I’m very excited about the launch of Winter Wonder! As with all artistic endeavors, this anthology (and my contribution to it) was not formed in a vacuum. I want to tell you how “Aliens & Gingerbread” came to be, and I want to thank the people who helped me share this story with the world.
My mother — award winning author C.M. Huddleston — decided to help market her already published middle-grade novels by featuring the characters in a short story anthology. She invited other noted authors of children’s and YA fiction to join her. Then she suggested that I contribute. I pointed out the extreme level of crazy that is my life and that–oh yeah– I don’t write for children or teens. Finding those to be lame excuses, she went ahead and announced to the other authors that I would be participating.
Then there was the little problem of deciding what to write about. Dremiks doesn’t exactly lead itself to kid-friendly holiday tales. I hemmed and hawed for months. Then, one day, already past the deadline for submitting my story, an idea came to me in the shower. I sat down still wrapped in my bathrobe and wrote the first two-thousand words without stopping. There were the expected hiccups (more of dry-heaves in my case) along the way, but the germ of the story was there.
I should point out that no first draft can or should survive intact. Only after editorial passes by mom, my husband, and two professionals in the field did I have a semi-suitable tale. It still needed a few tweaks and formatting decisions, but the editors should receive a great deal of praise for the final draft.
So, thank you Vera and Laurel! You are excellent editors and good friends. I’m blessed to have you both in my life.
There are a few other people who need to be thanked– because I used their names! Manny Merrill is named after my dear friend Manette Merrill. My dear female, Jewish, friend who not only consented to let me use her name, but also let me use it for a 15 year-old Christian boy! Manette stood by my side on the floor of the RNC and endured harassment and threats and I re-payed her thusly! And she still speaks to me!
The names of my aliens, and their station, come from my Call of Fate sisterhood. These are ladies I have played on-line games with since 2001. Kigva I named an entire planet after. Khanaa is the queen of that planet. Teriwyn is her battle-mistress. In “Aliens & Gingerbread” we meet Vwicki ko’ Koffastin whose name is a jumbled anagram of Vicki M. (her gaming name being not suitable for my story, sadly). We also meet Cali Warnicki who shares a first name with a fellow sci-fi author and a last name that is remarkably similar to a certain Call of Fate sister’s real name. Ladies, guildies, thank you for the loan of your names. I hope you enjoy reading about your alternate personas.