Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Adventures of Joey Maverick

Two More Guest Blogs Up Promoting My Writing and “An Elfy on the Loose”

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Folks, I’m pleased to report that two more new guest blogs are up and available for reading.**

First, Aaron Lazar over at Murder By Four accepted a guest blog from me called “Changing Voices and Heroes,” which is about the differences between writing military science fiction and comic fantasy on the one hand, and the differences between two very good heroes — space Navy Lieutenant Joey Maverick, who was my late husband Michael B. Caffrey’s character, and my hero Bruno the magically talented Elfy.

Here’s a bit from that:

Now, how did I tailor my own writing to fit these two wildly disparate genres?

When I’m writing milSF, I try to get right to the point. And I write a more action-oriented story, too – because the action often makes or breaks the story.

But when I’m writing comic fantasy, I allow my stories to spin out any way that works. There’s more time to fine-tune characterization; there’s more time to do some nifty things with word choices and puns . . . even limericks, if the story calls for it. And fully setting up my characters also allows me to better get at the humor of whatever is going on.

Clear as mud, no?

Anyway, today’s second guest blog is up over at Stephanie Osborn’s blog site Comet Tales. This discusses exactly how I came to write my novel AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE . . . and exactly what my late husband Michael did to help me along the way.

Here’s a bit from that guest blog:

When a character appears, fully formed, it’s best to listen to what he has to say. But all I knew, when I started writing, were three things: Bruno liked to wear black – when his race, the Elfys, mostly loved bright colors. He was the equivalent of a teenager. And he did not like to rhyme, even if all the other Elfys did.

Even so, that was enough for me to start writing what I then called “The Elfy Story.” I wrote the first six parts or so – less than chapters, about a thousand words per part – alone. Michael took a hand when I got to the seventh part because I had some sort of problem I couldn’t immediately solve, and he got intrigued. Then he figured this story had legs, and he wanted to help me figure out where it went.

. . .

With this huge, complex plot, I could’ve easily gotten lost. Fortunately for me, Michael was there every step of the way. He told me when I’d get frustrated, “Don’t worry. The story will come.” Or he’d tell me jokes in a similar way Bruno tries to do with Sarah from time to time in AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (where do you think I got that from, hm?). Or he’d help me draw diagrams when I tried to figure out why the Elfy High Council did anything at all…plus, he edited what I wrote, gave me excellent advice, and heavily edited nearly all of Dennis the Dark Elf’s dialogue to make it even nastier and more hissable.

What more could anyone ever ask from her spouse than that?

Granted, if you’ve read my blog from its inception — or even in the past year or two — you’ve probably gathered that my husband Michael was the biggest influence on my writing. I’d simply not be the same writer without his help and guidance; there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

And really, with AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE finally available for purchase, I want people to know how much he did.

I’m very pleased that Stephanie Osborn was willing to share my story of how the Elfyverse came to be on her blog.

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy these guest blogs. Please let me know what you think in the comments . . . and do, please, let people know about AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE as well as the Joey Maverick stories.

Because I need all the help I can get right now in order to let people know these stories exist — much less are fun stories that people should actually enjoy if they just give ’em a chance to work their magic.



Mind, you might be wondering why I have three, count ’em, three guest blogs up in two days. This is because my fellow writer-friends are trying to help me raise my visibility, so perhaps I might be able to sell a few more books.

Besides, writing three different blogs — one about the virtues of quiet heroism, the next about the differences between the quiet Joey Maverick and the exuberant Bruno the Elfy, and the third about how I came to write AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE at all — was an intellectual challenge.

So how could I refuse?

