During the years when my daughter was attending Pepperdine University in Malibu, it was the perfect excuse to make numerous California trips. We’d visit her for a while, then extend the trip to places all over the western states. One of my favorite spots was Crescent City at the extreme northern point on the California coast. This was real Northern California with giant Redwood trees. We stayed there many times. What triggered the moment when Redwoods and nanobots came together is a mystery to me, but I had all pieces in mind when I was there, watching a group of students walking through the forest, one of them using a Disney-print table-cloth to keep the dripping moisture off her.
This was hardly ground-breaking science-fiction. Nanobots and aliens who infiltrate humans in order to take them over were used by many other writers before me, but I like to think things through.
Why would alien nanobots try to take over a human? For transportation, of course. A microscopic being can’t travel very far on it’s own. And how would the needs of the nanobot be expressed in human senses and human actions?
Add to that some real human story elements, like being overweight, having an overprotective mother, and then add the guy’s own storyline, mix well with the scenery of the Redwoods and add in a trip to Malibu, and the story came together well.
There’s a couple of personal preferences I should mention. I collect coins. Not particularly in the common way. I have a drawer right below my keyboard where there’s foreign coins from my travels, National Park medallions, odd coins like silver coins from before everything went sandwiched, and even a wooden nickel. I would dearly love to have a trunk of gold coins. If I can’t have one, then how about one of my characters?
The other item was the fond memories I have of science lab in schools as I grew up. There was the Periodic Table, the microscopes, the rows of chemicals in jars — if I could have fit an explosion in, I would have. You know, just for fun.
The cover art went to my son-in-law’s sister and she rejected all my suggestions. People like her version, so I don’t complain.
So, from the idea of superhuman powers to the satisfaction I always feel walking through the tall tree forests, Extreme Makeover always brings a smile. That’s why it’s my favorite.
Next up — My Favorite Book: Lighter Than Air