My late mentor Don Meyer liked to say “there is nothing as difficult as original thought.” Life experience has taught me he was right. Another concept he liked was “there is nothing original under the sun.” Finally, he liked to say “you can get all the good ideas, you just can’t use them all.”
So what does this have to do with writing stories about a crime fighter who lives on an alien planet? It means I like crime fiction, science fiction and film noir movies. I’m not smart enough to come up with a totally original universe or story concept. But I can get good ideas from what has been done in the past and come up with something that is a slight variation of what has been done before.
Not that science fiction thrillers or futuristic crime stories are anything new. Bladerunner and Outland come to mind as a couple of my favorites. Then I ran across the quirky but delightful Firefly series that lasted for an all too short run on TV. A space western? What an idea!
Throw in the fact that I’m a fan of classic noir detective novels by writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler and you can see where this is headed. So why not send my hero to fight crime and corruption on a frozen planet sometime in the future?
If Joss Whedon could create the universe for space westerns in the stories told in Firefly and Serenity, then I can certainly have Clint “Dirty Harry” Eastwood and Humphrey “Sam Spade” Bogart serve as inspiration for my own Thomas Sullivan.
Not original and perhaps a bit risky since cross genre stories don’t always do well. I mean, what niche does the story fall in? How do you attract a reading audience? Sci-fi fans might not think the story has enough futuristic elements. Crime fiction and noir fans might think the story is not gritty enough.
But they’re my stories and its what my imagination has come up with. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The first of in my Thomas Sullivan: Lawman of Beta Prime series should be in print, I hope, no later than February of 2017. With a working title of The Predator and the The Prey I hope readers enjoy the story and look forward to reading more about the adventures and struggles of one Thomas Sullivan.