What Characters Think When Writers Aren’t Around by Tim O’Connor of The Nightmare Collection and Craze of The Backworlds


Today I’m combining IWSG with Spacedock 19. When you feel your characters are out to get you, you’re probably getting it right. IWSG is by Alex J. Cavanaugh and meets the first Wednesday of every month. It’s not to late to join.

Cherie Reich’s Tim O’Connor from The Nightmare Collection, and my Craze from The Backworlds took over Spacedock 19. Enjoy…


The last ship of the day latches onto Spacedock 19, giving the space station a little nudge. Craze doesn’t notice, but he does notice the size of the ship. It’s not a big one, which means not so many potential customers.

Big enough to fill a doorframe, he puts his might into wiping down the counter and eradicating every blemish from his bar. His living hair rebraids itself into three plaits straight down his back.

Tim steps into the bar. Whoa, did that guy’s hair just braid itself? The FBI sent him on some strange assignments, but this might be the weirdest. But he could use a drink, and it was nicer to be amongst creatures who weren’t out to kill him and his girl. “Anyone taking this seat?”

Craze stuffs the rag in his red apron. His coveralls move in rhythm with his breath. “Not that I can see, smell, or hear. You might want to run your hand over it to make sure, though. Strange things often travel the cosmos. I’m sure you know.” The dude looks a bit too much like a Fo’wo’, though, so maybe he doesn’t.

Tim hesitates, but passes his hand over the seat just to make sure before perching on the stool. “After the things I’ve seen lately, I suppose one can’t be too careful.”

“One of my friends says, there’s no such thing as bein’ too careful. Most of the time, he’s full of it, but sometimes not. Can I get you a drink?”

Tim chuckles. “Sounds like a pretty wise friend. I’ll have a beer … whatever you have on tap.”

Taking a clean glass off the rack, Craze inspects it for smudges. Satisfied, he fills it with ale from a wood cask. “My own brew. I can actually get real water here. None of that stale stuff. Tastes better than ever.”

Tim takes a long sip. “Wow, this really hits the spot after a long day … or a few long weeks like I’ve been having. Thanks!”

“I brew the finest in the galaxy. Don’t let Bast tell you otherwise. Dastard.” Craze crosses his arms and leans against the bar. “Did you have to deal with a lot of unstables? Seems nothing sane is out there anymore.”

Tim isn’t certain who Bast is, but he’d take Craze’s word for it. Another sip of the beer hits the spot, and his muscles relax across his shoulders and upper back. “Not quite certain who these ‘unstables’ are, but I did have to deal with a cold-blooded–and hungry–killer. A true monster.”

Another rumor or for real? Craze’s hair bounces, the ends fanning in nervous twitches. “For real, or you puttin’ me on?”

Tim arches an eyebrow at Craze’s crazy hair. “Well, I’m not quite sure what kind of strange beings you’re used to here, but this killer was the weirdest I’ve met and far from your ordinary murderer. Patti, our medical examiner where I’m from, says trace came back with some strange genetic mutation. ‘Human but different,’ she said. But between you and me, he looked like Bigfoot and acted like a vampire with his blood lust.”

Jaw tightening, Craze crosses his arm. “You got somethin’ against mutants?” Remembering the Water-breather and freaky shadows, he eases up. “OK, some is pretty nasty. Haven’t met one that sucks blood before. Disgusting. It’s not here, is it?” He glances around the bar and the station.

“As long as they don’t kill people, I don’t mind mutants at all.” Tim holds up his hands in surrender. A quick glance around confirms the monster isn’t here. “No, he’s not here. I hope we don’t ever have to see its furry face again.”

“I can relate. My writer keeps sendin’ creepy, bad stuff my way. I’m glad she’s not here today so I can talk. All’s I want is a bar ‘n some business ‘n she dangles it in front of me as if it’s freakin’ chocolate. Unattainable. I’m not askin’ for the galaxy here! Jeez! Is yours any kinder?”

Tim laughs. “At least you do have this great bar. Cherie threw grisly murders at me to solve, and it took her friends, or as she calls them CPs, to make her realize who I was deep down. She had me as some FBI caricature. I have more substance than that.”

“I only get this bar part time, ‘cause it serves her. It ain’t for me. She has CPs, too, but it took the Husband Unit to make me act more like a man. Some of her CPs want me to swear more. But I tell her, sometimes she has to do what fits the world she already created ‘n not what other people say. I tell her to be more confident about it.”

