Tomorrow I'll be writing a few thoughts about my new book, Fallen Angel. I get asked how I come up with stuff. There is not any one answer. My storytelling has returned repeatedly to 1880's California. I like the era and I've studied California's history extensively. So I'm more comfortable writing there. There's a certain world I've created. It had a common villain in the form of Ah Puch, the Mayan god of death. He was a nemesis for Miles O'Malley and a little over a year ago businessman Ling Fung took him on as well in Legends of the Dragon Cowboys. Where Miles was based in San Francisco, Ling Fung planted himself in the mining town of Placerville once he was kicked out of China. And, though they both know Ah Puch, Miles O'Malley and Ling Fung have never met in my stories.
But my new story starts out a little earlier and in Mississippi, not California. My inspiration for this was the US Postal Service. Huh? During the Civil War there was supposedly a UFO sighting during the Battle of Vicksburg. This glowing sphere hovered over the battlefield, distracting the soldiers. Supposedly, one colonel had to draw his sidearm and threaten to shoot his men to get an artillery battery to resume firing as the soldiers were all gawking at the glowing sphere hovering above them. That ain't in the history books. So, I think the 150th anniversary of the battle came along and the Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp. It was a nice stamp depicting an important Civil War battle. The postal folks did a nice job. But, then there's me. My immediate reaction was: "Where's the UFO?" I complained about the lack of a UFO hovering over the battle to some of my friends. I didn't really expect to see a UFO on the stamp, but would've been thrilled to have seen one there.. The post office would've sold more stamps.
A few years went by and I kept thinking about that stamp and it's lack of a glowing sphere above the battlefield. Well, by golly, I'll just write a story with a glowing sphere above the battlefield. And my glowing sphere lands. Tomorrow I'll talk about Mabel and the Martians in that glowing sphere.