When I was young and foolish, I used to write short stories based on a picture, a photograph or a song, as a form of exercise. I would hammer the story out on my mother’s Olivetti typewriter, and see what I was able to put together. I had read somewhere that pulp writers in the days of the magazines often wrote stories to the cover (typical example, Fritz Leiber’s Schylla’s Daughter), and I thought it would help me develop my writer skills.
The first story I actually finished was based on an illustration by Boris Vallejo (hey, it was the 80s! I was 16! Give me some slack!)
This one, to be precise…
Sometimes I still do, in a way: I use photo references and a soundtrack for my stories. But a story directly inspired by a painting or a song? That’s a thing I have not done for a long time.
Yesterday I saw a video for a song by a singer and composer I love, a jazzy number called Killer Crisis (but I’ve also seen it translated as Assassins’ Assassin), and the video is such a perfect little noir-ish movie that I was thinking to myself, now that’s a story I’d like to write!
And then I thought… hey, why not?
Who’s to stop me?
A straight noir/espionage caper.
I could take my time, and prepare it as a Christmas gift for my patrons.
Because it’s good to be my patrons.
And that’s what I will do.
In the meantime, here’s the source of my inspiration…
The words, you say?
There’s talk of a useless license for a missed deal, and the fact that some women don’t have time for you until they kill you, and betrayal being an aphrodisiac.
I’ll write this story, oh yes I will.