destroy peace” and some of her ideas on his characters fit that name very well. Dave is not altruistic, he is ruthlessly pragmatic. While his stories aren’t grounded in reality his fighting style sure fits what a human can reasonably achieve. His intrinsic ability to see and speak to the gods for what they are- the reason Death and Nemain (one of the Morrigan sisters) stick with him- was her idea.
Death looking like Humphrey Bogart at the end of Vodka Men. I hadn’t even considered it, but really, would you mind if Mr. Bogart came to you at the end of your life? I sure wouldn’t. Death is usually a skeleton to Dave (there goes the intrinsic vision) but to people he looks like the actor.
Her analytical nature is a major inspiration for Sarah Case’s personality. She is scary good at winning debates. She can more often than not defuse a situation. She has undying loyalty and support to us (me, my brother, and my sister) naturally. However, my mom gave me a critical point about Sarah’s relationship with William that altered the final outcome of the story. It has stuck with me.
She wrote the hilarious scene in Nutmeg Episode Seven: “Monster” where Nutmeg 3/8 is indecisive about eating Harland the thief. She almost wrote the entirety of Episode Eight: “Z” where Agent S almost runs over Travis Garcia. I only came back towards the end of that episode.
Finally, she has inspired me to add a little more humor to my stories. I came to the conclusion myself after she mentioned it to me. I don’t enjoy reading hopelessly bleak stories where there is little to no change in the character. The same goes for movies. Atrocity and Vodka Men are thematically my darkest stories, but they are meant as tragedies. And while I will add humor, it doesn’t mean I’m going to go soft on the drama or terror when it is necessary. A little genre blending never hurt anyone.
Thanks Mom, I love you! And to all the other people out there reading this, thank your mothers. For better or worse, there is no denying a mother's influence on our lives. Now stop reading this and enjoy Mother’s Day!
Continuing where I left off last time, let's learn more about Agent S. Jamie Simmons was recruited by Sasha Morris after surviving an alien attack while on vacation in the Philippines. He use to be an office worker who dreamed of becoming more. To be where he is today, he'll be between his late thirties and early forties. I won't specify, because it's rude to reveal (or ask) for one's age.
Their protege in the war for Earth is Agent R. Jamie Rook signed up for the Army during his senior year in high school. He aimed to become part of the National Guard. The nearby base gets a boost of annual funding by being part of a recruitment program. A psychological profile is built around new recruits using unique questions. Those are classified and never leave the room... or else. Rook passed the profile.
Men and women who don't pass the profiling continue with their training like strange men in great suits didn't approach them. Jamie met Jamie at the Kansas field office. This is where special schooling takes place. At the time of the story Rook is just on the edge of 23. He and Agent S bonded over their shared name. Agent S is more like a cool uncle to R. On the other hand, as they're on the field together, Agent Z and General Mako will be more like father figures. Throughout the story I'll try to cement the relationships. One big family keeping track of aliens.
What can go wrong?
I’m not sure how the copyrights for Men in Black work. This is about naming my agents the first letter of their last names. Agent R, Agent S, Agent Z, and Agent J. I have a way around this by knowing their real names. Although I haven’t received any angry emails or phone calls from representatives- if, if, it does become an issue I’ll be perfectly willing to change the names. I also have no problems giving you full disclosure.
This would make since. Most of the agents are human and know each other. The Kansas field office of the Outer-Planet Defense Agency (OPDA) is relatively small, with thirty personnel in total. Before I get to the agents, a few characters do go by their names in the story.
First there is General Phillip Mako. Before getting involved in intergalactic politics Mako was a four star general in the United States Army. Anyone can Google his name and gather information on his policies and accomplishments. Naturally some of this information will be classified.
A second character is John Rosefield, a satellite operator in the control room. Another agent who isn’t on the field is the public relations officer Reuben. I haven’t thought of his first name yet. Both of them are small time characters that will make large impacts on the story. I don’t like to believe in useless characters. Everyone except for a simple goon has a purpose in one way or another.
Captain Sasha Morris leads the task force for heavy operations. He comes in around the middle of the story and stays to the end. To avoid boredom he and his men also act as security guards around the base. The base is one of a few hubs that have entered a refugee program for other aliens. There are occasional incursions on the base. I was watching 2012 when thinking up character names and I’m a fan of Sasha the Russian pilot, so it came up.
As for the final character I’ll talk about for now, this will be the top field agent and doctor- Agent Z. He’s a somber character from the planet Nautionary, a general on his own planet. Why he’s here on earth was hinted at in the lost episode of Nutmeg. At any rate, his real name is Zachariah. I thought it was fitting.
I am an author. I am a fan of horror, thrillers, and comedy.