This is a strange piece. Orion wrote it either before or while we were writing Dreaming of Xeres, creating the character of James Brendan Cavanagh. After that, James did a walk-on in Dreaming. Then he pushed his way into being a major character in that book!
That happens when a character becomes three-dimensional. We have extensive spreadsheets on information about all our major characters, as well as many of our minor characters. It helps to round out the characters and often gives us jumping off points for stories or actions in our novels and short stories. Those spreadsheets (in Google Docs) are a combination of arbitrary determinations, like, he/she likes the color purple or things the characters or stories tell us about the characters, such as, what things Alex’s college friends are into and what career choices they made after college (CITE STORY HERE).
When we need a minor character, we can dip into the spreadsheet of science fiction convention attendees from DOX (Dreaming of Xeres), pick a city or an occupation we need, and hit the ground running with a name and other information to personalize the story.
We highly recommend spreadsheets!
Around him the airport swirled and muttered and clamored, but to Tin Man, all was quiet. The wall of ice he’d built about himself kept out any trace of the humanity around him. None of them mattered. Not to him. His heart did not beat for them. His mind shut out any attempted emotional contact from them.
The doors from the passenger tunnel opened, disgorging the latest airline passengers: harried parents with children, rumpled businessmen with slim briefcases, and young men and women with backpacks and ear buds that spilled out thin drifts of music as they passed.
A gaggle of Asian students eddied around him, chattering in high-pitched voices, the cadence of their language falling strangely on his ears. A reunion broke out at the front of the waiting crowd, all balloons, hugs, and tears. The prodigal son or daughter was wrapped in relatives and well-wishers like a Christmas present. (more…)