I’m celebrating today! More than a decade ago, I “time traveled” to this day, even if it was only in my mind. The story that unfolded became my soon-to-be-released historical fantasy, Zero Time. Then Sept. 20, 2011, seemed like the distant future! When I pictured Keihla Benton, a science writer who joins an archeological group at Machu Picchu, here’s what I saw:
“Keihla stood in the tower, watching the sky’s pale orange and blue colors melt in a spectacular play of shifting light as the setting sun cast darkness on the Urubamba River gorge–home of the Inca gods…Keihla reached her hand up to examine one of four niches she could barely see in the dim light. They were really there. She would never have joined Dr. Banks’ expedition if it hadn’t been for the niches. And the dream.
She remembered little about the woman who stood over her in the dream, but Keihla vividly pictured the serpent draped over the woman’s shoulders and arms…the snake’s length at least doubled the woman’s height and was bigger around than her waist. Its triangular head hovered inches above Keihla’s face and the tip of its ridged tail lay alongside her body.”
I first got the idea in 1997 while searching through files at the University of Michigan in East Lansing. I needed a story idea for the last week of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy workshop. Instead, I fell in love with the ancient Mesoamerican culture. It was not something I could condense into a few pages! I had to come up with another short story idea for the workshop, but the tales of the Inca, Maya, and Aztecs continued to fire my imagination over the years. Well, work and life intervened, but I finally finished writing Zero Time in 2008. It’s been another long, slow road to publication. I’m grateful to the publishers at L&L Dreamspell for giving my book life before Dec. 21, 2012– Zero Time–and the end date of one of the Mayan calendars.
To help celebrate, today I’m offering a drawing for a copy of the ebook anthology, Dreamspell Sci Fi Vol. 1. It features my Maya-inspired short story, “Solar Lullaby,” and some fun tales by three other writers. All you have to do is leave a comment about this post AND your email address before midnight, Wednesday, Sept. 28.