Faulty Memories w/ Aidee Ladnier + Giveaway

January 11, 2017

Forbes and Oliver’s Faulty Memories with Aidee Ladnier


I’m so excited to be blogging at DSP today as my novella, THE APPLICANT is being released! It is a story near to my heart and I’m excited to give you a little “behind the scenes” information on how it was written.

You might notice at Forbes and Oliver’s romance in The Busted Labs series is not typical of most heroes. The actual timeline of their relationship is convoluted and confused because it jumps from present to past to future throughout the books. So you won’t be surprised to find that I wrote it at different times in my writing career.

In 2012 I wrote the short story “The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters)” for an anthology published in the WEIRD SCIENCE anthology by Torquere Press. Then I wrote the novella, THE BREAK-IN in 2014, which was published by Dreamspinner Press. And finally in 2016, I dusted off the original “The Applicant” short story and expanded it to novella length to be published by Dreamspinner Press this January.

The Break-In by Aidee Ladnier

As “The Applicant” was owned by another publisher, Dreamspinner asked that THE BREAK-IN contain scenes which harkened back to the original story but were entirely new and therefore not in violation of copyright. This was a daunting task, but I accomplished it through flashbacks I wrote into the between times of the story—those moments that weren’t necessarily on screen because story pacing was affected or they were in the wrong character’s POV. Remember, “The Applicant” was a short story and by definition had to be short. Since THE BREAK-IN was a novella, I had much more room to expand, stick in moments that might be missing in the original narrative and also reverse the scenes to put them in Forbes’s POV. This made sense since by THE BREAK-IN, Forbes was the only person who remembered the time-travelling Oliver from the future.

The Applicant by Aidee Ladnier

However, when I set out to expand “The Applicant” into a novella, I faced an even more daunting task—including those new scenes into the already present text from THE BREAK-IN. I couldn’t do them from Forbes’s point of view because these were still Oliver’s scenes. So instead, I kept them as Oliver’s scenes but layered in more internal thought and action from Oliver. But that didn’t feel right either.

So, I changed the action. I altered the movement of the scenes. The dialogue stayed almost the same, but their actions were subtly different.

I did this on purpose because when I’m remembering, I can recall the majority of the dialogue, but I’m fuzzy on details. Was my partner standing on the right side of me or the left? When did I sit down or stand? Those things don’t register as much for me. So I used myself as a template. I thought Forbes and Oliver would remember the same scenes but slightly different.

There’s even a name for this. It’s called the Rashomon Effect. It explains differences in perspective and eye-witness error at crime scenes. Everyone sees a scene differently, remembers something someone forgot, or leaves out a detail someone else found vital. Our memory is shaped by our own biases, our history, and our desires.

I could have slavishly made each scene exactly the same, but I think this way is more realistic, more like what I would experience. So I hope you don’t mind that Oliver’s memories in THE APPLICANT are a little different than Forbes’s recollections in THE BREAK-IN. Hopefully it tells a better story and maybe one a little more like what you’d experience if you met a time traveler from the future. ;)

So have you ever experienced the Rashomon Effect? Tell me in the comments below.



Don’t forget to sign up for my Rafflecopter Giveaway. There are prizes and gift cards!

The Applicant by Aidee Ladnier



How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time-traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now. Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.


Available from Dreamspinner Press


Excerpt from THE APPLICANT by Aidee Ladnier

Forbes Pohle worked the needle-nose pliers carefully behind the eye sensors of his teddy bear. He needed to make one little adjustment—

The buzzer on the door sounded, nerve-jangling and insistent, from the speaker overhead.

Startled, Forbes jerked the wire he was fiddling with free from its connection, rendering the small robot blind. The head-plate spring snapped, and the access panel clipped his hand as it closed. Forbes swore and shook his stinging fingers as the front door buzzer blared again.

Frustrated, he threw down the pliers and ran both hands through his mop of brown hair. Reacting to the clatter, the tiny robot turned its head left and then right before running off the table.

Luckily the teddy bear caught itself with its face when it hit the floor.

Undaunted, the bear scrambled to its furry feet and darted toward the other side of the lab. Forbes sighed at the sound of another imperative buzz.