“Mine doesn’t know much about these Husband Units. Her CPs led her in the right direction, but she should’ve listened to me more from the beginning. I don’t know why they won’t listen to their characters enough. We know who we are.” Tim drinks more of the delicious beer. It would be a shame when he had to get back to his work and leave this spectacular bar. He should’ve brought Cassie with him.

“Damn right we know who we is. Like she’ll ever find another lead as charmin’ as me.” Craze laughs and pours another beer for Tim. “Cause here we is being us without them. We know which way the dust blows.”

“Thanks.” Tim nods and raises his now full glass to Craze. “Exactly. They just don’t know a good thing when they see it.”

The Nightmare Collection by Cherie Reich

A legend is hungry tonight.

A child monster will gets its first taste of blood in Nightmare at the Freak Show. Four friend will enter the forest on December night, but only one can survive in Once Upon a December Nightmare. Almost ten years after Cassie’s December nightmare, the monster awakens to hunt again in Nightmare Ever After.

To purchase the ebook: Amazon US / UK / DE / FR / ES / IT / JP  Smashwords  Nook US / UK  Kobo

To purchase the print book: Createspace  Amazon US / UK / DE / FR / ES / IT

Add on Goodreads

Cherie Reich

Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor, and library assistant living in Virginia. For further information, please visit her website or blog.


Writers for Writers

Writers4Writers starts this week. It’s very easy and won’t take much time. All’s you do is go to Nancy Thompson’s website this Thursday and copy and paste her blurbs into Twitter, or look up #W4WS on Twitter and RT someone else’s tweet about Nancy. Same for Facebook. Check HERE for what Nancy posts, then share to your FB pages. Simple.

If you haven’t signed up for Writers4Writers yet or need more informaton, click HERE.

What do you think your characters are saying about you?

I’ll be back on Monday for Alexfest and a special announcement. Have a great weekend everybody!



  1. December 5, 2012    

    That was a great blend of two worlds! I think Tim fit in really well.

  2. December 5, 2012    

    I’d hate to think about what my characters would do to me in a dark alley. ;)

  3. December 5, 2012    

    Hah! Craze and Tim spillin’ the secrets of Mary and Cherie. Loved it. :)

  4. December 5, 2012    

    Tim says, “Craze spoiled him with the fantastic beer.”

    Thank you, Alex!

    Hehe! I would hate to think what some of my characters would do to me in a dark alley too, especially the ones I killed off. LOL!

    Thank you, Laura!

    And thank you so much, Mary, for hosting me today! Tim had a great time. :)

  5. December 5, 2012    

    I loved this post! I love these characters and how they tell it like it is . . .wonderful! You both have such great characterization skills – no matter what these two are saying in their off hours.

  6. December 5, 2012    

    Thank you, Tyrean!

  7. December 5, 2012    

    I think Tim fits very well, too, Alex.

    I’m pretty sure Craze would beat me to a pulp at the moment, Ciara.

    It was fun to do, Laura.

    Aww, you rock, Tyrean.

    It was wonderful to have you on Spacedock, Cherie. You’re welcome to visit any time.

  8. Miranda Hardy Miranda Hardy
    December 5, 2012    

    That’s great! Maybe they are out to get you girls.

  9. December 5, 2012    

    Great excerpt.

  10. December 5, 2012    

    I love both Tim and Craze so this was an especially awesome Spacedock. Well done, both of you! :)

  11. December 5, 2012    

    Hehe! They might be, Miranda!

    Thanks, Michael!

    Aww, thank you, Julie!

  12. December 5, 2012    

    *snort* That’s pretty funny. Gah, I have no idea what my characters would say about me, but I’m pretty sure it’d have something to do with being nicer to them and letting them stay in a four star hotel once in awhile.

  13. December 5, 2012    

    I think my characters would like a stay in a four star hotel too. Really, I wouldn’t mind that either. LOL! Thanks for stopping by, L.G.!

  14. Melissa Bradley Melissa Bradley
    December 5, 2012    

    Awesome piece ladies! I wish this really could be crossover episode for both of your stories.

  15. December 5, 2012    

    I loved the hair braiding itself! It sounds like a fun place to party. It reminded me of the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie.

    My main character is always on me about how I write a certain aspect of her equilibrium, lol.

  16. December 5, 2012    

    I don’t even want to CONTEMPLATE what my characters are saying about me. LOL Great post! :D

    IWSG #145 until Alex culls the list again. :)

  17. December 5, 2012    

    It’d be kind of fun to hang out with Craze and Tim for real, Miranda.

