Last week I was on vacation in beautiful Laguna Beach, CA. If you ever have the chance to visit LB, do it. It’s in Orange County, but it is not the OC you know from that awful reality show. It’s much classier and friendlier.
While on my vaca in the OC, I got an email from a very impassioned reader. She gave me some kind remarks about the Oz Chronicles series, and she gave me some constructive criticisms, as well. One of the things she pointed out was that in Banshee Worm King Stevie is referred to as Tommy at one point. She didn’t say where, but I’m sure she’s right. What very few people know is that in the earliest draft of The Takers Stevie’s name was Tommy. I changed it at the request of my mother because there was a young man named Tommy who took his own life in my home town shortly after I graduated high school. Tommy was my developmentally challenged neighbor, and while he didn’t create comic books, he wrote bizarrely entertaining science fiction stories. Mom didn’t feel comfortable with me naming the character after him, so I changed it because I love my mom.
It doesn’t surprise me that I inadvertently called Stevie Tommy because when I think of the character I think of my old neighbor. He was a great kid, and I frequently think about him. He loved his stories and was so eager to share them with whomever would listen.
It’s unconventional, but I’m considering leaving the mistake in the book as a tribute to Tommy. I haven’t made up my mind yet because I’m concerned it may pull people out of the story, but I kind of feel like Tommy should get some sort of nod for the inspiration he provided.
It’s something I’ll have to mull over in my crowded gray matter for the next few days. Stay tuned!