Today we are happy to welcome to Elle Andrews Patt. Elle writes speculative and literary fiction and is a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of award-winning writers reinventing the way readers experience short fiction. Her novelette, ‘Someday Loyal’ is available for FREE today on Kindle. Follow link to download today!
EAP: My friend M.J Carlson vouched for my writing skills and introduced me as a prospect to AE co-founder Ken Pelham at the Florida Writers Association (FWA) conference just as AE was forming. The next evening, I won the First Place Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA) from FWA for Published Short Fiction for a second year in a row. Ken shot me an email containing the basic contract all AE writers agree to, the framework he and Charles A. Cornell had developed as the first project (The Prometheus Saga), the stellar list of writers who had already agreed to write with AE, and invited me to join if I liked the concept. I did and am still enjoying our collaboration. We write stand-alone stories that we publish individually, but all of which are connected in some way, by premise or recurring element, as a series of stories for readers. Readers can read them in any order they choose.
When we were ready to launch a second project, we kicked around the idea of writing within the Prometheus framework again. Either again featuring the Prometheus probe or of writing a different character/place/thing that again played a role in each author’s story. As a group we decided to wait a bit longer before returning to that framework and live up to our name by experimenting further with concept, this time going from the very focused framework of Prometheus to the very open structure of writing stories that only share their premise. Eventually we narrowed down the various ideas we tossed out to each other to one: an unexpected return to earth by humans, leaving the time period, setting, and characters to writer’s choice. In this way it is more of a ‘traditional’ anthology of short fiction, but we are continuing to break ground in the arena of collaborative indie development, editing, and marketing. By going to conceptual extremes in AE’s first two projects we’ll be able to analyze our success as a group and further experiment and refine our future projects to provide our readers the pleasurable benefits of fresh perspectives, interesting anthology structures, and engaging, high-concept stories.
EAP: Actually, I started four different stories for this project. Three did not develop for me. The fourth one kept building and building until I had a 14,000 word novel treatment and outline instead of short fiction. I’ll finish fleshing that out into a full novel. Casting about for a new idea, I sorted through my story scraps and found three paragraphs about three characters having tea while alien fireballs streaked through the sky. Charles had already developed a promo graphic that included flaming astroids falling to Earth and my brain went, ah-ha! ‘Someday Loyal’ grew from that little story scrap into a novelette that I am personally very pleased with. I hope your readers like it, too.
Q: Could you tell us about a difficulty you overcame as you wrote this particular story?
EAP: There were two issues I had problems with regarding ‘Someday Loyal’. I write my stories completely first to get them down. Then I re-write by layering in story elements like weather and sound or planting an item the characters will need later. The first issue, the construction of and the ‘why’ behind the fireballs, kept coming back from my first reader and editors as confusing. It took me several passes to build the explanation of them in a way that readers could both recognize and remember as they continued reading. The second issue I had to re-write several times to get right regarded the climax and the ‘telling of the tale’, the mystery’s reveal, in a way that allowed all the characters to participate, made sense, and didn’t cause one character in particular to appear callous about others safety. Writing a group of characters talking together versus one character to another is actually much more difficult than it appears. I’ve had quite a bit of practice since it’s a skill I wanted to have and have worked to develop over the years I’ve been writing, but it’s still a challenge every time.
Q: What does your next year as a writer look like?
EAP: I have lots going on in my writing life. I’m in re-writes on a novel set on Beech Mountain. It’s about a female veteran who, after failing to save a life, searches for solace in the physical endurance of solitary running, but finds a family instead. I’m seeking representation for my paranormal murder mystery, Billie Mae, which is a 2016 RPLA Finalist in the Unpublished Mystery Novel category. I’m continually sending out short fiction submissions to paying magazine markets. I’m also working on three stories in progress, a sequel to Billie Mae, a standalone crime novel set in Daytona Beach called Blind Mice Bite, and the fourth Return To Earth story attempt gone awry, Annunaki. ‘Someday Loyal’ includes a minor character from Annunaki and is set in the same universe. When I need thinking time on one, I switch to writing on another. I’ll be attending Dragon*Con and two writers’ conferences during the next year. I also have family travel scheduled during which I’ll be able to collect info and do research for short fiction and I’ve been invited on two separate ghost hunts as research for the Billie Mae sequel, which will be great fun. Within a few months, the Alvarium Experiment will be deciding on a third project, so there will be a story to write for that as well.
Q: How can readers find out more about your work?
