By Karissa Laurel
When I heard one of the themes of the new scifi-themed Crazy 8 Press anthology was love – the collection is called Love, Murder & Mayhem — my thoughts didn’t go straight to classic romance pairings for my lead characters. Instead, I almost immediately thought of me and my son, and our love for each other. Speaking from personal experience, the mother-son relationship is regularly fraught with conflicts, and, yet, it’s a bond that often endures and overcomes. That was the kind of love I wanted to write about in my story – The Reboot of Jennis Viatorem.
I use a lot of imagination when it comes to parenting, but I think most mothers work that way, even those who gave birth to their kids instead of being introduced to them with a sticky hug when they were two years old. My husband had full custody of his son when we started dating. As we progressed towards marriage, I worried that I wasn’t ready for instant motherhood.
My son and I have lived in confusion of each other almost since the beginning. If I am a right brain thinker, then he is left brain, or vice versa. I used to wonder if we would ever find anything in common. Then, one day when he was about six years old, I set him down in front of the television and said, “There’s something I want to share with you that is of great importance to me. I hope you will cherish it as well.”
He gave me a funny look, but from the moment those first words, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” scrolled across the screen, he was enthralled. After that, it was light sabers and Star Wars action figures for every gift giving opportunity. He would stand outside the automatic doors at grocery stores, flapping his arms. “Mom, I’m using the Force,” he would say when the doors slid apart.
Then he discovered my stash of Harry Potter novels and insisted we read them together. We went on stick foraging expeditions to find the perfect material for a wand. We invented new spells and magic words for everything from cleaning rooms to tying shoelaces.
Although not always easy, it has been eleven good years since the day I vowed to spend the rest of my life with my son and his dad. I still think my boy and I will never completely understand each other, but when we speak in the language of sci-fi and fantasy geeks, I can hear him saying he loves me, and I trust he hears it in return.
Love, Murder & Mayhem from Crazy 8 Press will be on sale both in print and digital formats in July. Stay tuned for updates!
Karissa Laurel lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote The Princess Bride verbatim. On weekends you can find her at flea-markets hunting for rusty things to re-use and re-purpose. She is the also the author of The Norse Chronicles, an adult urban fantasy series based on Norse mythology; and The Stormbourne Chronicles, a young adult fantasy series.