What if?

Guardian Angel is my first novella, a crime fantasy in a noir style. As a writer, I am still trying out genres. General fiction, mystery, historical. Each has it’s own pull.

Some stories begin with an idea sparked from a news story. There is never a shortage of ideas from this source. Law & Order and spin-off Law & Order SVU uses headline-making crimes as a basis for criminal investigations the characters conduct.

Others begin with someone’s life journey. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly tells the story of Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden and their contributions to the NASA space program

And some stories begin while musing on a what if question.

What if I quit work? What would I do? How would that feel?

What if I had the chance to move to another country? Would I go? Stay?

What if you only had a week to live?

I’ve thought about this. Perhaps you have as well. What if I knew the day, the hour, the minute I’d die. How would I live my life differently? Would I change anything? Savor everyday doing something I wanted to do. See the Northern Lights? Visit the Grand Canyon? Cruise the Panama Canal? Cram as much into seven days as I could?

Or approach each day as if I had more time than I’d been told. Would I continue my life as is, trusting I would live a longer life?

Not Sure

I’m not sure.

But in one answer to my musings, Joseph Storch, the main character in Guardian Angel came to me as a first scene. I typed up the scene. The next day, when I got home from work, and started typing, he showed up in the next scene. And so it went. Each day I’d get home from work eager to get to the computer. I’d start typing and think, “Okay, what happens next?” And Joseph would do what he would do. And as he dealt with his problems, he introduced me to new characters. Through twists, turns, and the unexpected, he helped me write his story, one answer to a what if question.

Sussan Sutphenwhat if