Welcome to the RPLA Showcase
Each year at the Royal Palm Literary Award Banquet, authors experience the joy of earning accolades for all the hard work that is often done in the privacy of the home with little to no recognition. Our goal is to showcase the best of the best at the 2015 Royal Palm Literary Awards and provide First Place winners with a well-deserved spotlight. Not only are we recognizing extraordinary talent, but we’re giving readers an opportunity to sample excerpts from the winning stories.
2015 Unpublished Novella
Eclipse of the Souls by Patricia Crumpler
Patricia Crumpler won First Place in the Unpublished Novella category. In Eclipse of the Souls, if earth folks wanted to control the plague-mutated individuals they dispatched to the interstellar ship Benevolence, they shouldn’t have sent Arlen Rowell to be the freaks’ Liaison Officer.
Click the link to read a sample:
Q & A with Patricia Crumpler
Q: Where do you get your story ideas?
A: In my childhood, I was a read-a-holic. All through junior high, I spent hours in the school’s library reading as many Sci-Fi stories as I could find. I even read what we now call “pulp fiction” meaning those cheesy 5 X 9 paperbacks that fell apart as soon as you spread the pages. I get a lot my ideas from those old books and short stories. I still enjoy reading Robert Heinlein. Of my own stories, I like the ones the best that reflect Heinlein’s style.
Q: Anything in particular about your award-winning RPLA entry that you’d like to share?
A: I have spent a lot of time thinking about what would happen if we lost electricity from an Electro-Magnetic-Pulse delivered via war or alien invasion. Earth’s dependence on computers, machines, and electric devices leave us vulnerable. If we lost our electrical sources, we would immediately plunge into a dark, horrible state. (For years my husband and I kept a VW beetle around because it doesn’t use a computer to run. Kind of a bug for a bug-out emergency. Our last beetle burned up a few years ago and we haven’t replaced it…but we will…) In thinking about the problems of the EMP, my thoughts traveled to the dire health problems humankind might suffer in a post-apocalyptic world. Put those thoughts together with memories of an old flash fiction from 1957 pulp magazine, my brain concocted a story of hideously mutated plague survivors so ugly that they were sent into interstellar space. The hero, an underachiever but physically perfect, becomes the anomaly when he is sent to be the Liaison Officer on one of those ships, the “Benevolence,” which, like the other ships, does not live up to their caring names.
Q: Who do you credit with inspiring your writing?
A: Robert Heinlein, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. G. Wells, and other twentieth century Sci-Fi writers inspired me early on. I have taken up a small gauntlet in their behalf.
Q: Any tips for new writers?
A: Just do it. If your work reads back rough, ask another writer for feedback. Do it again. Critique groups can really help if you get the right people.