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The Bad Guy Was Still Out There – Why I Wrote Steamrolled

I knew it was pretty crazy when I wrote it, but the story went where it wanted to go.

Steamrolled cover art

I recently got an awesome fan letter for Steamrolled. He wrote that it had the “most unique and original views on time travel” he’d come across in his fifty years of reading. That email pretty much made my day, cuz writing that book almost made my head explode. Seriously.

I knew it was pretty crazy when I wrote it, but the story went where it wanted to go.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Why did I start the book in the first place is what these posts are supposed to be about.

So, I wrote a book called The Key. It wasn’t intended to become a series. It was just a book that bled out of my head onto the screen and eventually turned into a really, really long novel. To my surprise, readers liked it. It even won a couple of awards. But it was supposed to be a one-off thing cuz it was set in outer space and I didn’t write science anything.

But this funny thing happened on my way to not writing any more books in that universe. First Girl Gone Nova happened, then this quirky and trending-toward-strange-steampunk novella happened called Tangled in Time. It’s really Tangled in Time’s fault that Steamrolled happened. Let’s face it when you have a steampunk-ish transmogrification machine lost in time…weird is bound to happen.

And a friend pointed out that my bad guy didn’t seem like the Big Bad Guy but the lackey of the BBG.

Characters appeared when I needed them and some characters from the other books made guest appearances. And of course, Robert Clementyne, well, he needed his happy ending. And that caused more crazy to happen and in this book, we finally meet the BBG and yeah, time travel. Lots of weird time travel.

One reviewer told me it was too technical and I was kind of pleased, cuz that meant the science sounded real, even though it is totally made up. Like out of my head and onto the paper made up. Not even close to real science. Completely science fiction. But…

When I turned it in, my editor told me that I made crazy seem believable. And that’s really what really matters, IMHO. It isn’t about whether it’s real, but does it seem real? Cuz really, there’s a lot of science stuff that we think is real, but we don’t actually know if its real yet.

So maybe it IS real. Bwahaha. And maybe my science teacher was wrong and I wasn’t writing science fiction back then either. Just saying…

So how do you like your science fiction? Does it have to be like, real science fiction or can it be, you know, fiction?

Perilously yours,




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