I often get asked by friends and family where I get story ideas. I usually find that no single thing inspires a complete story, but often a significant piece of the story can be traced to a specific thing, place, or event.
OG’s Speculative Fiction published my story “The Fine Art of Surfacing” in their May 2010 issue. I wrote this story a long time ago, and “rediscovered” it sometime in 2008 when I was reviewing my “trunk” stories to see if any had promise. The original version of “The Fine Art of Surfacing” had several fatal flaws in it, but I also thought it had some very good stuff, so I rewrote it and manged to find it a nice home, thanks to editor Seth Crossman over at OG’s.
“The Fine Art of Surfacing” was one of those stories inspired by a title, in this case from an 80s album by the Boomtown Rats (one of my favorite bands). I thought the title was catchy and had multiple interpretations. While I think the band may have originally meant the title to be about coming up from below or surfacing (the cover of my vinyl album had a surfacing swimmer on it), I took the title to mean something entirely different. “Surfacing” in my story became about building facades, and every character in this story is engaged in some type of “surfacing,” both in their professional and personal lives. That theme came to me very early, and formed the backbone of this piece.
This story took nearly twenty-years to write and publish, but I’m happy I stuck with it. If you read it, I hope you enjoyed it. If you’ve had a chance to read it, drop me a comment and let me know what you think.