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Everything's Better with Tesla

A reader asks,"What are you working on right now?"

I've just finished MGM's edits to Moebius Squared, and I'm working on Silver Bullet, the third book in the Order of the Air that will probably be out at the end of next summer. I'm enjoying it tremendously, and one of my favorite things about it is getting to write the scientist, Nikola Tesla. (Professionally, that is. I've certainly written him before in a ton of Sanctuary fanfic, but this is the real Tesla, not Sanctuary Tesla!)

So what is Silver Bullet? Well, Silver Bullet is an abandoned silver mine in Colorado, the Silver Bullet mine that's reputed to be haunted. It's also the code name of a top-secret Tesla project. And it's also what everyone is looking for in November 1932, at the height of the Depression -- a silver bullet, a magic fix for all the problems that seem overwhelming in the world. If a hero would just ride into town with a silver bullet, the world would be saved. But that's not possible and that's not going to happen. There are no silver bullets for complex economic and social problems, no miracle cures. But the whole world is looking for one, and therein is the story.

But here's a little piece of Tesla, now traveling with Alma and Jerry for many complicated reasons, and Alma once again deals with the problem of being a woman traveling with two men.

"Oh dear," Dr. Tesla said, patting his pockets ineffectually. "I seem to be rather short." The hotel desk clerk looked at him dubiously.

"That's all right," Alma said. "We'll need two rooms. One for doctors Ballard and Tesla, and one for me." She hadn't expected differently. Jerry had opened his mouth and she forestalled him. "Dr. Tesla is traveling on Gilchrist's dime."

"That's very kind of you," Tesla said. "I'm not certain they'd even take my personal check, way out here in Toledo, far from the bright lights of Broadway."

Jerry looked uncertain whether or not to take that at face value, but Alma thought she saw a glimmer of amusement in Tesla's eyes that belied his conveniently distracted expression.

"I thought you'd been in Ohio many times," Alma said. "At least on your way to New York when you lived in Colorado."

"I suppose I have," Tesla said, a thin smile playing around his lips. "So kind of you to remember, young woman. I'm sure I will be quite comfortable."

"We hope so," the desk clerk said courteously. He held out the keys. "201 and 203. There is a shared bath between with locks on both sides. If that suits you, Mrs. Segura? I can put you in a single on the fourth floor if you prefer."

"I'm sure my distinguished academic passengers will be gallant enough to respect my locked door," Alma said. "Thank you." As though he thought Dr. Tesla, famously celibate and nearly eighty, required the discouragement of not having to pursue her through the hotel in his bathrobe! Or perhaps the discouragement was intended for Jerry.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)

And I still love Alma. So practical.
Nov. 17th, 2012 11:52 am (UTC)
You can't have too much Tesla. *nods decisively* Silver Bullet is the code name of one of his top secret projects. And oh dear.

Alma is very practical. And she doesn't feel that she's going to have to fend off either Jerry or Tesla!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )