Meet R.J. Sullivan, another of my fellow Damnation Books authors who's kindly consented to guest blog. Great timing, considering I'm on deadline for my book on the Battle of Adowa! If you missed the previous guest post by Jennifer Cloud, do check it out. So without further ado. . .
Hi, I’m pleased to guest blog on Midlist Writer about my first novel, Haunting Blue, released by Damnation Books. My hero, “Blue” Shaefer, is a high school punk girl moved by her mother to a small town, where she and her new boyfriend promptly get into trouble and release a vengeful ghost. Much excitement ensues.
I started drafting in the mid-90s and found myself plagued with headaches with each consecutive draft. Writing about a teenage punk girl who listens to hard rock music and her computer nerd boyfriend created two issues: 1) the swift changes in technology and 2) constantly needing to swap out the new hotness with my aging relics. It makes me laugh to review my mid-90s draft, and I thought it might make you laugh as well.
1. Better than Who?
In the first scene, Blue originally listens to Better than Ezra through the headphones of her Sony Discman. Today she listens to Linkin Park through the earbuds of her iPod.
2. School “tech”
Who would have thought a chalkboard would ever become quaint? Most school rooms now feature dry-erase boards, and mine does, too.
3. Remember when MTV played videos?
Blue’s poem assignment, originally titled MTV Video Script, became American Idol Finalist. Oddly, the content remains unchanged.
4. Hasta La Vista, Stallone!
Chip and Blue decide to catch a movie. “I think the latest Stallone is playing,” said Chip. In the final, they’re off to see the latest Dwayne Johnson.
5. Mighty Morphin Starship Troopers!
Chip and Blue discuss the movie Starship Troopers—having, of course, seen it in the theater! I managed to keep the conversation by saying Blue’s ex-boyfriend had the BluRay at the house. “I think he just loved the co-ed shower scene.”
6. It’s called a web page. I think it’s the way of the future.
In the mid-90s very few people surfed the web. In draft one I devoted no less than four full pages explaining HOW to surf the web. You’ll be glad to know I cut 99% of it a long time ago.
7. Dungeons and Dragons? That’s so yesterday—no, wait!
Just when I thought I’d have to change my D&D scene, the game turned popular again! I like it when that happens.
8. The curse of the cell phone.
The winner of the biggest headache since I started goes to the cell phone. A daunting game-changer, a working cell phone could have given our heroes an easy out during the climax. Fortunately, cell phones are fragile devices…
9. On a related “note”… Remember when everyone met between classes and passed notes in the hall? Of course not, I’m showing my age. Those moments changed to texting and Facebooking.
I suppose in 2021, these “updates” will appear just as quaint as my rough draft, but until then, I hope you enjoy the 2011 release of Haunting Blue, available now through Damnation Books.