So for those of you who don't know, my favorite TV show of all time is a sci-fi from the 90's called Babylon 5. I was introduced to it nearly ten years after it completed its run by a high school classmate, and while its presentation is certainly dated (you can tell it came from the 90's, which actually makes me like it all the more), its storylines and life lessons are timeless.
All the characters and actors in the show were unique and brilliant in their own ways, but today I want to talk a little about one in particular, who passed away far too soon this week: Jerry Doyle.
Jerry played Michael Garibaldi, the badass, no-nonsense security officer. And he was just as badass and no-nonsense in real life, running a talk show that didn't pander to either political party but flayed them both as they deserve. While I didn't agree with everything he said (I don't agree with everything anyone says), I did like his stance on most subjects, and I loved his delivery, as he always had a funny story to add to the subject, whether it was the time some drunk men insulted his wife at dinner and he buttoned his jacket before beating them up ("This was going to be a formal smack down"), or his hilarious reaction to being told to watch out for terrorists on Independence Day ("Don't touch my Johnsonville brats, or you will pay a heavy price, ISIS…the Johnsonville brats will be served, and July 4th Barbeque Justice will be done in my house."). I've listened to his show avidly for years and browse the website of the organization he founded, Epic Times, for news more than any other news source.
It's one of my biggest disappointments in life that I'll never get to meet him in person. We interacted on Twitter and exchanged emails, one of which he read hilariously on the air, and he was going to be at a convention I took my dad to in 2014, but he had to cancel. After that there was never a chance. I can only hope he's hanging with his parents and the other cast members who left us too soon, and he better be ready for some serious snark from me when I get there ("You just couldn't stand to stick around for the election, could you?").
I'd say rest in peace, Mr. JD, but you're the kind of person who I think would sooner agree to "give 'em hell," even in heaven. Either way, we'll miss you!
(Image: Chapter 4, Bennie's hand with a small flame in her palm)
Chapter 4 is now online!
Forgive me if there's glitches and errors in the chapter or this post; I just got back from a long weekend and a VERY long drive and I'm exhausted. I went to San Antonio to check on my grandmother and see some friends before I start a new job next week.
I guess, given the fact Shadowchild is set in San Antonio, it's an easy guess to tell I grew up there. My family moved from Seattle to San Antonio when I was a month shy of even years old and I called it home for the next two decades, before running away to Dallas.
The old adage "Write what you know" played an obvious role in my choice to place Bennie in that city--when I originally wrote the book I was fifteen and for all my memories of Washington State, I couldn't trust my knowledge of the area to be accurate enough to be convincing. Washington does play a role in these books, solely because I love the state so much, but I wanted to create a home for Bennie that was anchored in reality, so I chose what I knew, and combined it with my imagination, the second half of this formula will appear in the story shortly.
Many of the places mentioned in the book are real locations. So far we've only touched on Marshall High School (my alma mater, in fact), and Bennie's house (a real house I found intuitively a few blocks from the school). We'll see parks and other locations and if I can I'll have stories behind them to share.
After this last visit I will say that the San Antonio Bennie knows, that I know, may not be 100% accurate to today, as every time I go back something else has popped up or disappeared, but I'll update the setting as needed before the books go to print, so hopefully if you ever visit San Antonio (please do) you can have a passing knowledge of the city before you even arrive!
FYI for anyone paying attention, I won't be updating the chapters via Tumblr. The site's not what it was when I joined in 2012 (and it wasn't much of a site even then), so I'm getting off for good. But no worries; I'm still online everywhere else.