Authorís Notes 10/29/04

This story began as an experiment and quickly grew into a monster. Iíve been reading slash for six or seven years and Iíve tried to write other slash fiction but this one seemed to stick. 182,459 words later, it was finished.

The version of LAST SWIM on this website differs slightly from the versions posted at and Olympia. A few of the more obvious grammar/spelling issues were fixed and a continuity problem with the name of the secondary character has been corrected.

Do I think the Ian and Michael in this story bear any resemblance to their real world counterparts? Heck no. These are fantasy figures.

How much research did I do? More than I expected. The characters travel from Athens to Maryland, Sydney, Japan, Fiji, Michigan, Portugal, and end up in China (and I probably missed a couple of places). Iíve only physically been to two of the locations so if I messed details up, Iím going to blame the internet.

How did I keep track of all those people? There are over a hundred secondary characters from Ian and Michaelís families to totally made up folks. Again, anyone who is mentioned that exists in real life is not the character in this story. I have them all listed (and a few that never got a mention) in an Excel workbook.

The story takes place over four years, what about all those dates? Another sheet in the Excel workbook dealt with all the dates. I have things mapped out to 2012 to cover THE SWEET LIFE too.

How about that goofy format for the documentary? I know. It was another experiment; I had to introduce Michaelís stepsiblings (two of whom will be come important to THE SWEET LIFE) and didnít want to make it an info dump.

What things didnít make it to the story? I had a long chapter dealing with the Ďfamilyí mailing list and message board but it was too hard to execute in an understandable way; at least for me. For the record, it was Calthophel and I may use parts of it later.

How did you write this so quickly? I have no idea. I averaged 3200 words a day and I have a full time job. Some of it was written during slow times at work but otherwise, I just sat down every night and tried to finish a chapter.

Who came up with these questions? A few were asked by people in email but I included a few others so I donít forget the answers.