    Happy IWSG, Michael.

    Thanks, Julie :D

    Craze would love to just get out of the dust, LG.

    Maybe we’ll have to consider it at some point, Melissa. lol

    I guess I need an alien band, Gwen.

    lol I don’t blame you, Melissa. I’m pretty sure Craze hates me at the moment.

  18. December 5, 2012    

    Hi! I think my characters would be mad at me for torturing them so much. It’s one of my favorite past-times.

    That’s great your series has steady sales, M Pax! Good luck with the new cover.

  19. December 5, 2012    

    Craze is always thoroughly entertaining. And congrats, Cherie, on your Nightmare collection. Sounds good. I’ll check it out.
    I have no clue as to what my characters would say to me… well, maybe “Stop putting me in dreadful situations!”

  20. December 6, 2012    

    I see them all sitting about grumbling about us, Jennifer.

    I’m excited to see Cherie with another book out, Catherine.

  21. December 6, 2012    

    I’m a little late getting here, Mary. Out mailing Christmas parcels yesterday. But I love this dialogue exchange between the characters of your and Cherie’s books. (Husband units – to me that relates to the Coneheads on SNL).

    Makes me more interested in a book when I get a peek at an author’s characters.

    Good luck to both of you with your Christmas sales!

  22. December 6, 2012    

    I’m gonna start calling my guy the Husband Unit & see how reacts. Heehee! I added Cherie’s book to my Goodreads TBR list yesterday. And thanks for doing the W4WS promo. I really appreciate it!!

  23. December 6, 2012    

    My characters have so much to say about me that I have to stick my fingers in my ears!

    Loved this post.

  24. December 6, 2012    

    A crossover episode would be pretty cool. Thanks for stopping by, Melissa B!

    It reminded me a bit of Star Wars too. Tim had fun. Thanks for stopping by, Gwen!

    Hehe! Yeah, knowing what our characters think of us might not be the best, Melissa M.

    I think my characters would be mad aabout that too, Jennifer!

    Thank you, Catherine!

    Thank you, DG! Appreciate it. :)

    Thank you, Nancy! I hope W4WS is going well today for you!

    Hehe! That’s a good idea, C. Lee!

  25. December 6, 2012    

    This is great! I wonder what my characters say behind my back ;) And I also loved the hair braiding thing. I wish mine would braid itself!

  26. December 6, 2012    

    I love Craze and Tim having a chat! That was awesome. They seem like the odd couple, but I can see how they could get along. :)

  27. December 7, 2012    

    Cool story! Not much telling what my characters would say about me.

  28. December 7, 2012    

    The hair braiding thing is really cool! Thanks for stopping by, Cherie Colyer!

    They are quite the odd couple, Christine!

    Thank you, Carol!

  29. December 7, 2012    

    I wasn’t sure if Craze served the kind of bear a mere human being could tolerate!

  30. December 7, 2012    

    That was one heck of a good scene. I could almost hear the weird music playing in the background. It was a lot of fun to read. Love the picture. So who braided his hair? An invisible hairdresser!

  31. December 7, 2012    

    There’s no late these days, DG. Welcome to the party. :)

    My Husband Unit enjoys it, Nancy. We made a pact I’ll not use his name.

    I need to listen to mine hollering for awhile, Lee. That’s how I’ll get this finished in good form.

    Woot for Cherie!

    Craze will get along with anyone if there’s money involved, Christine.

    I wish that, too, Cherie. I wish my hair would take care of itself, which is perhaps why I created that for one of my characters.

    Don’t listen too close, Carol.

    Sure, he does, Jay. He’s still human himself, just genetically modified.

    We have no musicians or dj’s yet, Joylene if you want the job. He has living hair that braids and styles itself. Perhaps more a gal’s dream than a dude’s, but he was invented by a gal so some girlie stuff is bound to leak in.

  32. December 7, 2012    

    ha! Such a cool piece with the two characters together.
    Yay for Cherie and Mary!

  33. December 8, 2012    

    LOL! makes me think of Stranger than Fiction. I like it!
    Congrats on steaming ahead with your writing.

    Congrats also to Cherie

  34. December 10, 2012    

    Tim managed just fine, Jay! He says you should try some. :)

    Thank you, Joylene!

    Thank you, Lynda!

    Thanks, Madeleine! :)