What on earth is this name about? Ever read John Wyndham’s book The Chrysalids? It’s a personal favorite of mine. In a post-nuclear war world a lot of things are changed. We are introduced to a group of puritans who have decided what it takes to be made in God’s image, right down to the number of fingers and toes.
Unfortunately, thanks to radiation, there are a lot of children born who don’t fit the bill. They are sterilized and banished. When a young boy with a hidden secret of his own makes friends with a girl with six toes they are both forced to make hard choices in order to survive.
What I like about Toe Six is that it’s about the catalyst, the inciting incident. What is it that puts a character on a certain path? While there’s always been a crime focus I stretch that as widely as possible. I don’t care if your story takes place on the moon or in Montana as long as somebody crosses a line, there’s a legal or moral wrong of some kind that is going to make a character act in a way they otherwise wouldn’t have.
I also love memorable characters. The Chrysalids is a story that’s stayed with me for over 35 years. I’ve read it multiple times. You have to want to spend time with a group of characters to do that and that’s something I look for in great entertainment.
Characters don’t have to be good, but they must be memorable.
Why Start A New Site?
In 2005, I started Spinetingler Magazine, which became an internationally-known site that published fiction, reviews, interviews and other features. The objective was always to discover that next great story and share it with the world, whether that was by posting a review, interviewing the author or publishing the story ourselves.
Changes in my personal life meant that I continued to be the face of Spinetingler until March 2018, but did not own the site. I left when I felt that the focus was no longer consistent with what Spinetingler was intended to be when I started it.