I'm ever so glad I asked Mike Friedman of Mockingbird Books for the back story on The Carriage Driver.
I think you'll enjoy this as much as I did.
Read on and then treat yourself to a copy of The Carriage Driver ~ you won't be sorry...
For some time now episodes of The Carriage Driver have appeared on a website named Hubpages. It did not set out to be a long-running series. None of my writing began with the thought to be a long-running series, though that is what has happened more often than not.
The question that was posed for an answer was and is, ‘What happens after we die?’ From that, another question arose, “Is there a reward?” Between the goal post lay the game of speculation as to what comes next. As there is no answer as to what comes next, other than what we have been told, I took another look at my questions and revised them. The questions became, ‘If something comes next, what would it be? And do we have any say so in it? After all, we were good, so good in fact we feel we earned a reward.
The stories were kicked off with The Eliots... a sick woman is in surgery. He husband is in a waiting room deep in prayer. The woman is under anesthesia and close to death. She is so close to death that The Carriage Driver and Nuelle are called to her and she envisions the ride that she will eventually take.
The concept seemed simple. And the story, which was released around Christmas, was well received. It had hope and a dash of faith mixed into the pot. With the encouragement of those that read the first story another was born.
The first series ended with twenty-eight stories that featured The Carriage Driver and the star Nuelle a white mare with a long white mane that is the envy of the last wig-maker in Boston. She has more fans than The Carriage Driver.
The more stories that were written the more metaphor crept in, such as, last journey, the castle in the sky, and our just rewards. When writing about the afterlife, it is good to know something about the promises that have been made. Here knowledge was lacking. Before long thoughts of Saints drifted into the process, and where there are Saints there are sinners. So the metaphors kept expanding.
Then a funny thing happened. Many fine writers have graced the halls of Hubpages. One of my favorite episodes of the series is The Diarist. The seeds of this story were generated by none other than Nellieanna Hay, who has entertained many of us and is dear to our hearts. Her lifelong habit of collecting her thoughts of love, fantasy and whimsy in her journals became the main character in my story of a writer and illustrator whose work merged and entertain us all but the two souls did not meet until they shared a carriage ride to their final destination.
This brings me back to the questions. Who goes to Heaven? We know what we have been told. The good, the righteous, the believers – these concepts were adhered too, and I tried to put a face to it. And another question came to mind and kept the series going. What is a good life?
The perception that came to mind: the poets, the writers, the creative, and others. Those that shouldered their responsibilities to protect those they love. The pages of The Carriage Driver are filled with these people.
The story Crystal Running takes place at the Boston Marathon on the faithless day of the bombing. The story's name comes from Krystle Marie Campbell, who was killed on her day off.
She was killed for the crime of looking for a moment of pleasure on a Sunday afternoon. The runner in the story turns into a Cheetah, a free spirit, running with the wind and running to win. She is set free from all the hatred and malice that is rampant in our world. Free to run, a spirit in every sense of the word.
In search of stories almost nothing is sacred - Amy Ruth is the story of my Mother’s childhood and subsequent life. The Close Call is a portrayal of my Father’s life and not a true representation of the actual score. Date with a Dead Man is a good representation of my brother’s colorful time here. My sisters and remaining brother have been spared - so far.
I would be remiss not to mention The Cowboy, our own Dusty. He was an old Marine, old desert rat, old soul that managed to touch all of us deeply.
The Carriage Driver hears a calling. He prepares Nuelle and the carriage for the final journey. He offers a blanket of comfort and delivers you anywhere you want to go.
A second set of stories has begun. Where this leads I do not know. There are so many questions and as the stories manifest themselves I will present them.
I maintain a website here: Mockingbird Books
For anyone that did not get a copy sent to them, here is a link to Amazon and The Carriage Driver, http://amzn.to/1i4vgL5.
So glad I asked, dear Mike. This is an awesome back story. Hoping my readers treat themselves to your book.
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Until next time, have a peaceful week.
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