“Paradox City” is the next story I wrote—or completed, anyway—after I finished the first draft of “Mark Red.” I say “completed,” because I actually began writing “The Chasm and the Collision” months before I started “Mark Red,” in apparent contradiction to what I wrote in my previous author’s note. But I had only written what were then the first and second chapters of “CatC,” which were eventually consolidated into one chapter, and had then put them aside. I also didn’t have them with me while I was a guest of the Florida State Department of Corrections. My mother, thankfully, had a printout of the chapters, and my intention was to complete that book once I had finished “Mark Red,” when I had worked enough of the rust from my writing gears. However, the chapters hadn’t arrived yet by the time I finished “Mark Red.” While I waited, I wanted to be productive and to maintain my daily early-morning writing habits, so I decided to write a short story. Continue reading
What follows is my first “author’s note” about one of my works, and I’ve decided to begin with “Mark Red,” because it’s my first published book, and the first book I wrote as an adult since medical school.
Ideas for the stories I write tend to arrive in one of two ways. Often, of course, I simply think of the idea of a story, develop it, often start or even complete writing it, and come up with the title later. This was certainly the case with “The Chasm and the Collision” and “Son of Man,” as well as with the short stories “If the Spirit Moves You,” “Prometheus and Chiron,” “I for one welcome our new computer overlords,”* and “Hole for a Heart.” However, at times I come up with a title first, or a particular phrase seems like it might make a good title, and I develop a story to go with the title. Such is the case with “Paradox City” and “The Death Sentence,” and it is true in spades of “Mark Red.” Continue reading