Steven Denver is a writer struggling to find a plot for his next novel, the success of which means the salvation or the demise of his career. When he stumbles upon a strange green whirlpool near his home, he discovers that it is a gateway through space and time.
Exploring the Gatespace beyond leads him into worlds unknown and adventures that defy the imagination, perfect fuel for the creativity of an author… but there’s just one complication… will he ever make it home to write that book?
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
They are very close to home.
“Oh, I am way the hell behind,” Steven Denver thought to himself, looking at the daily calendar on his computer screen. It was the first week of November, and the deadline that had been set by his publisher for initial completion of his third novel was looming less than ninety days away. He’d made a number of false starts and was juggling three or four possible story lines in his head, but the insanely busy day he’d had yesterday had completely distracted him from the project at hand.
Steven sat at his desk in the corner of the master bedroom of the small white frame house where he lived with his wife, Lynne, and their four children. He was staring out of the window at the Bridger Mountains of Montana, fading blue into the distance. He was not quite in full panic mode, however. Not just yet. I can do this, he told himself, running his hand through his thick mane of brown hair. He noticed that it was increasingly shot through with silver these days; deadlines were just excellent for causing that.
His first book, Montana Moon, had been published a little more than four years ago. It had sold fairly well for a first book from a new writer. It was set in the Old West and dealt with the influx of white settlers into the area from the time that it became Montana Territory in 1864 until Montana became the 41st state of the Union in 1889 and described what life was like for them in the rugged frontier that they had chosen as their new home.
He’d managed to get a three-book contract with his publisher, Bordeaux House, based mostly on his successful track record as a newspaper columnist, initially for the Helena Independent Record and later for the Billings Gazette.
Steven’s second novel, Greasy Grass, was published two years later. It was based on accounts given by eyewitnesses to the Battle of the Little Big Horn, otherwise known as the Battle of the Greasy Grass to Native Americans. In this well-known clash, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry was decimated by a force of Lakota and Northern Dakota warriors led by Sitting Bull, Gall and Crazy Horse.
The book was an attempt to put faces on those Native warriors and make them flesh-and-blood human beings, something that Steven felt was missing from most of the historic records. The fact that he was one-eighth Blackfoot had always made Steven feel a connection to Native Americans, many of whom still lamented the loss of their land, culture and heritage, more than a century and a half later.
Even to Steven, however, Greasy Grass seemed to lack the vibrancy he felt was needed for a historical novel, and he openly admitted that many passages in the book read like a high school textbook. It didn’t sell well at all; sometimes Steven joked that he thought his mother had bought a thousand copies to help boost his sales figures. The project Steven was working on now was his last chance to demonstrate to his publisher that he deserved another contract, but he was stuck for a concept; without a solid plot idea, there was no new project.
Steven’s own personal deadline for having the book at least at the rough draft stage had sneaked up and bitten him squarely on the ass, and now he was a full two weeks behind schedule. Deadlines, Steven believed, were the brainchild of some chemically challenged, emotionally stunted and extremely twisted soul, probably a frustrated English teacher from Poughkeepsie.
His personal work goal as a writer was to produce an average volume of 50,000 words a month. That’s an average of 1,666.666 words a day, Steven grinned to himself. I shouldn’t have issues with the last two-thirds of a word, but the first 1,666 might be a problem. He thought of the twin 666s in that figure and tried to shrug off the obvious joke as a little too easy, but couldn’t resist the thought of his publisher’s head adorned with a pair of Satanic horns and a wicked little goatee.
Alan Seeger was born in San Francisco, California, in 1959 to two transplants from Missouri. He grew up in Denver and Oklahoma City, and spent ten years in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. He now lives on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where he has been since 2007.
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