Where Did That Come From? – Philip Carroll

Where did that come from is a series where we ask our authors the question, “Where did you get the idea for your story?”

Today, we feature author, marathon runner, all around good guy and author of We’ll Leave the Lights On for You in our latest book Dimensional Abscesses , Philip Carroll.


On Cockroaches and Dimensional Abscesses.

When the call went out for short stories for this anthology, the original premise was that a portal existed under your sink which would take you to far away, yet undesirable places.
I ran with a literal interpretation of that and considered who, or what, might avail themselves to such a portal. I considered those creatures that just about everyone on earth has creeping around their floorboards, but doesn’t want to acknowledge: cockroaches.
I figured that if there was a portal open under the kitchen sink, and there happened to be some of these critters down there, they would naturally wander through. The next step was, “What would be the very worst place for a cockroach to go?”
Obvious. A world where steam rollers run amuck.
I studied cockroaches for a couple weeks and tried to create two personalities from the characteristics and behaviors typical to roaches. For example: Cockroaches use their antennae to sense their world. Also, they produce a waxy substance which hold moisture in their bodies and makes it so they can go a week without drinking. However, this wax also gets onto the antennae and makes it difficult to sense their environment, so they clean them often.
What I hope I ended up with was a couple of teenage boys, one seeking adventure and the other, stability. Giles, the intrepid explorer is often waving his antennae around, looking for fun, while Emit nervously runs his through his “mouth parts” to keep them clean.
In my studies I learned there are many natural enemies to the cockroaches, including, rats, birds, monkeys, and the Huntsman spider. I tried to give every predator at least a cameo appearance, but I found the Huntsman so gruesomely unique, I wanted to give them an entire scene.
Together, I bounced them through traumatic experiences to challenge their intellect and amazing cockroach speed.
My original title was, “A Cockroach Tale” but then changed it to, “We’ll Leave the Lights On for You” as a nod to America’s lowest priced hotel chain.

Philip is an Army trained Certified Orthotist, husband of 30+ years, father of 3, and grandfather of 2, currently living in the Central Valley of California. He has always been a story telling, if only telling himself stories to keep himself awake while driving, entertaining his children as he was driving, or just to entertain himself as he went to sleep. In October of 2008 he decided to start putting some of these stories on digital paper.

You can get a copy of Dimensional Abscesses at any of these fine retailers



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