I have a confession to make.
You know how everyone's binge-watching Netflix right now? How the internet's going crazy over Carole Baskin and her husband? (Apparently The Tiger King is set in Oklahoma and, as a Texan who lives about 30 minutes from the Okie border, I'm not surprised.)
I don't watch television that much.
I've got my other vices. I spend too much time swiping through Instagram and browsing YouTube videos. I think I've played close to 200 levels of Candy Crush since quarantine started. I just won a hard level of Solitaire on my laptop. But Netflix? For some reason, I don't watch it very much.
I tried watching the new Star Trek: Picard series. It has its good moments, I'll admit. But it's also super intense. People get sliced up. Picard himself is super old and dying of an incurable brain disease (not that he's told anyone about it). And when one of the characters attempted suicide for the good of the crew, I just about lost it. My hands were sweating from sheer terror.
In the evenings, when my parents are watching the news and my sister is killing zombies in PUBG, I tend to daydream.
I heard that there's a new Marvel series coming out called "What If?". I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty sure it sees how things would play out if XYZ happened instead of ABC. Like, "What if Loki were in this situation instead of Captain America?" or "What if this person died?" I do that. But with my own books.
Some of my alternate realities are pretty sad. What if Alynn had died in the Battle of Faith? What if (spoiler alert) she'd been poisoned instead of Drostan at the end of Where I Stand? Others are a lot happier--like, what if she hadn't fallen off the Darting Swallow in the first place?
One of my favorite alternate realities is actually a mash-up of two different scenarios. First, fifteen-year-old Lukas McCamden decides to stay in Scotland rather than join St. Anne's Monastery. He gets married to a lovely girl named Everhild, and for a while, they live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, the Norse massacre still happens. Lukas, worried about his friends, decides to go investigate. And, because Everhild is a particularly determined individual, she decides to go with him. They arrive at St. Anne's Monastery only to find everyone dead--and their ship torn to bits in Treacherous Landing. They have no choice but to live at St. Anne's Monastery.
Things aren't so bad for the McCamdens. Lukas and Everhild have some kids and start to grow old together.
And here's where the second "What if?" comes into play. Alynn is kidnapped by Konar instead of Caitriona.
Lukas stumbles across Alynn trying to escape and takes her home to the monastery. Everhild loves her, of course, and they come to the decision that they're going to try and take her back to Limerick. They manage to get aboard a ship and make their way back home, where Alynn is reunited with her family.
There's no point in going back to the Norse-infested St. Anne's Cleft, so Lukas and Everhild and their kids decide to stay in Limerick. They're hailed as heroes for bringing Alynn home, after all. Finally, surrounded by friends and family, Lukas and Everhild get their happily ever after.
What's an alternate reality you'd like to suggest for Where the Clouds Catch Fire--or any book, really. Let me know in the comments below, and I might make a full-length story out of it! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.