“You won’t get the job if you don’t stop with the doorbell.” He stood and shoved the ends of his wrinkled white dress shirt back into his khaki pants. He typed in the power-down sequence for the bear before shutting the lab door and walking toward the front of the house. His visitor had graduated to using the door buzzer as percussion, the drone now going off and on in a jaunty rhythm.

Forbes still wasn’t sold on hiring a research assistant, but he wanted a lab assistant and he needed an administrative assistant.

Most of all, he longed for a friend.

Hiring someone wasn’t the best way to go about finding one, but working with somebody was a good start, right?

Forbes checked his reflection in the foyer mirror. The dark brown of his eyes was almost invisible against the bloodshot whites. His stomach rumbled, and he promised himself he’d take a break and eat as soon as the interview concluded.

At the next buzz, he spun and yanked open the large front door. Holy crap.

He wished he’d gotten a little sleep last night instead of staying up to tinker with the bear.

A wiry man stood on Forbes’s doorstep. He was dressed in a T-shirt, tight black jeans, black nail polish, and red Chuck Taylors. His strawberry blond hair was spiked up in front. The corners of his eyes and his freckled nose wrinkled.

Forbes blinked back his surprise and opened his mouth, expecting words to come out. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Come in.” Forbes waved him inside the house. “I’m Forbes Pohle. I’m the one who posted the job listing.”

The man grinned and held out a hand. “Very pleased to meet you, Dr. Pohle. I’m Oliver Lennox. Please call me Oliver.”

Forbes blushed at the title as he clasped Oliver’s warm hand. Forbes was a PhD three times over, but he hadn’t put that in the advertisement.

“If you’ll come this way, we can talk in the lab.” He turned and walked back down the hallway to the adjacent laboratory, assuming the applicant would follow.

“Oh, I didn’t come about…,” Forbes heard him say before he ran into Forbes’s back. To be fair it wasn’t his fault. Forbes had stopped short in the lab doorway.

During the few minutes he’d stepped out to answer the door, the laboratory had been destroyed.


Buy Your Copy Now:

Dreamspinner Press
Barnes & Noble


About the Author

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

You can find her on her blog at http://www.aideeladnier.com or on her favorite social media sites:

Tumblr: http://aideemoi.tumblr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aideelad
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AideeLadnier
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6570769.Aidee_Ladnier
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/aideelad/

21 Responses to “Faulty Memories w/ Aidee Ladnier + Giveaway”

  1. Didi says:

    I can’t pinpoint any one events on top of my head, but yeah I think I experienced it back at my old company. Mostly they said / I said situations which sometime had impact to the job/task at hand.

  2. Tanja says:

    I experienced the Rashomon Effect often. I can’t state an exact situation, but it is there. I am married for more than 30 years and my husband have different memories about the same things. He remembers something in detail and I don’t or vice versa.

  3. @Didi That sounds familiar. When we’re around people a lot (such as at work) for several years, there can often be different memories of events.

    @Tanja I know exactly what you’re talking about! Because my DH and I talk about everything(!) often one of us will bring up something and remember both of us being there even if it was only one person present and we just talked about it between us.

  4. Thank you so much for hosting me today, DSP!!

  5. Jen F says:

    Thanks for the interesting post. I enjoy learning about the process writers use and your was an unusual circumstance.

    I experience the Rashomon Effect frequently. Whenever my family (two adults, two kids) remember things from our shared past – like what happened on a vacation – everyone has a somewhat different take.

  6. H.B. says:

    Congratulations on the expanded rerelease.

    Yes I can say I’ve experienced the Rashomon Effect. When recalling something that happened last week or a few months ago with other family member we go through the scenario and can never agree quite agree on the small details like who was doing what or who was there with them.

  7. @JenF – I’m so glad you liked the post. This story has had a lot of twists and turns and takes place over a lot of time. I’m so happy to be able to present it in its longer format. I can definitely relate to family vacation memories being wild and varied. Sometimes I wonder if my family and I went on the same trip!

    @H.B. – Thank you! I have definitely had the sinking feeling of forgetting someone who attended an event with me. It’s like my mind suddenly said, “not important-erase”. But then, that could just be my faulty memory. LOL!

