The Writer’s Block: Friends of Mine

In honor of this week’s Sci-Fi Saturday Night, I want to tell you about my friends.

Back in 2011, I was at a writer’s conference. My husband and I were walking along a short patch of beach when we ran into a stranger wearing a suit jacket and a big smile. (Also other clothes. He wasn’t some weird beach flasher.) Now, I try to be a friendly person most days, so I said hello. He returned the greeting. We stopped to chat for a minute, and it turned out this guy was attending his very first gathering of writers, and had just had a story accepted in Epitaphs: The Journal of the New England Horror Writers. As coincidence would have it, I was working on the line edits for that very book, and knew his story well. It was quite good. I mentioned this. A friendship was born.

I would eventually learn that the suit jacket was standard attire for Tony Tremblay, along with the camera he always has hanging around his neck. Over the years, I’ve been able to hang out with Tony at other writerly gatherings, and we’ve had some great conversations. He’s one of the kindest, most optimistic and genuine people I’ve ever met, and sometimes, when I’m on the fence about going somewhere, learning that Tony will be there is often enough to persuade me to go.

In October 2012, I was at an event in Billerica, MA, one of a handful of writers reading that day at a karate school. As we were setting up a table of books, a guy rushed in: shaved head, glasses, talking so fast and bouncing so much it wore me out just watching him. This was Rob Smales’s first event, and he was clearly excited/nervous/bouncy to be there.

Now, astute readers know who Rob is—he has since become my editing partner and my best writing friend, but at that first event, we didn’t have much time to converse. It took a few more meetings to discover we shared a similar sense of humor, a mutual concern that we’d be locked up some day for the rather twisted turns our minds often took, and a passion for proper grammar.

Fast-forward four years. An opportunity arose for Books & Boos Press to publish a novella collection . . . except, over time, it grew into a series. And the first installment found me paired up with two of my favorite people in the whole world. Triplicity: The Terror Project, Volume 1 features three novellas: “Steel” by Tony Tremblay, “The Christmas Spirit” by Rob Smales, and “Brando and Bad Choices” by yours truly.

Triplicity is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in select retail outlets. “Brando and Bad Choices” is about a woman trying to find redemption for her sins, though it’s not easy, because she’s already in hell—literally. “Steel” tells the tale of a group of survivors in a dystopian world trying to figure out how things went so wrong. Tony’s story cleverly combines elements of both H.P. Lovecraft and Mad Max. And “The Christmas Spirit” features a woman trying to explain to her daughters-in-law how one family holiday tradition got its decidedly spiritual start. They’re three very different tales, and a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and editing went into the collection. But when you’re working with two people you love and admire, it hardly feels like work. Honestly, the best way to describe Triplicity is this: my friends and I were playing together with words, and now it’s a book. And this week, the three of us will be on Sci-Fi Saturday Night to talk about what a long, strange trip it’s been.

Enjoy. I did.


One Response to “The Writer’s Block: Friends of Mine”

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