Letter From The Editor - Issue 59 - October 2017

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Writing Fantasy

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

The Time Mechanic by Marie Vibbert

I was flipping through a book of photos from the 20s and saw this woman auto mechanic in baggy overalls. There was nothing known about her, aside from the photo. Years later, I read a story by my friend Darrin Bright about an alien crashing his flying saucer and seeking help from a rural auto mechanic. The story was called "Roadside Assistance" and, inexplicably, has not been published. I thought, I want to write something like that! It was funny and heartwarming. I knew I couldn't steal Darrin's idea outright, so I decided to do time-travel instead of space-travel. I remembered the woman in the photo. So much character came through in that mute portrait. I wanted to bring her to life. I also decided to make another change from Darrin's story - he had the mechanic from the less-advanced culture unable to fix the more-advanced machine. What if my past-mechanic Could fix the time machine? I fell in love with the idea of a sharp mind triumphing over our assumptions both about rural people and about people in the past.

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