First of all, the All-Stars was intended as the kickoff for the Barnstorming series. And that series would also hold Crackerjack and The Future Cat under its umbrella. Hence, I plotted it as a sprawling series. Except it suffered from an excess of plot and subplots and complications, even worse than the Times of the HG Wells series. And I should have known better! Seriously. Because the middle of the Wells series was hard for me to write, and some it drags a bit. Stories I had really thought about got short shrift. And the same ended up being true for Barnstorming.
It was a time for new beginnings, for a woman who had over half of her adult life stolen and for her cousin, a new job and new challenges. And this promised a new life for a young man with few plans and no real direction. Furthermore, it was a chance for three women to change their lives, and for fifty athletes to do something new. And there was a secret project by Section 31 that threatened to break a treaty and had the potential to open up a portal to another universe while someone out there – whose intentions were unknown – was trying to get in.
While the story resolves itself pretty well and the characters make sense, the story leads to a series which ends up going nowhere. Although I did write the immediate sequel, Play, that story has never been posted anywhere (if I end up really scraping the bottom of the barrel at Wattpad, then maybe I will haul it out; the same might end up as true for Fanfiction.net). And then the following stories never really get off the ground at all. A pity; the concept is a decent one but I just ran out of gas there.
The character is technically canon although the scene of his introduction ended up on the cutting room floor. In the ‘lost’ footage, William Riker plays a nasty, passive-aggressive prank and Madden is the butt of the joke. I disliked the scene so much that I felt Madden needed a measure of justice. He is the reason that Melissa has her last name, as she is his forebear, via her middle son, Neil.
Because Marty is also Doug‘s descendant, his radiation band is slightly less than it should be, betraying a partial origin in the Mirror Universe. As the Barnstorming series unfolds, the family’s importance increases. Doug’s descendants hold a key in their DNA that could alter the fate of both universes.
As in canon, Madden is played by actor Steven Culp. I like this actor a great deal. He was also exceptionally gracious when I wrote to him, asking for an autographed photograph and the answer to a few questions as I was writing The Three of Us and looking to add some verisimilitude to my details about Jay Hayes.
Culp wrote back, said my questions were interesting (I asked things like what is his favorite story to read to a child) but whatever I came up with would be fine. He also wished me luck with my writing. His framed picture is hanging in the room where I do my writing and it helps provide some inspiration.
Lonely, brilliant, and bored, Marty is near the top of his profession but wants something more. He is only close to one person, and that is not only hurting him in his career, it’s also, in general, making him miserable. Furthermore, the incident with Riker got him off on the wrong foot with Captain Picard. A bit of a perfectionist, Martin is appalled by what happened and scrambling to make it right.
With one disastrous date, this is really not a relationship. Tamsin likes him, but he can’t stand her; he had only asked her out in order to get his mind off Dana. Tamsin takes it the wrong way and tries to get him to sleep with her.
When he refuses, she stretches the truth to its breaking point, and files a sexual harassment charge against him. The charge is groundless and is quickly dropped. But it gets worse, as she is distantly related to him. As a part of the family (through Joss), Tamsin is not so close to Martin Madden to prevent a relationship, plus she’s somewhat aggressive. It’s a complete turnoff to him, but she is family and so, in some ways, he’s stuck with her. But he doesn’t have to date her.
With a language all their own, Martin Douglas Madden and Misty Dana MacKenzie – the MDM Twins – are made for each other. There’s just one small problem. She’s his second cousin.
That would not seem like much of an issue, but I write an unjust Second Cousin Marriage law, forbidding such marriages where the parties share at least one great-grandparent. The purpose behind the law is to prevent too much Daranaean inbreeding and the introduction of younger and younger child brides. But the law fails miserably as it is mainly just a bad political compromise.
When Dana is imprisoned at Canamar, it is only Marty who continues writing to her after her parents die. With the letters kept from her as a part of her unjust punishment, her reading of those letters is one of her first acts after getting out.
His love for her is one of the few things that sustains him. It is one of the underlying themes of the series, along with the concept that the Digiorno-Madden-Hayes-Beckett-O’Day–Reed family endures forever. There is power in this love, and it cannot be denied.
