Authors’ Commentary on “Measure of a Man”

Lawyers in Hell Authors’ Commentary on
»Measure of a Man,«
 a story in Lawyers in Hell

This story was a dream to write.  Not only was it exciting to be part of a great, already-established anthology series, but it allowed me to use two of my favorite subjects:  the Old West and opera.  What other anthology lets a writer combine such famous figures as Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and Giacomo Puccini?  One of my fellow co-writers had come up with a location in hell called New Bodie, which provided the perfect setting for my story.  As a native Californian, the real ghost town of Bodie in the eastern Sierra Mountains is a must-visit for lovers of Old West history.

Lawyers in Hell “.  It was a mining boom town that sprang up in the middle of nowhere, had its violent heyday, and died within a few years.  It’s a rather unsettling place to visit, to see all thosee pots, pans, plates, and possessions still sitting on shelves after being abandoned over a hundred years ago.  Hell’s New Bodie is, of course, a much nastier version of that real town.

I chose as my protagonist a fictional 21th century lawyer.  He must choose between saving the woman he loves or regaining a portion of his integrity – and his soul – after he agrees to defend her against a murder charge and then discovers that she is guilty.  His views on truth and justice are challenged when he meets Old West heroes Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.

Deborah KorenWyatt Earp and Bat Masterson were the right combination of characters, and the story just seemed to write itself.  Most often, Wyatt Earp is linked with Doc Holliday, but during my research on these famous men, I found Wyatt’s other companion, Masterson, to be more intriguing and more suited for this particular story than Doc Holliday would have been. 

And my favorite opera composer and one of my favorite operas fit in nicely to provide a backdrop and motive for the crime scene in my story.

I live in Southern California and have been published in numerous online fantasy/science fiction zines, as well as several anthologies, including the first two volumes of the Sha’Daa series:  Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse and Sha’Daa: Last Call.  My website is

Measure of a Man, © Deborah Koren; Perseid Publishing, 2011
2011© Lawyers in Hell (Janet Morris), 2011, all rights reserved

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