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.
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!