About the Author
Elle Andrews Patt writes literary and speculative fiction, mucks stalls, and photographs found objects. In the past she has made her living as a vet tech, a pizza maker, and a farm manager among many other ventures. She currently lives with her husband and two daughters in the breeziest part of Florida she’s ever been to and is grateful for it everyday.
About Return to Earth
Return to Earth is the second project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.
The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.
Return to Earth stories & authors are:
“AOB” by Bria Burton. Aona, an Alien-Operated Bot (AOB), suffers a malfunction that could jeopardize her mission on Earth and could lead to the extinction of an entire species from another planet.
Visit Bria at www.briaburton.com
“The Paradoxical Man” by Bard Constantine. Albert Rosen is one of five explorers who vanished on a deep-sea expedition into the Bermuda Triangle. He returns to Earth centuries later, transported across space and time through a mysterious wormhole. However, Earth is not the home he remembers. Humankind has been evacuated, and the survivors lie in hibernation aboard the Locus, an orbiting space station. Rosen is forced to match wits with Deis, an artificial intelligence determined to keep humanity in stasis until he is convinced they are fit to return.
Visit Bard at www.bardwritesbooks.com
“Children Of The Stars” by Charles A. Cornell. In Japan, an American medical researcher discovers the deadly secret behind an eighty-year-old woman’s ageless appearance and incredible fertility, and her connection to the bizarre disappearance of the freighter the Ourang Medan in 1948.
Visit Charles at www.charlesacornell.com
“Project Bright Star” by Kristin Durfee. A once thought failed secret mission to colonize a distant planet, named 0X3B1, is discovered to have been successful when descendants of that mission return to Earth fifty-one years after their grandparents left, much to the surprise, and fear, of the world.
Visit Kristin at www.kristindurfee.com
“Recovery” by Veronica Helen Hart. When a virus threatens the lives of everyone on board a transfer station for intergalactic travel, it’s up to Dr. Candace Bertram to retrieve the only known vaccine from Earth. The risky, untested method of transport could mean catastrophic mission failure, and grave danger for Dr. Bertram.
Visit Veronica at www.veronicahhart.com
“Coming Home” by John Hope. Finally achieving his dream of being an astronaut on the Jupiter missions, Jasper’s mind is elsewhere, on the recent loss of his stepfather, Bud. But Jasper’s space mission is interrupted when he is sucked into a wormhole that transports him to a different time, 30 years in the past. And now, doctors don’t believe where he’s from. Fortunately, his loving nurse at his side comforts him and a love builds. That is, until he realizes that his nurse’s son is Jasper as a young boy.
Visit John at www.johnhopewriting.com
“Someday Loyal” by Elle Andrews Patt. Alien invaders are lobbing fireballs at Peoria, but Grandmama is holding tea. When the military arrives in search of Mrs. Suniol, Alice is drawn into the mystery of Lake Snow, a missing husband, and securing the key to an entire civilization’s survival.
Visit Elle at www.elleandrewspatt.com
“Under The Whelming Tide” by Ken Pelham. The Aethir, space-born descendants of the mythical planet Earth, are returning home at last to fulfill their destiny. But not all believe the great homecoming will be the heaven they have been promised.
Visit Ken at www.kenpelham.com
“Social Experiment” by Tracie Roberts. For the past two years Dr. Olivia Tate had led a satisfying life with her alien spouse, Kya Dumont. As a scientist and cancer survivor, Liv is on a mission to discover a cure for the deadly disease. But something equally deadly has put Kya’s people, the Oo’mahn, in danger of extinction. With an order to evacuate Earth, Kya struggles between helping her people and remaining with the woman she loves, especially now that Liv has also fallen ill. Now Kya’s ship is approaching and the couple must not only find a cure for Liv and the Oo’mahn, but also devise a plan to remain together despite the objection of the aliens.
Visit Tracie at www.tracieroberts.com
“Gaia Returning” by C.L. Roman. Pirates steal things. It’s what they do… When Captain Irina Demyanov’s first mate disobeys orders and steals the crown jewels of a vengeful alien race, she knows she’s out of options. Desperate to escape, Irina takes her chances on a dangerous vortex leap and lands near an unnamed, yet strangely familiar planet. The gamble may have paid off, but between hostile inhabitants and inevitable discovery by their pursuers, the pirates’ chances of survival appear slim. Can the human remnant find refuge, or will their enemies put a permanent end to the human race?
Visit C.L. at www.brassragpress.com
For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website: www.alvariumexperiment.wixsite.com/returntoearth
Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment