Wrapped up in E. Bronwyn Hinkle’s The Lawrence Chronicles

K.A.:
E. Bronwyn Hinkle is with us today to talk about her Christmas-themed flash fiction collection, The Lawrence Chronicles.

Welcome, E. Bronwyn! Glad you’re here. Please, tell us about your story.

E. Bronwyn:
The Lawrence Chronicles is a series of flash fiction adventures centered around a particular ex Marine. He never expected to be hired as a member of Santa’s security force, and now he deals with all kinds of situations he never would have believed possible. Of course, if Santa is real, other mythical creatures are too. Now the Ex-marine runs a different kind of special ops: North Pole & Magic Relations Security. With a candy cane between his fingers and an elven blaster on stun, Lawrence faces trial after trial of ridiculous adventures from wrangling pixies to the Lochness Monster. He is best friends with Donner and spends much of his time keeping things in order, the way his predecessor, Sprinkles the Christmas elf, used to.

K.A.:
That’s awesome! We’ve had several Marines in our family, including my husband and our middle child (who’s currently serving). So you hooked me with ex-Marine and ridiculous North Pole adventures. Lol.

How many stories are in your collection?

E. Bronwyn:
The book contains 42 flash fiction adventures all ranging from roughly 700-1000 words. It’s quite the genre mashup of sci-fi fantasy/action adventure. I didn’t have a target audience in mind when I wrote it, but it’s geared to be very family friendly and children love it.

K.A.:
Sounds like the perfect book for reading a story or two each night leading up to Christmas. What inspired you to create it?

E. Bronwyn:
Christmas ninjas. Many years ago my friends and I were gathered for our monthly writer group. We always started a session off with a writing prompt, and that night, it was “Christmas Ninjas”. From that I came up with the ridiculous premise of an Ex-Marine who worked as Santa’s Head of Security, his arch enemies being of course the elf ninjas. I set the story aside for a while, but eventually I began writing more and more flash fiction pieces centered around Lawrence and his misadventures. One day I looked and realized I had more than fifty short stories and I thought, well, why not make this into a book?

K.A.:
Tell us about the research that went into writing this story. Did you venture into any new areas or topics?

E. Bronwyn:
There is a surprising amount of research in Lawrence! I learned more about reindeer, different myths and legends, and facts about all kinds of wild animals. I didn’t venture so much into unfamiliar topics, since I’d always been kind of interested in that sort of thing, but I learned a good many off-the-wall legends and animal facts that I never would have otherwise!

Discover more about reindeer at
https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/reindeer (external link).

K.A.:
Off-the-wall legends and facts? Intriguing. So, what was the most interesting thing you learned?

E. Bronwyn:
Well, turns out that reindeer can actually see Ultraviolet light! It helps them since they live in an environment that is almost always a blinding white. I was so excited to discover this in my research because not only is it absolutely incredible, but it played perfectly into my idea that in this world, the reindeer are one of the few magical creatures who can see through perception magic. The magic that many mischievous creatures, like pixies and goblins, use to hide themselves from others and create dangerous illusions.

K.A.:
Cool. As a huge fan of Easter eggs, are there any hidden references readers should keep an eye out for?

E. Bronwyn:
Oh absolutely yes! I don’t remember them all. Did you ever watch the old Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie, with Sam the snowman? I hid quite a few references to that movie, and even the old stop motion Santa Clause is Coming to Town one! I think of those movies as relatively cannon in my book.

K.A.:
A classic Christmas movie!

The Lawrence Chronicles is available on Amazon.

K.A.:
It’s been fun to have you here, E. Bronwyn Hinkle. Thanks for giving us a backstage tour of your Christmas-themed, flash fiction collection, The Lawrence Chronicles!

About E. Bronwyn Hinkle

E. Bronwyn Hinkle is a writer with a love of the ridiculous and a passion for writing goofy, clever stories that encourage people to think and to laugh. She was born in California but spent a good part of the last twelve years in Ohio. I’m obsessed with Stargate, Georgette Heyer, Middle Earth, and Narnia, and love to write Y/A, flash fiction, and whatever strikes my fancy in between. It is her goal to write someone’s comfort book, a book that helps someone get through a hard time or brightens their day. It’s also a goal of mine to one day drive around in a black 1982 Pontiac Trans Am.

You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

*** View past features here. ***


The Pigeon Whisperer

For my son, who says The Pigeon Whisperer should be a comic and not just this flash fiction story. ;)

“You saved my life and got my purse back. How can I ever thank you enough?”

Soft, fleshy arms envelope Steve’s shoulders. As the lady releases him, he smiles. “Just doing what I can to help.”

Tilting her head, she sighs. “And the park is so much safer because you do. Thanks again.”

As she walks away, continuing down the sunlit path dotted with stray flower petals, a man approaches. He glances at Steve’s cape. “Wow! It sounds like you’re a real-live superhero.”

Steve straightens his shoulders, placing his fists on his hips. “They call me The Pigeon Whisperer.”

The man’s brow shoots up as he coughs and sputters. “How is that even a thing? That’s not a superpower.” His face turns red as full-bellied laugh escapes.

Steve crosses his arms and glares at the man. “Have you seen what pigeons can do?”

Between chuckles the man replies, “That’s your big offensive maneuver—your claim to fame—pigeons with poo bombs?”

Steve narrows his eyes. “No. This is.” He whistles, five short bursts. Pigeons from all over the park descend upon the man, a flurry of feathers and furious whistling.

Arms over his head, the man crouches. “Okay, okay, okay. I get it. Call off your flying rats.” The man shouts.

Steve whistles three slow bursts. The Pigeons fly away and the man rises, in need of a shower and a few bandaids but otherwise uninjured.

“Don’t mess with The Pigeon Whisper.”


Winds of Time

As the little girl traveled through the forest, she fought the wind, trying to hold on to her brightly colored balloon. She tried to keep it safe, but it bounced against the jagged branches. Claws clutched the tender sheath, popping the balloon.

The girl emerged from the forest. A dingy bit of rubber trailed behind her on a string. Her shoulders hunched, head bowed, she continued.

Winding through a park, she discovered a man on a bench holding a photograph of a woman. A silent tear escaped, trailing down his cheek. Having nothing else, she offered him the busted balloon. He smiled, taking her gift.

The girl’s eyes widened, her mouth agape, as the tangled string and bit of rubber transformed in the man’s hands, once more, a brightly colored balloon flying high in the air.