Genre and Length:
Science Fiction Short Story
The assassin profession is proving to be more difficult than Calen anticipated. Not exactly overwhelmed with job requests, Calen is forced to land on a nearby planet to hunt for food and find supplies.
A stranger she runs into at the local cantina may be the solution to her problems. He lost his honor but is rich enough to pay Calen to help him regain it. All she has to do is risk her life…
How did the story come about?
Calen Natari is actually one of the main characters in a serial science fiction blog that I write called Muzik Chronicles. She’s a young hunter from a desert planet and she recently discovered that her shooting skills are a hot commodity. All of the stories on that particular blog are flash fiction style (1,000 words or less). But I really enjoy Calen’s character. She has a certain youthful naiveté but at the same time she’s ambitious and skilled. So I decided to make a sort of extended adventure featuring her and publish it as a standalone ebook.
Do you prefer writing short fiction over novels, and if so, why?
Novels and I do not get along. At all. I have made several good attempts at starting a novel; all failed. I will write novellas though. 25-30,000 words seems to be my cap.
I struggled with the novel thing for a long time. I have always loved writing but I had to come to grips with the fact that my brain does not think in novel-sized stories. I like details but I also like efficiency. I can’t stand it when people waste my time and that seems to come out in my writing. I love trying to come up with ways to create an environment in as few words as possible.
I enjoy the story possibilities that short form unlocks. I have the freedom to explore all sorts of genres. I also like being able to tell a larger story arc using smaller pieces. Each little tidbit adds a tiny bit more to the universe I’ve created.
Which short fiction writers have most influenced you?
Lots. Edgar Allen Poe is one of my absolute favorites; I love his twisted endings. Charles Dickens and his ability to write a long story using installments. Edgar Rice Burroughs taught me to tap into the child within. Louis L’Amour and his short westerns. PG Wodehouse with his brilliant Jeeves and Wooster characters.
Too many to name!