How A Thing Forgotten was Written

I don’t remember when I got the first idea for this story, only that I wanted a strong female character. Jeanette Delgado, the hero of The Black Ring, was a strong hero, but I wanted something different. 

There were several sources of inspiration. I was listening to Valentine Wolf at a science fiction convention, and something about their music said something about the story I wanted to write. I got a newspaper clipping, of a young woman who, with one shot, at a hundred yards, had killed her first deer — at age twelve — and the expression on her face said something about my character. I got a poster, called Apocalyptic Warrior, at an Animazement anime convention, but though I could find it on line, nowhere could I find an attribution of who had done it. My daughter was trying to decide between the orchestral and the sound track version of “Hanging Tree,” from Hunger Games, and it was the sound track which brought it all together. Now I could begin

I had world maps I had made long ago, just for fun. I had made city maps, too, just because the layout of cities has always fascinated me. I had been developing a non-steam-punk culture, steam and telegraphy but no punk at all. I had created different races of the fae, which I spelled fey, some time back in my teen-age years. I have always had fun with vast fictitious histories. And bizarre technologies. And strange peoples. And abandoned mansions. It was all there, and ready for me to use.

I had some difficulty getting started. I wrote a few pages of garbage, and some more, and then decided to do the plotting workshop that I conduct at science fiction conventions. I did, and it gave me the structure I needed for the story over-all. Then I worked up a kind of non-outline, several versions, including background chapters, character chapters, and other less direct action. I wrote a rough draft, then a first draft, then a second, and third, and other drafts, until the story was finished. Then, of course, four versions of “final draft:” read silently for text; read aloud for text; read aloud for story; read aloud for performance. Each reading found more and more that needed to be improved, corrected, tightened, or otherwise fixed. At last I was happy with it.

I tried to do my own cover, because my regular artist was engaged in a real-world job. I did a very bad cover, several different times, and then looked at an older cover Darcy had done, and tried again, and had something I thought would work. Then Darcy took it over, and fit me in when she could. Her company would rather she work for them than for me. It took a while.

It was finished and published, but it needed extensive corrections and revisions. Some very small, some paragraphs or pages. This is the revised and corrected edition. It is available on Amazon: