Not terribly much to say here.
My pen name is James Thomasos and I’m an Immunologist who enjoys writing. I don’t read nearly as much as I should, I play too many video games and watch WAY too much Anime. My creative process always starts with the words, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” and my favourite thing to write about is badass women doing badass things.
Where do I even start with THIS Creation Myth?
Early on in my PhD training – as a nice distraction from all of the constant scientific writing – I liked to kick around ideas for fictional writing in my head. Of course it was nothing I had particularly much time to engage with, but a fun distraction nonetheless. I’ve always sort of done that: telling myself stories. Creating and destroying entire worlds and universes in my head. I rarely wrote any of it down, although some ideas did stick with me.
One day, I was supposed to be writing some scientific review on… something? Probably glycoimmunology. I needed a break, but if I stopped to play video games I would never get back to writing for that day and I had a deadline coming up. So to do something a little different – but still keep myself in writing mode – I started actually writing down a bunch of world building ideas I’d had recently (read: the last few years). This little ‘fiction break’ technique worked really well for me, so I kept on doing it. The ideas kept on flowing, so I kept on planning little by little over the course of years. I even wrote a few excerpts: ‘The Eyeball Detective and The Bonesaw’ and ‘Iris and Amber Meet’. I showed them to a friend of mine who acted as the editor for all of my scientific manuscripts through my PhD training as well as my now wife and both of them were interested in hearing more about these characters.
Those two excerpts would form the basis of Insight: The Bonesaw Case and Silence & Vanity.
But again, I was in the middle of trying to get a PhD, so I didn’t do anything with all of this world building and character building I’d ended up doing. I figured that this particular story-telling ambition would fade like so many others had in the past. In 2019 and 2020, three completely unrelated and equally important events occurred: in May 2019 The Escapist’s Benjamin ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw (Zero Punctuation) started his Dev Diary series where he challenged himself to create 12 video games in 12 months in order to refocus his ambitions as an indie game developer. This was (and is) a fascinating and inspiring series to watch and I highly recommend it. In November 2019 I successfully defended my doctorate and a short while later was able to find a post doctoral position in the New England. And of course, in March 2020, my wife and I moved to a brand new city full of infinite possibilities and five days later-
COVID-19 Citywide Shut Down, of course.
I still had my job – thankfully – but there is only so much reading of primary scientific literature and experimental planning you can bring yourself to do when you aren’t even allowed to go into the laboratory. I needed to pass the monotonous days of quarantine somehow in a way that wasn’t JUST video games. Then I remembered this world I had created during my PhD training… but did I really have it in me to write a book?
However, I realized that was the wrong way to look at things. I recalled what Yahtzee was doing for the Dev Diaries that I was still watching on Youtube with my wife every fortnight and thought: there’s no way writing a short story could be HARDER than making an entire game in one month. Since I wasn’t not a good enough writer to carry out my more ambitious narrative ideas, I decided I would just have to ‘git gud’ enough to write those stories. Starting in April 2020, I vowed to write one short story every month within this world I had created, in order to sharpen my skills, develop some semblance of writer’s discipline, and learn how to finish stories., not just start them.
Thus far, I’ve been reasonably successful.
In October 2020, my brother insisted that I make a website to host all of the stories I had been writing. Have an easy place to direct any other interested parties towards. So after months of putting it off, I’ve thrown together the PsyEn Blog where everyone can read my stories for free, enjoy concept art of the numerous artists I know, and if they’re really interested, hear my less scripted musings on both this world and our own…