One of my favorite things about writing speculative fiction is that it allows me to explore so many variations of the question, "what if?" What if robots could feel emotions just like humans? What if dragons were tame, cuddly house pets instead of huge, fire-breathing monster? What if magic was real? What if ghosts lived among us and everyone could see them? That last question is what eventually led to me writing "The Dead Life."
Some of my best story ideas have come from the hardest times in my life, and that's true for "The Dead Life" as well. I first wrote it back in early 2010. The title is a reflection of what I was feeling at the time, that I was just walking through life a bit aimlessly, much like the main character of the story. I'd had some tough experiences that previous year and hadn't written anything for months, so I was a little surprised when I got this idea and had an overwhelming urge to write it immediately. I finished the first draft in a day, got some feedback, made revisions, and then put it away. It sat in a file on my computer collecting dust and cobwebs while I moved on to other projects. Years later, after hitting a wall with the novel I'd been working on, I dragged it out and decided to clean it up. It needed a lot of work and I ended up rewriting most of it, but in the end, I liked it enough to start submitting it. After several form rejection letters and a few more personal ones, I was was fortunate enough to have the story accepted here. It is my first published story and a lifelong dream come true, so I have to give a huge 'thank you' to the Electric Spec team for making it happen.
Thank you, T.A.!