Who doesn’t want to delete unpleasant items from history and replace them with something palatable? It is a common theme in stories, especially in our speedily evolving technology, when it is easy to highlight and trash information we do not particularly care to see. The muse wonders “what if?” in regards to changing reality on a magic machine. It’s already a common theme, but then again, love is a common theme; pain is a common theme; addiction is a common theme; ghosts, vampires, murder, family, war, depression are all common themes. The key is writing a common theme type of piece well, which is a challenge because you have to grab and hold a reader who might feel that s/he has seen it all before.
I find Delete Browser History by our own Diane Dickson the sort of thing that takes a common theme and improves on it. Have a look and you will see what I mean.
Q: Did your father actually react to the Kennedy news that way? My Uncle, who was six at the time, recalls being bummed because it happened on a Friday, and that the news preempted all his cartoons that weekend.
He did but it was probably because the newscaster on the BBC had instigated it by a sort of roll of his eyes in a ‘here we go’ sort of way. I don’t think he meant to give the impression that it wasn’t serious but more that it couldn’t possibly be true. It wasn’t long before the reality came in though.
Q: I love your voice; it is dignified without being distant, formal or stuffy. Have you always been able to write as clearly, or has it required years of practice?
I don’t know that I can answer that satisfactorily. I don’t think about it deeply. Sometimes if I am writing a character I can feel a change in myself and am aware that I am writing (speaking) differently from usual. I have always loved writing and read voraciously so possibly that has helped. I have written some work in dialogue and as for being formal or stuffy I think I am far too ordinary for that!
Bonus Question: If you could travel back in time to do something noble, would you since that would mean bringing back to life persons to suffer the slings and arrows once more? (Nasty question, I know, but you can always delete it!)
The only thing I would do would be to listen more closely to my dad so that I would have understood how depressed he was and maybe stop him trying to kill himself but then as you say there would have been a need for more than just that because he would still be faced with his problems. We can’t, can we – thing have to be the way that they are.