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November CSR Discussion Day: Bloom by Dabeagle



How has November treated you? I can't believe we're almost done with this year, but in the same respect it just can't go fast enough! I felt like that when I was reading Dabeagle's story, Bloom. I wanted to know what happened next so I kept reading faster and faster, but I wanted to savor it before it would end too soon.... as all good stories do! What did you think? Share your thoughts below, but first, enjoy these interview questions he answered first!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate has its time and place, but I'm partial to Vanilla myself.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

A Beagle, of course 🙂

What’s one location you’d love to go to research for a story?

Oh, this is a tough question, really. I'm of the opinion that my stories are character driven rather than location driven, so it would be harder for me to research an area, except for details to make something a bit more realistic. There was a story written years ago in collaboration with a friend where I wanted to write a little epilogue with them getting a honeymoon in Venice – so maybe a return to Venice. Not the worst reason to go there!

What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know?

Again, hard to say. Depends how long you've 'known' me. I was once married to a woman and I have three children – though I think many people know the second as foster care has featured more than once in my stories.

Bloom features a romance where one character has some surprisingly romantic moments. Are you a romantic?

In theory, yes. One of the great failings in me as a person is I stink at the day to day things, but am good at the grand gesture stuff. Need the dishes done daily? I will screw that up. Ned a big birthday night out? More my speed. I usually get secondhand embarrassment from intensely romantic situations on TV and sometimes in books, but I guess it kind of got away from me here.

How did you get the idea for Cal’s interest and drive for plants and genetics?

Caleb was complex in my head. I introduced my kids to the movie 'Lucky Number Slevin', which one was impressed enough to call genius (trust me, not much I do with them gets that label) and the character of Slevin who has the condition described in Bloom, kind of fascinated me. What if you took that and applied it to someone in a more mundane setting than hitman? To me it suggested an entirely different line of reasoning. So Caleb grows up scrutinizing himself because he thinks he needs to 'normalize' himself – because his peers do. But he notices at some point that not everyone does that, and that points him to Hunter. The involvement with plants and genetics actually didn't occur right away, until the parties were introduced. From there tying the plants to Hunter's eye color seemed obvious, yet practical. I also think it ties Caleb to his family through their business, yet also is unique enough that others may not understand or care to.

The retail settings of Bloom are all too realistic! Have you ever held a job in retail?

Yes, I have visited the ninth circle of hell. As a kid of course I worked a few grocery jobs and indoor retail setting as I got older. I managed a video store and a GameStop. My experience in the field is out of date, but I think there is enough there for people to identify with.


Twins… you did a great job with those! I have 2 sets in my immediate family and twin brain is real, as well as the sudden snaps of hostility and crazy. What made you choose to bring in that dynamic with Hunter and Andy?

Andy is probably one of my better developed secondary characters. I wanted her to stand out in being unconventional in her interests, yet entirely human in how she makes mistakes – and stubbornly sticks to her decisions until it's too late. I actually have practically no experience with twins – not in years. When I worked as a camp counselor I was friends with a family of a boy I mentored who had twin sisters. They would set each other off laughing with a look, something private only they understood. They didn't fight each other often, but especially as they grew older, man it was personal. As I was setting Hunter up to be a senior – the cusp of graduation – I didn't want his sibling trailing behind or just ahead because I felt it would put too much separation between their social circles, not to mention Andy's appetites would be less palatable for some. I like the idea of empowering a female character to go for what she wants as much as a male character.

What is your favorite scene or line from the story?

I have a couple. As readers comment, I frequently re-read the chapter they are reading (it's how I find my typos). Some folks recently were reading an older story of mine, and I end up reading the whole damn thing again. But to your questions, two scenes come to mind. The first is when Caleb tells Hunter everything has been aimed at winning him over. I like those moments when a character literally is blindsided by something good happening to them, and Hunter struggling with the complexity of his growing feelings for Caleb versus the safety of the 'fact' Caleb is straight and now that is all in question is very enjoyable for me. Second is that I frequently use images to influence how I describe a pose, a setting, an expression or how the light lays in a scene. So when the end comes and Hunter has the idea that a drone shot from above would be amazing I tend to agree with him – it would be something to see, perhaps in black and white. Honorable mention to Issac's scenes because he's fun to write.

Can you share a little bit of your current or upcoming work or ideas with readers?

I usually have a few ideas rolling through what passes for my brain. Unfortunately I don't share all of them at GA because my Sanitaria Springs stories frequently rely on the foundations laid by earlier chapters. Case in point I thought 'I Got You' was stand alone enough to post at GA, but it mightily confused someone who even took the time to review the story. I do have a few Sanitaria stories that will be posting soon, first to my Patreon and then to my site. I have a serial story that is magic centered that I'm also working on, but with the nature of my brain, all of that could change at any moment. The magic story is a twist on a part from a series of books I read...whose name escapes me. But the concept of how 'magic' works with a practitioner was interesting to me and I am running with my own idea.

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  • Site Administrator

Great interview, done by a great author, on a great story!

Somehow I found this story reached out to me in a way your other stories have, but not to the same degree. I'm thinking it had to do with Caleb's condition. Even though you laid it out in the story, I couldn't help but relate to people I know in real life that may have similar signs but a totally different diagnosis.

Thanks for the story and looking forward to what else you have coming our way :yes: 

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