Friday, June 10, 2011

Under the Sun

Whenever I get an email from David Cranmer I wonder what kind of Pandora’s box he’s tossing into my lap this time. The thing is, you never know what kind of idea has popped into David's head and got him dashing off emails with “would you”, “could you” and “what do you think” splattered all through them. He is always so excited, that you can never say no to him. For heaven’s sake, the man got me to write a 12,000 word steampunk/fantasy tale by asking for a first installment (maybe 2000 words, says he) for a serial story! But that's David and his enthusiasm is contagious. :)

Anyhoo…when I opened one of his emails back in November, I had no idea what to expect. Well, he was writing a Cash Laramie Western and wondered if I would like to collaborate, he was having trouble finding the woman’s voice in the story. I’d never collaborated on a story before but I told him I’d give it a shot. So he sends me 1500 words titled “Under the Sun” and says by the way, I’ve got this Bible verse from Ecclesiastes that I’d like you to work into the story. Uh-huh.

So I began working with the story he’d written so far, slowly finding Delilah Murphy’s voice as I moved her about the page and put words in her mouth. I studied that Bible verse, taking in the ones before and after to see what was actually being said. But it was the Indian who showed up on her doorstep that finally gave me the ah-ha moment and a way to go with the story.

You see, ages ago in attempting to write a romance novel, I had a Western woman who was left alone by her husband and a wounded Indian showed up. She took him into her home and began caring for him and hid him from the soldiers who were hunting him. Once she had nursed him back to health, he took care of her by providing meat to get her through the winter. Of course I tried to slip in one of those hobby story lines that were just beginning to catch on back then and had her making quilts out of hides for his tribe. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, David did when I told him, too. Of course it was the quilting that killed the story and I’d forgotten all about that futile attempt at novel writing until I started working on “Under the Sun”.

When the Indian that Cash and Gideon were chasing showed up, I knew exactly where to go with the story. Being sure to leave out the quilted hides this time! I fleshed it out with a bit of back story about Delilah’s husband, then stuck that Bible verse in a spot that turned the story a bit upside down and sent it back to David to fill in more scenes with Cash and Gideon.
The story went back forth a half a dozen more times and when David finally had it polished up, I couldn’t tell where his writing stopped and mine began. It was a great experience and I’m very proud to say that you can now read “Under the Sun” in David’s new collection of short stories.

To learn more about "The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles" stop on by David's blog where you'll find several posts about these Western heroes, a link to a review, and a link to purchase your Kindle copy.


Al Tucher said...

A failed project isn't wasted effort. That's reassuring to any writer.

sandra seamans said...

I'm forever pulling out old stories ideas, Al. I've found that nothing you write is ever wasted, even if you only use the basic idea from the old story to write a new one. Every word is a step forward - even the ugly ones that shall remain forever in the drawer :)

Ron Scheer said...

I really liked this story. David's Cash and Gideon adventures take on another dimension when he includes women characters - I don't want to say "softer," but there's a gentler side in his 2 heroes that often drives them and benefits from fuller expression. I'm glad David asked you to help him. Your Delilah is perfectly believable; I hope she turns up again in another story.

David Cranmer said...

My thoughts exactly, Ron. Sandra has another story or two waiting.

Sandra, I had some big chuckles this morning reading how I asked you to toss in the Bible verse. Too funny.

Thanks again, amiga. This was a very smooth collaboration.

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad it is available. I'll pick it up today. I finally got my own western collection uploaded for the Nook. It's been on Kindle a while, though. Killing Trail.

Good to hear about the collaboration. I've also collaborated with David on an idea, the Rip Through Time story. Was a lot of fun. The man does generate some excitement.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Can't wait to read it.

sandra seamans said...

Thanks, Ron!

Thank you, David, I had fun doing it!

Sometimes I wish I could harness that enthusiasm of his, Charles.

Hope you enjoy it, Patti!