New Joey Maverick story up at E-Quill Publishing

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Ten years ago, my late husband, Michael B. Caffrey, completed his novel MAVERICK: LIEUTENANT, a novel of military science fiction in a far-future universe depicting the Atlantean Union (which comprises humanity, the Kiral, a cat-like race, and the Wyrm, who are sort of like flightless dragons, along with were-mice and cat-owls, sentient creatures who are more than animals but perhaps less — or other — than humans, Kiral and Wyrm).    He unfortunately did not live long enough to see an allied story about Joey Maverick, “A Dark and Stormy Night” (subtitled by me “A Joey Maverick Adventure”) published at the Written Word Online Magazine in May, 2005, nor did he ever intend for me to do any writing in his universe.  (By necessity, I both edited “A Dark and Stormy Night” and added about 1400 words, upping the romance a little bit and adding some internal monologue, in order to make it a legal collaboration and thus a little easier to sell.)

But Michael left behind what he called “The Big Book of Maverickiana,” a few notes, a great deal of personal reminiscence and, of course, me.  And I couldn’t leave Michael’s universe alone; I couldn’t leave his work unfinished and unable to be appreciated.

We’d been told by a few publishing insiders we trusted that the only thing Michael’s novel needed was action; it had everything else.  So I endeavored to add some, keeping in mind Michael’s main dictum about Joey Maverick, which was that Joey should have adventures — how not?  But not have them in such an obvious way that non-Naval people know much about them . . . or maybe anything at all.

I wrote most of what’s now “Joey Maverick: On Westmount Station” in 2006, then revised and updated in 2008 and again in 2009 before finally finding an ending I liked in 2010.  I added characters, dialogue, an important subplot, internal monologue and additional interaction between the already-extant characters in the narrative, making this a 50/50 collaboration (or perhaps a bit more; this was drawn from the first chapter of Michael’s novel but, shall we say, was liberally interpreted by me).  The story is approximately 10,000 words in length — a long short story, or perhaps closer to a novelette? — and would probably be the first tenth to twelfth of a proposed “Maverick” novelization/revision.

Michael and I actually discussed what to do in the event something happened to either one of us (I guess I should thank the whole mess surrounding the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, which was still going on in early 2004 before her ex-husband, who was also her legal guardian, was allowed to end her life in accordance to what he said were his late ex-wife’s wishes), and what he’d told me was this: “If you are able to do anything with it, do what you think best.  I trust you.  But if you can’t, please don’t bend yourself out of shape just to keep this alive.  Work on your own writing, and enjoy your life, first.”

I’ve done the former — and I’ve been trying, very hard, to do the latter, ever since Michael’s untimely passing in September of 2004 — but I’m sorry.  I could not let this universe go.  There’s so much potential there; so much of what Michael had is really, really good and all it needs are what amounts to a few sub-plots and some additional action and then it can be sold.  It won’t be exactly what Michael would’ve written, but it’ll be as close as I can make it because this is what I must do in order to honor Michael’s memory, and keep faith with him in the way I see best — by bringing as much of his literary creation to the marketplace as I possibly can, as he undoubtedly would’ve done had his heart not inexplicably given out that fateful, tramautic, and inexpressibly sad day.

I hope you will enjoy this story, as it was a labor of love and faith to keep Michael’s universe alive all these years.  And providing it is appreciated as much as “Dark and Stormy Night” was, in 2005 and again with its re-release in 2010 by E-Quill Publishing, I’ll be writing a whole new chapter into Joey’s story, something Michael was talking about but did not get the chance to write . . . but that’s for another day.

For now, please go to the link at:

Thank you kindly, and please, let me know what you think of this story.



Updated as of 1/30/2015: Both of Michael’s “Joey Maverick” stories are now available on Amazon, not at E-Quill Publishing. (I thought people knew that, but I had some comments today indicating not everyone does.) I hope to be able to format these stories for the Nook later this year also, but for now, if you wish to read Michael’s work (and I do hope you do), please go to these two places, and enjoy!

For “A Dark and Stormy Night,” AKA how Joey meets the love of his life, the fiery Belinda Simpson, amidst a far-future sailing disaster:

For “On Westmount Station,” described above: