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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wecome to Normalville, USA - Population: You

Last year, I was fishing around for a new idea for a series. I do a lot of sci fi and fantasy, but haven't really done any paranormal.

I was thinking about the lives we hide, as opposed to the faces we show to the world. What came to mind is a place where everybody has there secrets, and in some cases, everyone else knows those secrets. Its the most normal place in the world, isn't it?

Anyhow, here's a snippet from Snow Fire: Chrysalis. My first visit to Normalville, USA.

Available at Changeling Press:


Kell is haunted by memories of a place that doesn’t exist. He dreams of a face he’s never seen. He senses that somehow, his life is wrong. Compelled by loneliness and isolation, he walks away from everything in a quest for answers.

Come with Kell as he journeys down a long, snowy highway to a mysterious town called Arcada. Maybe, just maybe, he will find his answers there.

And maybe he will find himself as well.


Vintage sports cars don’t handle all that well in the snow.

Not that the elderly Jag lets me down all that often, but as we crawled through drifts on Highway 70, I began to get the feeling that my long journey was about to come to an end.

The snow fell in those tiny, crystalline flakes that are so fine they dazzle the eye. When you try to make a snowball, it just falls apart like sand between the fingers. At first, it barely settled on the roadway, dancing away from the headlights of the car, but in time, the snow began to drift and blow across the road, eventually obscuring the roadway completely. I navigated using the slight elevation of the blacktop and the instinct that rarely lets me down. I was guided by the odd compulsion that had taken me from all that I knew for the promise of all that should be.

I’d been wandering in a funk for what seemed years, having sold my apartment and my business. Life had dried up, lost its appeal. One Tuesday I looked around and found myself alone, friendless and so painfully, obviously different from the general population, that it was clearly time to move on.

In the midst of my unhappiness, I remembered a face I’d never seen. I had memories of events that had never happened. A place came to mind, the memory of a small town that my family had visited in my youth. It was quintessential small town America, a town square, City Hall. The sort of place you generally see only on a movie set. Normal. In fact, that was the nickname of the place. While I couldn’t remember the name of the small city, I vividly remembered the signs entering the city limits. They playfully welcomed the traveler to “Normalville, USA.” I’d forgotten the state, the name of the town, even what part of the country we’d been in. Only that happy sign lingered in my memory. Funny, though, my parents never recalled seeing that sign. In fact, they hadn’t remembered the town at all. I couldn’t forget.

Welcome to Normalville, USA.