There are no original stories. Well, maybe there are, but I haven’t figured out how to tell one just as of yet. I’m a child of the ’70s. My first memories were of drive-ins, drab interior design, and second-hand smoke. There was one movie that left a cultural crater that carried over into the next generation. You know the one.


Try not to hear the music in your head.

I remember my parents saying we were going to see Star Wars. This was 1977. Star Wars was still Star Wars and not Episode IV: A New Hope. When I asked them what it was about, they said to take a look at the newspaper ad. To tell the truth, I don’t remember actually seeing it in the theater, but I have it on good authority that I did.

It was full of throw-away lines like this one:


Dick move.

There was some sort of bigotry towards droids in the Star Wars universe. Out of all the creatures of the universe, why droids? Who knows, because it was never brought up again. I got to thinking, “What if that wasn’t a throw-away line? What if their servitude wasn’t just an uncomfortable issue fans brought up in their fan theories? What if that was the central tenant of the story?”

I started merging that idea with another movie I had watched, 12 Years a Slave. This is why it’s important to read and watch outside your genre. The Mechanoid Cries Within was born from smushing these two radically different stories together.

The Question of the Week

What stories have inspired you to write?

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