I’ve run an experiment. Don’t worry, it’s safe. Maybe. Back up a few steps, that summoning circle is live. Some authors write about their characters. I’ve got a lock on Alex Rune, the Wizard of Houston, and I’m going to bring him here for an interview. Watch out, he might be surly.
Alex: What the frak!
KL: Ah, it worked, excellent and welcome to your interview.
Alex: Why the frak am I saying frak instead of frak?
KL: This is going on my blog and I try not to swear on my pages. I know you swear more when stressed.
Alex: Frak that’s annoying. Hey! Why haven’t you finished the rewrite of my book?
KL: Chill dude, I’m busy with work, wife foot surgery, I’m working on it. Besides, I’m supposed to be asking you questions. Like what have you been up to?
Alex: Waiting for you to finish the rewrite, duh. I thought I did pretty well. Beat a cyber-demon and demons from my past. Heck, I even made peace with Rain’s grampa, Edward.
KL: Yeah, about Edward. He’s not gonna make it.
Alex: But people liked him. You can’t kill off the old man.
KL: KIll him? No, he’s just not needed for the first book. We’re going to drag out your angst a bit longer. Plus it made Rain look really manipulative.
Alex: She is a grand chess master. She’s about a hundred moves ahead. I like having a wife who’s smarter than me. You better not frak with her.
KL: No, she tests great. But we’re getting off track. This is supposed to be an interview, so my blog readers get to know the hero of the story. Let’s get serious here. Where are you from and how’d you get here?
Alex: Born on a boat from Iceland, grew up in Minnesota. Moved to Houston when Rain and I got jobs at what we thought were good companies, Dynegy and Enron. That sucked.
KL: That was really bad timing, you should have joined Compaq like I did.
Alex: Rub it in frakhole. Is it going to say frak every time I swear?
KL: Yeah, I just did a search and replace macro. Stay on topic! What’d you guys do when you both lost your jobs?
Alex: Well now that I’ve faced my past like I don’t like to do thanks to the first draft of the book, I feel better about talking about that. When the Afghanistan thing started, HollowTree got contracts to do a lot of things out there. I signed up for what was supposed to be a hundred grand, six month IT job and got captured three weeks in.
KL: Yeah, we’re going to cut the whole flashback dream sequence flashback section out, by the way.
Alex: Frak! I went through a year of torture and hung in a tree, just like American Gods but different for that chapter. Even the title was awesome, Zikrayati. An egyptian song. The CIA used it to music torture somebody.
KL: It still happened, so you’ll always have your memories and a cool eye patch. Speaking of which, why don’t you tell them what you look like?
Alex: Well, I have an eye patch over my left eye to cover hideous scarring. Otherwise, I’m five foot eleven. About a hundred sixty pounds. Blonde haired and blue eyed and if you make a Nazi joke I will frakking fry you with a lightning bolt.
KL: You can’t really zap lightning bolts. That was just for the book.
Alex: You do know all the stuff I did was Mythbusters plausible right? Yeah, I can shoot fireballs, lightning and take over technology. I’m a technomage.
KL: Great segue. I’m tentatively titling the series “The Wizard of Houston”, but people here probably don’t know why or what that means.
Alex: I got that title thanks to social media. I was recorded doing some light electro-cutionary work on some bad guys. And they got the shot of me shooting a jet of fire from my staff. Plus my business card says:
For when all other light fails
KL: that’s good. By the way, I borrowed that same design for my business cards. Very sharp.
Alex: Thank Rain, she designed them, at least if that’s still in the first chapter. With my luck I don’t even get the slow intro anymore. Where was I? Oh yeah, all my magic is real, it’s just technology based. Like the technomages from Babylon 5.
KL: Great show! Straczynski was a genius. And now you’re part of a new genre, Urban Sci-Fantasy.
Alex: yeah, that is if you’d get back to writing the frakking book.
KL: Oh look at the time, I need to send you back to storage…
That was close, folks. Any longer and he’d have attuned to my home network and I wouldn’t be able to plunger him back into storage. I gave him a what-if backstory that sent him to bad luck city, which is important in a hero. It took a bit for me to find his voice and differentiate him from myself.
Originally, Alex was to sound a bit like Harry Dresden with me running dialog. Doing that straight up is a Mary Sue, which is a bad idea for a writer. I don’t want to be in the book. But I stuck with it. I knew his background, and as I wrote stuff that may never see the light of day, I started getting the guy.
Alex is a man who lost power over his life. Unlike Harry Potter and every other book about a wizard, he was not chosen, not born with a special gift. He got angry and he found ways to cheat and build up power until he was strong enough to turn the tables on his enemies. I’m still working out how far he’ll go to fight evil, I don’t think he knows either. I think that theme is in the first draft and will flavor the rewrite. I’m looking forward to getting back to it.
Until next week.
Alex: Is he gone? I had his house cracked in the first minute. He’s got an Alexa and I I can jack with him if he doesn’t get back to writing. Anyhoo, Check out this video of the Boston Dynamics robot that inspired the cyber-demon. Scared the crap out of me, and the one I faced had a rocket launcher. Holy crap are they fast.