Monday, October 25, 2010

last look

One last thing about some names mentioned in The Marbury Lens.

The first two names listed in my acknowledgments are Craig Morton and Dean Shauger, guys I've known for a few years now. When I started writing The Marbury Lens, I knew I was getting into unfamiliar territory for me as a writer.

I really wanted to accomplish two things: I wanted to write something that was really scary, and I wanted it to be a kind of psycho-speculative work that was different from everything out there in fantasy/horror/science fiction. Avid readers of speculative fiction/sci fi are a tough lot to convince, so I needed to talk about Jack's universe, how it's built and held together -- Jack's laws of physics, as it were -- with smart young guys like Craig and Dean who really know this stuff.

So I talked to them for a couple hours one day while I was writing the book, laying out all the mechanics of Jack's layer-upon-layer universe, and just talking out the story and the structure helped me see that what I was imagining could be possible, and could be pulled off under the scrutiny of a couple guys who are very well-read in the broader genres into which The Marbury Lens overlaps, and they're smarter than I am when it comes to physics, too.

Research is the backbone for any believable story. It isn't only a necessity for nonfiction writers. It's also a pretty fun thing to do for fiction, especially when it involves travel and getting into the worlds of your work -- like spending time in London and Blackpool, or riding around on British Rail, for example.