Round Table

Discussions With Authors

We need to start by introducing the moderator, Gideon Stevens, so we made him interview himself. He said, “I’m not interviewing an empty chair – that’s Eastwood’s schtick.”

Cloning him would be time-consuming (not to mention ill-advised) so we decided to go with a hologram.

Turns out holograms are expensive, and we’re a dot-org, we don’t have that kind of money, so we set our sights on a cardboard cutout.

Turns out cardboard cutouts are expensive, and we’re a dot-org, we don’t have that kind of money, so we took a realistic look at our budget, and put a sticky-note on the empty chair. We drew a stick figure and wrote “Gideon” underneath it.

He seemed okay with that.

Dreaming Up a Story

We are pleased to have the author of the romantic comedy Tin Man and Rabbit with us today. Please welcome Gideon Stevens. Hello.


Tell us about your book. What inspired this story?

I’m not sure how to answer that. I think this book might owe more to tenacity than inspiration.

How so?

Well I waited to be inspired for a long time, but it never really happened. Maybe just a fleeting glimpse, but nothing that didn’t fade away. So I decided if I was going to write, I really couldn’t wait for an idea that was perfect.

So you didn’t know where the story was going to go when you started?

I didn’t even know where it started! Okay, this is what happened: Last year, I decided that on my birthday, I would start writing a book and basically not stop until it was done.

So the night before, I had a little pep talk with myself: “Okay, brain, you’re not much, but you’re all I’ve got – dream me up a story tonight.” And then I went to sleep.

The story came to you in a dream?

Not exactly. When I woke up, all I could remember was a single scene, almost like a photograph. A man and woman were walking through the woods. I think it was raining.

That’s the whole dream?

That’s everything. A dream that lasted maybe two seconds.

What did you do?

I rolled my eyes as far back in my head as possible, said “Thanks a lot brain,” and then I did what all respectable writers do in the morning. I made coffee and stared out the window.


I guess. After a while, it finally occurred to me to ask, “Why are they walking in the woods?” And the answer came back to me, “They’re taking a shortcut back to town.”

Okay, but why are they walking back to town?

Because their car broke down.

Why didn’t they call a tow truck? And I knew then that I would have to plan a scene to take out a cell phone. The questions kept coming. Why are they miles from town anyway? Where were they going?

So I kept working backward until I found a good spot to start the story.

Where did you start?

Tom has an old family farmhouse outside of town, and a development corporation wants to build a shopping center there. He doesn’t want to sell, but it is the best option, and a good profit, so he agrees.

Lisa is the real-estate agent helping him find property to build a new house. The two of them are mutually attracted.

They go looking at a spot miles from town – and then the car breaks down. Tom is old-school and has a landline at home, but no cell. Lisa’s a real-estate agent; of course she has a cell phone. I had to kill it.

What did you do?

I drowned it.


I’m not telling you. So, with the car dead and the phone dead, they have to walk home. They take a shortcut through the woods. They get lost. It starts raining. And that catches us up to my 2-second dream.

Then what happened?

Yes, that was my next question. It involves an angry ex, a shotgun, and a trip to the beach. Somewhere on this page I’m sure there’s a link to the rest of the story.

Alright, we’ll take that hint. Tin Man and Rabbit, by Gideon Stevens, available at Amazon for purchase or Kindle Unlimited. Thank you, Gideon.

My pleasure.