First up is author, Scriptorium publisher, jewellery designer, and co-editor with Third Person Press, Sherry D. Ramsey.
Q: Where did you get your idea for your Grey Area story?
Sherry: My story in Grey Area is titled "ePrayer." The spark for this story actually came from "Spark"--the culture and technology radio program on CBC radio. (I'm a bit of a CBC radio junkie, for those of you who don't know.) A few years ago, they did a show about digital culture and religion, with an interview with Rachel Wagner, assistant professor of philosophy and religion at Ithaca College in New York. This radio piece didn't involve anything about ghosts, but it did talk about the notion of computer-generated prayers; in particular, a service that would have a computer recite prayers on your behalf.
Which offered lots of food for thought...would such prayers "work"? How popular might such a service become? And most importantly...how might such prayers be answered and what would be the result?
That's where the story idea came in...when I started asking the writer's most valuable question: "what if?" The story started out to be about a sort of artificial intelligence appearing on these prayer servers, but it took a turn and really came to life (pun intended) when the notion of the ghost showed up.
"ePrayer" is not a particularly spooky sort of ghost story, but it was a lot of fun to write, and, I hope, to read.