  8. Ami says:

    I don’t think I do… Not that I can recall

  9. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Thank you for the post I’ve never heard of “The Rashomon Effect” but many times I’ve been talking to my sister about things that happened when we were children and it’s amazing the different account we both have to the same memory I didn’t know there was a name for it.

  10. Trix says:

    It’s always been more about me remembering something and the other not knowing it at all (like how I met my best friend in college, things like that).

  11. James Escol says:

    Hi, Miss Ladnier! Rashomon effect? Geez! Trust me, being an Engineering student puts you in that situation for a lot of times. Remembering formulas your seatmate forgot or vice versa. Seeing things in different perspective like how we can solve a problem through an easier but concrete route, how we can make a building lasts for 50 years or more, how we can reduce the construction cost without sacrificing the quality of our work. Those things that I shouldn’t have subjected you to but which I couldn’t since it wouldn’t make sense if I cut the explanation short are usually the stuff running in my mind.

    Just like you said, our memory have different bases. It’s amazing how our brain works!

    And lemme congratulate you for a job well done. Excellent cover & catchy blurb are the results of an author’s hard work. Wishing you all the luck in your career. ^_^

  12. @Ami – be on the lookout then. It might occur in your future!

    @ShirleyAnn – Yes! The same thing happens with my sister. FUN FACT: The Rashoman Effect is named after the 1950 Akira Kurosawa film “Rashoman” where a murder is described in four contradictory ways.

    @Trix – Interesting! As Oscar Wilde said, “Memory…is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

    @James – Thank you so much, James. Although I had quite a bit of help from Dreamspinner’s Blurb Department and from Brooke Albrecht, the cover artist. Engineering is an incredibly fascinating field. I can see where a lot of different perspectives could make a project better. Good luck with your studies!

  13. Jen CW says:

    Definitely. My husband remembers all kinds of conversations that I no longrr remember having. I also have this memory from when I was about 3 years old. Ot was a joint birthday party for my grandparents, but I can only remember my grandmother bring there.

  14. Jenn Oldaker says:

    This has happened MANY times! One in particular that our family still gets a kick out of to this day… We took a family vacay to FL during my brothers 5th b-day. He STILL swears to this DAY that when we went, he was bit by a rattlesnake…. Never happened ;) He truthfully believes in his mind that it did in fact happen though lol!

  15. @JenCW – LOL! I have that problem with my DH as well. He’s always saying “I can’t believe you don’t remember”. I just look at him and say “Rashomon.”

    @JennOldaker – Wow! That’s a difference in memories. His account is probably a lot more exciting, though.

  16. Purple Reader says:

    Congrats. The Rashomon effect? Like every day. As a mgt. trainer I’ve used a short film, “Eye of the Beholder,” to emphasize the “truth” in each person’s POV.

  17. Carolyn says:

    I would love to know if there’s another named effect for thinking you’re the one remembering correctly even though there’s people telling you you’re wrong? I actually have a horrible memory. I say that our eldest brother took all of the memory before the rest of us could get some. I actually think I have a really good memory when people talk about things to me. I can recount conversations, but I wouldn’t trust myself outside of that. That’s why I get upset if people doubt my memory of a conversation, it’s the one thing I am good at! Now you know why I asked that question in the beginning. ;)

  18. Lisa says:

    My brother & I have different memories of things that happened when we were kids. There are things that he swears happened that I don’t recall at all. Probably because he says they happened to him!

  19. @Purple Reader – that is awesome. I can definitely see how managers would need to know about how their workers’ POV changes the way they approach their work.

    @Carolyn – I’m unsure if there’s a name for it, but there’s a great little animation from the second season of This American Life that I always think about: https://youtu.be/PxQ9Gx2-ceM

    @Lisa – That’s the great thing about memory. It’s the story in which we are the protagonists. Therefore, there’s a good chance it will skew to emphasize us.

  20. John Smith says:

    I’m sure I’ve experienced the Rashomon Effect. Other people get things so wrong, wrong, wrong when they recall events. Why can’t they just pay attention and be correct, like me?

  21. I think I have experienced the Rashomon Effect. My kids remember lots of events differently than I do.

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