You need a place to start. When I wrote BALLARD motor court, the first scene I wrote—Lulu walks into the convenience store and confronts Ballard—became the middle of the novella. And then what happened in that convenience store dictated what had to come before and after.

The germ of the entire story is in that one scene … but I had no idea what the narrative would eventually become as I was writing that first scene. 

Since a crime—of some sort—had been committed, I knew I needed cops. So I brought in a couple I’d been using in a different story. Pamela—who, as some of you may have guessed, is inspired by a character from a TOKYOPOP-published manhwa called TAROT CAFE—came next, and the mythology of the tarot led directly to The Tower and then to the fractured mysticism of Joe the Rabbi and the golem. Those of you who know me best may understand how Lulu worked her way into the story; that’s pain whose shadow is never too far away.

RC, oddly enough, came last. A lot of what I think about how art happens—and what that process does to the artist—is in him, of course. But before he became a conduit for Athena, he was really just a way to poke a bit of fun at the fanboy scene that I have been part of for the past couple of decades.

I made a lot of weird structural decisions with BALLARD motor court. Some of them were conscious; some of them were only “arrived at” in retrospect. I’m not saying this is the correct way to write a book; in fact, most people will tell you things like “outline, outline, outline.” But that’s not what I was after here. I was after something more like a dream. I’m not sure I captured it—you will all decide that, of course.