Happy Monday to one and all! This week I’d like to share a cover reveal with you for one of my upcoming short stories. The subtitle is “Let’s Do Lunch” and the main title is Clients and Cubicles. The cover was created by Hanna-Riikka Kontinaho.
As the main title suggests, I do plan on writing more stories under that heading but not in the near future. The premise for the story, using movie titles, is Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Meets The Secret of My Success.
Having just completed my Fantasy trilogy, The Askinar Towers, for NaNo 2009, I went into 2010 with a brand new idea. I wanted to do a story in which someone was sentenced to 30 days working in a tavern. I idea came from the movie, The Time of your Life, in which the entire film took place in one day in a bar down on the waterfront. The story was completely character driven with James Cagney’s character, Joe, as the MC.
I knew I could do something similar in a Fantasy sense except expand the time length. While working on the project titled, 30 Days at Quenchers, I thought to myself: What if you walked into a tavern and found Fantasy Adventurers role-playing a game based on our world? I’ve been kicking around this idea for the last three years or so. I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons, on and off, since 1985 and have been part of several groups. I decided to come up with a setting that we would find common and mundane, in which our adventurers would find exciting. It was then that I came up with Clients and Cubicles, the exciting role-playing game of middle management. And before you ask, I have no intention of designing an actual RPG based on this idea.
I took Jarryd McCallen, the MC from 30 Days and put him with a group of retired adventurers and participate in this game. I had every intention of making reference to the game in the novel, and then put out little short stories as supplements to the book. Instead, the reverse will most likely occur.
A New Vision for 2015
Having officially published all three books for the trilogy by last November, I made a resolution for 2015 that I would focus on writing short stories throughout the year. Since I was having trouble staying motivated with any of my full length novel ideas, I decided to go the short story route and see what would develop from them.
By December, I had four ideas for short stories, each complete in themselves and not at all related or connected to the others in any way. However, I had devised a fifth story in which characters from those four would find their way in the new story and come together as a team and do battle with a brand new foe.
The first story was Dream Girl; the second being, Clients and Cubicles; the third will be my vampire story, tentatively titled, “Students of the Night”; and the fourth is another role-playing type game in which players get transferred into the world of the game they are playing. Since then, however, I have come up with yet another idea that will also feature a character to go on to the main story. I’ll have more on that in the later months.
Now before you get all excited for this project to happen, keep in mind that my track record for writing stories, finishing them, and publishing them is not all that it’s cracked up to be. The reason I’m sharing all of this with you is to motivate myself and, perhaps, motivate you to help motivate me. My goal is to have all five short stories written and available for purchase by summer 2016, with the collaborative story to follow thereafter. For now, I’m striving to complete one story at a time and be happy with that.
Write what you know.
For as long as I can remember, I was always told to write stories based on things that you are familiar with and can relate to in the real world. Of course, one good way of learning new things to write about is by reading books in that genre or watching movies.
I have another writing project, that I’ve recently started, which will be a collection of short stories under one cover and a goal of a total of four collections altogether in the long run. Writing what I know has inspired me to write stories set in the world of retail. I’ve been in the retail industry since 1996, work in a grocery store prior to that and have seen all kinds of different things that may or may not be believed.
This WON’T be a non-fiction tell-all book or autobiography of “the underbelly of retail”. Instead this will be a series on fictional stories set in a retail store that makes Wal-Mart look small. If you’re familiar with the big box store conglomeration, then you can only imagine how much bigger my store setting could possibly be.
I’ll share more information on this project in my next article. My goal is to have this published by fall 2016 as I will be celebrating 20 years with the company at that time. As an added incentive, I’d like to get readers to submit their suggestions and or encounters that they’ve had in regards to life in retail. Whether you were a customer, employee, or read about it in the paper, I want to hear your stories and maybe they’ll find their way into one of my collections.