Tuesday, April 19, 2011
"Ice Princess" is the only story I ever wrote in the middle of the night; it was written between midnight and 3 AM on two successive nights. It was the summer of 1994, and I had just returned from Ice Castle, an international training center for ice skaters, which was my favorite place to go for vacation. I got plenty of exercise during the day (two freestyle sessions, a lesson from my coach, dance class, and workout time in the gym), and at night I was alone in my cabin with my laptop so I could write in peace. And every morning at breakfast at least one of the skaters would ask how much I had written the night before. It was very motivating.
One afternoon I was sitting around the swimming pool with a skater named Sharon, and she asked if I ever put real people in my stories. I told her that I usually didn't, and she remarked that she would like to be in a story. A few days later I returned home to find Marion and Rachel in a flap because the cover illustration for issue 24 of Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine was not going to arrive in time. This meant that the cover story had to be moved to the next issue, and they needed a new cover and story. They had some paintings from David Cherry available, and they said if I could write a story to go with one of them, they'd use it for the cover story. I picked the painting I liked best, and wrote a story for Sharon. When I handed it in, Rachel looked startled and said she had been joking. I told her I wasn't joking, and that they were going to pay me the cover story rate. They did. The story was reprinted in THE RANDOM HOUSE BOOK OF FANTASY STORIES in 1996.
"Ice Princess" is part of my collection MAGIC IN SUBURBIA, which is available in paperback and Kindle formats.