Quinn Campbell has made some mistakes in his life, and he’s ready to move past them. All he has to do first is break into a warehouse to get his stuff back.
That was the easy part.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Something a little different today. For years, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing fiction but never really pulled the trigger on it. A couple of months ago, I finally dove in with some flash fiction – little bits of entertainment under 1,000 words long (around 3 paperback book pages).
In 2015, I’m planning on writing a few more lengthy bits of fiction but needed some practice, which brings us to my little Christmas gift.
I’m sharing a goofy little story called “Police Navidad” here for the first time anywhere. You can download at the links above in either epub or mobi format. Kindle, MoonReader, Google Books and Calibre are all great apps if you don’t usually read on tablets or phones. If you need technical help, I’m an email away, as always. The story is about 8,000 words long, which equates to right around 25 pages of a paperback book, so it’s not a long read.
The tale is part heist and part farce with some slapstick mixed in. It’s not great, by any means, but I hope you’re entertained by it. I didn’t expect to hit it out of the park on my first try, any more than a person might expect to win a pool tournament the first time they pick up a cue. However, I had a lot of fun writing it and I hope I can make a few people chuckle.
They’ll get better from here, I assure you. Fiction is infinitely harder than writing an operating manual and has a steep learning curve.
So, now that I’ve broken a cardinal rule by apologizing before anyone’s even read it, here we go with some background and acknowledgments:
Unlike most stories that come from an idea or a plot, I started this one with nothing more than a title. It popped into my head one day, so I decided to challenge myself to come up with a story that fit it. Not the most traditional method of story development, but also not the first time that’s ever been done.
Quinn Campbell, the main character, is generally a good guy who’s made some mistakes – like most of us – but he’s made some bigger ones than the average person and he paid for them. He’s trying to move forward, but his past keeps tracking him down, forcing him to make all new mistakes while trying to escape old ones.
In Police Navidad, Quinn and his friend Zack break into a self-storage warehouse on Christmas Eve in an attempt to retrieve some belongings that Quinn’s ex-girlfriend locked away while he was in jail. Most importantly, he has to find a hard drive that could land him back in prison for years instead of months. Things go downhill from there.
Quinn was created specifically for this story, but I’d love to bring him and Zack Brewer back in the future. There’s more to be shared about these two and Quinn deserves quite a bit more development than I gave him here. I have a feeling he has a lot of digital skeletons in his closet that might sneak out when he’s not paying attention.
Additional apologies to Cai, who’s the smartest person in the room, but ridiculously underutilized here.
As for inspiration, I owe a lot to Donald Westlake, especially for his Dortmunder novels. I read all twelve of them plus a collection of shorts in the past couple of years and loved them. They’re old school heist stories, with a healthy dose of comedy. Quinn probably also owes a little bit of his DNA to Stephanie Plum, Janet Evanovich’s generally inept bounty hunter. Please don’t hold my writing against either of them in any way.
In real life, thanks to Roger and Mario for providing the house, although I redecorated a fair bit. And thanks to all the Zacks in my life for providing me with constant entertainment.
Lastly, a special thank you to my muse, who’s far away at the moment but somehow snuck into a lump of coal and turned it back into a heart. Thank you, darling.
Happy reading and Merry Christmas!