With this year’s Ultimate Sale coming up, I thought I’d take some time to give some insights into my short story, The Survivors. Sort of like behind the scenes footage, author style. Hope you enjoy.
First off, this story is inspired by a friend of mine who used to work as a welder on the pipelines in Alaska. He was always flying back and forth across Alaska from place to place taking jobs for his company. I wanted to use this setting for the backdrop of my story.
Secondly, I love surprise endings, and twists. I love the Twilight Zone and such. Equally as important, I love John Carpenter’s The Thing and the dynamics of a creature trying to survive in the harshest of environments juxtaposed to a band of humans and their will to survive.
With those two elements tugging at my thoughts, I set out to write The Survivors.
As I’ve discussed in previous blogs, I use reoccurring characters in some of my books. In each case the character is a very new and independent character, not having encountered any events from an alternate storyline, however the name of the characters are reused depending on the subject matter for the book or story.
Richard McPhrey is my alien guy. Sometimes he’s the main character, as in Nowhere, but sometimes he’s a side character, as in The Survivors, and another short story, The Wanderer that I hope to get out there later in the closing months of this year.
In each case the Richard in the story is uniquely different from the Richard in any of the other stories save for the Name. As I publish more and more stories I hope this doesn’t become too confusing.
I consider The Survivors to be a wholly developed story in and of itself. I feel like even though it’s only around 35 pages long, it begins and ends where I wanted it to. That being said, I have tossed around the idea of revisiting the story and creating an expanded version. Sorta like a director’s cut of the same story. I just don’t know if it would be worth changing.
One thing that I’ve regretted over time, is my use of language in the story. I wrote this several years ago and nowadays I’m just in a different place with my writing. I decided with Nowhere, that I was not going to have harsh language in any of my stories or novels moving forward. I really don’t feel like curse words and offensive language is necessary in any part of a story. As an author, I feel that I can get the same point across using other words.
Now with that being said, I will still have violence, disturbing elements, and plenty of suspense and conflict between characters. I sincerely hope that doesn’t push anybody away from reading my work. The Survivors is a different story and may end up being my only story to ever contain harsh language.
The alternate cover above was some of the concept art that my brother, Zach Ashburn, created for me. Also below, here’s another alternate cover that Author Milo Abrams designed for me. Check both these talented guys out at the links attached to their names above.
I don’t want to give anything away, for those of you who haven’t read it. I really do hope you enjoy the read and take advantage of the sale coming up in a week or so. Please leave me feedback on Amazon if you read it, and follow me on my blog to keep current with my new and future projects.