Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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The Story Behind the Stories
  IGMS Authors Share How Their Stories Came to Be
September 2014

The Temptation of Father Francis by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks

The moral of this story is that sometimes two writers are better than one.

Father Francis started out as the protagonist of a flash story. The only real-life inspiration for that story came from the mysterious deaths of honeybees. I imagined a solitary priest traveling in his dirigible (because dirigibles are cool) across a dystopian West with an AI who thinks she's Annie Oakley and a cargo of pollination bots, a.k.a. mechanical bees.

The flash was published a couple years ago to a positive response. I liked the idea of writing more about Francis and Annie. I tried. I had a few false starts. The right story didn't come to me. So Francis went onto a back shelf in my mind, something to revisit to someday, when a fellow writer and friend, Nick T. Chan, suggested we co-write stories using worlds or characters we had already created.

I knew exactly which character to use.

The addition of Nick's creative input was what Father Francis needed. Together we came up with a story in which Francis is experiencing a crisis of faith when he arrives in the town of Temptation. He makes his usual offer to use his mechanical bees to pollinate the crops, but he soon discovers that he might need the people of Temptation more than they need him.

This tale was a lot of fun to write and turned out so well that Nick and I have been talking about continuing the adventures of Francis and Annie. Because when you have a dirigible, the sky's the limit.

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