By Stacey Longo
About a year ago, the crew over at Sci-Fi Saturday Night contacted me about a book project they were thinking of putting together. The Dome enthusiastically described how he had a bunch of old photographs of people. What did I think of the idea of sending those photos to various authors with just a character name and occupation, and having the authors write the stories of those people’s lives?
It sounded like a heck of a lot of fun to me. Some time later, I got an e-mail.
Your character’s name is Gussie, and she works in an apothecary. Other than that, go for it!
As soon as I saw the cheerful, bright-eyed young woman in the photo, her story started coming to me. Taking a page from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, I decided Gussie would be the person the women in town would discreetly visit when they found themselves with a problem. Perhaps they were unhappy about being in the family way. Or were in need of a way out of an abusive marriage. Woman problems. You see.
But what town? Gussie looked like a sturdy New Englander to me. And in what town, did I think, would women who had . . . problems . . . seek dark solutions? Fall River, Massachusetts, of course. I had the first draft of “Miss Elizabeth’s Poison” done in a week, and the final version done within the month.
It was a blast to write. Now we need your help to get it in print.
Sci-Fi Saturday Night has started a Kickstarter program to fund the final publication of My Peculiar Family. There’s an impressive lineup of authors in the anthology, including James A. Moore, Tracy Hickman, and William Meikle, among others. To donate (and snag some impressive rewards), please visit here; and support the arts.
You’ll be glad you did, I can promise you.