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Untethered Authors Disclose Their Story Inspirations for the Anthology (two involve Clippy!)

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Where do authors get their story ideas, anyway? In honor of the book release for Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, four authors divulge their inspirations.

Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology is a fictional collection of twenty stories about the intersection of magic and tech, so real life phone interaction must have meant something, right? Maybe. You might be surprised by the truth.

H.M. Jones: My story is probably one of the more satirical tales. It’s about a girl who loves her iPhone more than any other thing–her new job, her current crush, even her dignity. She either imagines or is correct in assuming that her iPhone loves and supports her, too. That’s for the reader to decide. My inspiration was my cousin. She says her phone is her best friend. It does more than any human does for her, she can shop on it, talk to her lesser friends, do homework and listen to music, etc. She loves taking selfies and posts them often. I like that she is unabashed about her love of technology. She won’t be shamed for it. Neither will Nessa.

Raven Oak: My husband was complaining about the Freemium model that has taken over mobile gaming and how dependent game studios are upon it working. The annoying pop-ups used reminded me of Microsoft’s Clippy, that annoying paperclip in the Office Suite who would constantly say things like, “I see you are writing a letter. Do you need help with that?” It tried to be helpful but was really insultingly irritating for me, as is the Freemium Model. I decided to write a story based on that.

Manny Frishberg (writing with Edd Vick): We wanted to write a story that combined the idea of a ubiquitous Personal Digital Assistant (sort of Siri with a vengence) and Big Brother-ism. Experience with versions of Microsoft Word’s “helper”–from Bob to Clippy–also informed the story, in the back of our minds, at least. Also we have been exploring the opportunities for speculative-crime fiction.

Jonathon Burgess: I’ve always wondered how Siri would really react to the questions we ask of her. Also, giant monsters. I was obsessed with giant monsters while I wrote my story.

Kris Millering shares “When I started writing the story I had a Windows Phone, but I actually bought an iPhone while I was in the middle of writing it. The purchase had an influence on the story because I, too, had no idea what all of these apps were, and it occasionally seemed like apps I’d never seen before simply showed up on my phone.”

Want to see what these authors did with the concept of a magic iPhone? Pick up your copy of Untethered: a Magic iPhone Anthology in ebook or trade paperback today. Find it at Amazon.com, Nook, or wherever you prefer to grab your books.

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