Great Writers Steal


They say that good writers borrow and great writers steal. Well, I stole something.

In The Alchemist’s Theorem there is a delightful character named Gooder. He is a carnivorous horse. Here is a brief description from the second chapter:

“The alchemist walked out to the small barn in the backyard and saw the furry tail of a weasel disappear into his garden. “Oi! Gooder! You lazy excuse for a stud. What use is ‘aving a ‘orse if ‘e doesn’t ‘unt and kill weasels?” Sir Duffy marched into the small red barn and found Gooder with his head buried in a barrel of bone meal. This particular carnivorous horse was not the most impressive stud. He was short and dumpy, with a belly that protruded from the sides and white matted fur that clumped around the rump and withers. The four-digit talons of his forelegs were dull and cracked while his back hooves were chipped and peeling. His long, scaly tail dragged behind him like a dead animal, and the single horn on his forehead was a mere twisted lump.”

When I was a kid, my sister Elizabeth actively sketched and painted. She was very talented and had a darker aesthetic that I loved. There was one drawing of hers that I admired and coveted most of all. It was a detailed sketch of a horse with fangs, talons, horns and a scaly tail (her stud was much more impressive than Gooder, of course). That drawing always stuck with me and when I began working on The Alchemist’s Theorem I did not hesitate for a second to steal the species from my sister and insert it into my novel.

I regret nothing.


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