Stargate and Squire’s Isle

Sometime in the early 2000s, I was looking for something to watch while I “wrote.” Back in those days the internet at my house was this strange thing that sometimes came into the family computer on a dialed-up surge of beeps and whistles. It was extremely, extremely slow, and one of the first things I remember ever looking up was a Stargate SG-1 website and spending two minutes watching the image load (yes, our internet was that slow in the 2000s… we didn’t get high-speed internet until much, much later than is reasonable to be expected, and even then I fought it (I don’t like change (wow, we’re getting really off-topic here))). Anyway, I had a computer in my room, but it wasn’t hooked up to the internet. I wanted something to watch while I was writing and, while flipping channels, I happened to see Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver!). I was vaguely aware he had a new show, and I’d liked Legend (still do. Get on that, Netflix), so I decided to stick with it. The episode was 1969, and that was good enough that I stuck around for the next episode. Which was the season finale, and it had a cliffhanger. “Okay, so one more episode.” Except NOT, because then they started the season over from the beginning instead of continuing on.

This was before everything was available on DVD or Netflix. This was before I could even check the internet for an episode guide. I had to tune in and continue tuning in just to find out what happened. By the time I finally got to see the conclusion (spoiler: no one died), I was hooked. I kept tuning in, and I kept writing. In 2004, I was a big enough fan that I scheduled my first trip out of state in order to attend GateCon in Vancouver. It was my first time really being away from familiar stomping grounds, the people who knew me as my parent’s son, my first time out of the country… first time out of my STATE unless you count a barely-remembered trip to Texas as a toddler. It was a pretty big deal all told.

The friends I was traveling with made what seemed like a spur-of-the-moment decision: we were going to stop along the way and go whale-watching. I had absolutely zero interest in this. I didn’t like boats, I didn’t like the water, and it seemed like a huge waste of time. I kept trying to think of ways out of it that wouldn’t make me look like a grumpy weasel but I came up empty. So against my will, I boarded a ferry and went to San Juan Island. To say that it changed my life is an understatement. It changed my feelings about everything: the Pacific Northwest, the sea, whales, island life, etc… I decided I was going to take a story I’d been working on for a very long time and move it from Chicago to a small island off the coast of Washington. That was the origin of Squire’s Isle, and I owed finding it to the fact Stargate had gotten me there.

Now, ten years after I visited that island and it… infected me with itself, my writing has evolved to the point where I don’t put it in quotations anymore. I’m not a “writer,” I’m a writer. I have books, I have a lot of books, and I have fans. I have people who buy my books for other people as Christmas gifts. That’s pretty amazing right there. And because the island opened up my talent (and because of people I met through my writing and a shared love of Stargate and its sort-of sister show Sanctuary, I am now getting the opportunity to write an official Stargate SG-1 novel for Fandemonium.

Fingers crossed that I don’t screw it up!