I’m not so sure that Marty can exist in the Mirror Universe.
As a descendant of Doug, who left the Mirror and had never fathered a child on that side before he did, then Marty’s existence in the Mirror is technically impossible. However, I write a Mirror Tamsin (called Jennifer), explaining that the analogue is imperfect but very close. After all, if most other forebears fall into place, or close relatives such as siblings or first or even second cousins take the place of the originals, after a time span of a few centuries, the differences become negligible. This isn’t a bad theory for why there are so many MU counterparts, and I might explore it at some time.
But if the same incident occurs, he wouldn’t just be miffed at Riker and embarrassed by him – Marty would have knifed the man.
“I can’t exactly get away when everyone else can. Understand something, all right? Whatever Riker did, whatever he could do, whatever he tried or got away with and however he acted, that was him, all right? He probably got himself here for lunch somewhere between 1200 and 1330 hours nearly every day, am I right? … But that’s not me. But, uh, I get the feeling there’s one more item on your list of Things Keeping Martin Madden from Making Friends on the Enterprise-E. Am I right? Care to share it with me if I am?”
I am really enjoying writing this character, a kind of combination of Jay’s discipline and Doug’s zest for life, with a bit of Malcolm’s pre-Lili tortured loneliness. The Barnstorming series is not done yet, and Martin Madden is a huge part of it.
Portrait of a Character – Misty (Mack, Mystic) Dana MacKenzie
While writing about Richard Daniels‘s conquests, one name that came up a few times was Dana MacKenzie. I liked the idea of a descendant for Aidan and Susan, who get together fairly late in life. As I started to write her, I also decided that she would be actually named Misty, thereby cementing another pair of her ancestors as being Doug and Melissa. Continuing along with this idea, I hit upon the notion of having her be related to canon character Martin Madden. When I started to put together the Barnstorming series, I decided to include her, and make her the star.
I picture Mack as being pretty toughened by her life, but also feminine, which Bell can certainly pull off convincingly.
There are a lot of bikini images of Bell online, but the truth is, I don’t see Mack that way at all. Rather, she is someone damaged by her earlier life.
Mack’s background is in sports; she played second base and shortstop professionally for the perpetual cellar dwelling team, the Titan Bluebirds. But a visit to Keto-Enol results in Etrotherium being placed into her bag while the team is visiting an open-air market. She’s arrested and thrown into Canamar Prison. She’s been framed for drug-running.
Her appeal takes nearly two decades, with her parents dying during the interim. The only person who sticks by her is Martin Madden.
They have cared for each other since childhood, referring to themselves as ‘The MDM Twins‘. But the law says that they cannot marry.
Emmett Kent (Hobie) Hoberman
Mack and Hobie meet at the end of The All-Stars, and are actually coaches on opposing teams in ice hockey. The long distance relationship isn’t really what Mack needs, but they part amicably after Play when Hobie decides to try to reconcile with his ex-wife for the sake of their two young daughters.
At the end of Play, time is altered, and Rick is sent to investigate. In Time Out, they get together. I have an idea of the circumstances but have not written them yet.
The sketchy idea is to finally get them together during the fourth, as yet unnamed, book in the series. They will have a descendant who will connect them even more intimately with the Times of the HG Wells, but I haven’t decided on that yet. It’s possible that that person would be Tom Grant.
I have not yet decided whether Mack exists in the Mirror Universe.
If she does, then I doubt she would call herself Mack. She might go by her first name. She might not have a sports background. I don’t honestly know, but I probably won’t explore this until I finish the series.
“I’m going to tell you who I am. And what I’m thinking of doing. And then you can decide if you want to work with me. And if you do, then I’m happy to have our friend below decks spill his guts in front of you. But if not, it stays a mystery to you. I gotta protect myself. Fair enough?”
Because this series is on hold as I work on wholly original fiction, Mystic (only Marty calls her that) has had to take a back seat. A pity, as I like this character and her journey. I will get to her at some point!