Every writer has ideas that look like this. Incorporeal blobs of steam that sorta just ooze out our ears from time to time and drift towards the keys in a sad attempt to become something more coherent.
No? Just me? Yeah, probably just me.
Last week, I spoke of the inspiration behind my story for Corrugated Sky’s Tales of the Black Dog. This week will be similar but with a (sadly for you, I’m sure) much longer explanation for my inspiration with a focus on my absolute fav subject: STEAMPUNK. No, really, I dig it. If I could afford to live and breathe Steampunk, my whole wardrobe, house, and tech, would all be done up in the steam fashion. In fact, I have plans to turn my wheelchair (yes, I have one) and cane (yep, got that too) into a steamy version of awesomeness before all my faculties leave me. Baby steps, y’all.
Anyway, I digress. So, the inspiration for Heart of the Matter has a rather long and involved history that began with the living campaign hosted by Wizards of the Coast, Living Greyhawk. For the non-geeks out there, think of it like a total global D&D game. It was amazeballs, truly. My bestie and I came up with an idea for a set of characters based on these guys:
But, with a little more:
You can imagine how that went. Instead of the brothers being 5 years apart like Sam and Dean, we made them twins (cuz that’s my number one obsession after Eeyore) and threw them in the world of Greyhawk. They were spectacular and awesome and polar opposites and then the game ended and we all had the sad. *tear*
Then, my ridiculously endless imagination thought ‘what would our boys look like if we threw them into the 20th century?’. With my ample amount of time to dedicate to such random musings, I proceeded to write up a scenario in which this was their reality. What I came up with was that Geiger (my bestie’s boy) was a mechanic and Tristan (my boy) was an out of work musician cuz that’s the kind of loser he is. I changed their last name to Fallon (from ap’Fallon and we’re not even going to try to explain that one here) and decided they’d be Boston-Irish as a result. Cool, right?
Then that thing that I don’t actually have a lot of crept up on me and the story fell by the wayside. The twins then got a third revival in a piece that I’m still toying with about psychically linked twins – one of which is a murderer and the other sees it. Weird, huh? But I did not finish that particular round of CampNaNoWriMo and, thus, their story remained unfinished yet again (though there is now potential for a revival on that with some obvious need for changes now).
Fast forward to last year when the call for submissions went out for a steampunk anthology. My brain instantly went ‘WE CAN DO THAT!!’. It’s a story, how long can that possibly take? Longer than you might think is the correct answer. I struggled and poked and tried to make another prefabricated steampunk character cooperate with a shorter piece and he was not having it. Like, not. at. all. (Thanks a lot, Oliver :P). Enter my bestie who always has my back and massages my brain wrinkles from afar with the suggestion that I use our boys in something quick, steamy, magicy, and totally awesome.
DONE! Thus, these guys happened:
Geiger and Tristan Fallon, both members of the Union Militia. One tinkers with automatons (G) and one fights with alchemical magic (T) during World War III. Yes, III. This one went further into the future, threw in the steam, added a shake of magic cuz that works better than actual physics in my brain and POOF! Heart of the Matter was born.
You can read it in Smoke and Steam, leave a totally awesome review, and be blessed by the glory that is the Fallon twins. You’re welcome.