Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Typical Day in Lilly’s Life by Barbara Custer Author of Infinite Sight

As you might infer from reading the back cover blurb of Infinite Sight, protag Lilly gets into deep trouble after her mishap with Baby Miller’s ventilator, beginning with her bleeding ulcer and concussion. During her leave from work, she takes in an extraterrestrial named Laylok, who was headed to a death camp before his ship crashed. She packs heat against the alien man-eating lizards from his ship. The effects from her head injury wakes up a dormant part of her brain, enabling her to read minds. What’s more, Laylok anticipates the arrival of more soldiers who want him dead. Nevertheless, Lilly returns to work as a respiratory therapist – has no choice if she wanted to keep her job.

The story was difficult to write, but a workshop leader suggested constructing a typical day in Lilly’s life. Aside from fighting renegade aliens, Lilly has her job and responsibilities at home. Would she go to work injured? Does her conflict interfere with her going to work? What about her husband? I had to figure out answers. At work, Lilly shows up for duty at 7:00 a.m., so let’s look at how a typical day for Lilly might go.
5:00 a.m. Time to get up. Lilly has an hour to shower, dress, and eat breakfast. Her recent stomach surgery necessitates small, frequent meals. Not easily managed when renegade aliens are after you.
6:00 a.m. Lilly wakes her husband Wade so he can relieve Laylok who’s guarded their home during the night against invasion by renegade beings. While Wade showers and eats, Lilly prepares breakfast for their guest – protein and complex carbohydrates, such as eggs and potatoes. Her laser weapon – a beeper-like device provided by Laylok – goes into her fanny pack before she leaves for work.
7:00 a.m. At work, Lilly scans her coworkers’ minds, picking out friendly ones who might help if she runs into problems trouble-shooting equipment. She psychically assesses the temperament of her moody boss. Her past problems won’t disappear just because alien lizards are nipping at her heels!
3:30 p.m. Lilly hurries home to relieve Wade. Since her vision problems limit her night vision, she learns to tune in mentally to the approach of the renegade beings. On a peaceful evening, she’ll run into the house for dinner. If a lizard comes charging at her, dinner will have to wait until she’s killed the creature and cleaned up the mess. 
10:00 p.m. Laylok relieves Lilly so she can go to bed. Her beeper-weapon and flashlight go in the drawer of the table by her bed. She closes her eyes and tries to sleep. Many nights, she can’t, and that’s a shame because she’s got the same grueling schedule tomorrow.
Eventually, the alien lizards break into the hospital where Lilly works, and her plans to keep Laylok under wraps go up in smoke. Her coworkers and boss get involved. You’ll have to read the book for the details. :-) The point is, I couldn’t have Lilly working or guarding on the night shift because of her vision problems. She still has her guilt over Baby Miller, which affects all her decisions.

How do you handle challenges with your characters? Have you tried constructing a schedule for them? How has it worked for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Infinite Sight
Barbara Custer

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Night to Dawn Magazine & Books LLC

Date of Publication:  11/30/2015 (tentative)

ISBN: 978-1-937769-42-0 (print)

Number of pages: 112 pages
Word Count: 25,225

Cover Artist: Marge Simon

Book Description:

Devastated by an error which caused an infant’s death, Lilly becomes deathly ill and collapses from loss of blood. She wakes up from emergency surgery with mental telepathic powers.

When an extraterrestrial ship crash-lands near her home, she investigates and happens upon a survivor who needs her help. Motivated by guilt-ridden feelings over the baby, she rescues him, catapulting herself into a war between two alien armies.

Now the renegade soldiers are on her trail and have marked her for death.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt 2:

Death? For a moment, her life flashed before her eyes. She saw herself at school recess skipping rope. She recalled her high school prom with her then-boyfriend, not Wade. She relived her first dinner with Wade, where she had selected a Stuffed Chicken Marsala dinner at Olive Garden. Wade stood by her during her mother’s death from leukemia. They laughed together and bought a house. They took turns driving her mother to chemotherapy treatments. He coddled her through Baby Miller’s death and her illness, and now, their guest. Why risk her life for some stranger from outer space?
Because Laylok and I share a bond that even most relatives can’t imagine. This bond came about because they each carry a radio inside their heads. Sometimes that radio, the telepathy, came in handy. At work, she could figure out a patient’s symptoms, no matter what they failed to state. She knew which coworker might spread gossip to Chadwick. But sometimes she endured the bitter taste of pain, death, and danger. Laylok had gotten caught in that place, and she would do everything she could to help him. As far as she was concerned, that gift made her and Laylok siblings under the skin. If she ignored his cry and let him get killed, she’d never forgive herself.

But because she was human, she broke down into tears, clutching at her hair and whispering, “Why me?”

About the Author:

Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. Her short stories have appeared in numerous small press magazines. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.

Other books by Barbara include City of Brotherly Death and Steel Rose, plus novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She’s also coauthored Alien Worlds and Starship Invasions (both now out of print) with Tom Johnson. She anticipates release of When Blood Reigns, the sequel to Steel Rose. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons and you’ll find her.

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1 comment:

Popple said...

Thanks so much for the lovely showcasing of my book. :)