Trayner Bane arose from the dark corners of my brain – somewhere between the spinning gears, light bulbs, and chest of creative ideas. He fearlessly and reliably protects the identity of my given name, Ima Notellin. Oh, shoot… never mind. He used to fearlessly and reliably protect my identity. Sorry, Trayner. I’m new on the pen name scene. Well, since the beans have been spilled, I’ll explain why I selected Trayner to protect my identity for the Windhollows book series.

You see, about 15 years ago, during a nighttime HALO exercise over the South Pacific, I was nearing the 20k deck when a strange bright light shot out from the sky above me. Feeling completely weightless, I realized a large spacecraft was pulling me into its hull through some type of tractor beam. At that point, I passed out and later awoke on an alien planet some 60 million light years away – give or take a few miles. Known as Miblorbishmekahno, the planet is a lot like Earth. Except it has no humans, dogs, cats, cows, chickens, fish, NetFlix, the Internet, cars, farms – wait, on second thought it’s not like Earth at all.

Aside from the probing and brain scans, it wasn’t too bad. But when they started mentioning something about a human chew toy for their one-eyed pet named Chompie Lots, I knew I had to get out of there. 

With the help of some aliens straight out of an episode of Ben 10, I managed to escape through a particle projection ray. The travel was instant, but during the particle migration I became amazingly smart and handsome. I have learned to deal with washboard abs and incredible intelligence, but I miss my ability to say things like, “pull my finger, uh huh huh”, and “what does this button do?”

I know, I know, I totally made some of that up. The travel wasn’t instant. Technically its closer to .002 ms in Earth time to travel that far, and I still remember how to say, “what does this button do?”

Quick word of caution. If you do happen to get abducted by aliens, I suggest not drinking the red ooze. I still have the nightmares. Wait… Or was it the blue ooze? Did I mention the particle projection ray might have made me forgetful?

Oh! Back to my pen name. Totally forgot. Well, shoot. Now I can’t remember why I use a pen name. For now, I’m just going to say it’s because Trayner Bane provides a good balance to the Windhollows series name and, per my kids, sounds way cooler than my real name. Not sure if I should thank them or go cry in a corner. What would Trayner do?

—Trayner Bane


Favorite Quotes and Passages


D.H. Lawrence, The complete poems

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

"Like one, that on a lonely road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turn'd round, walks on
And turns no more his head:
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread."

SALLY JUPITER, watchmen (2009)

“I'm 67 years old. Every day, the future looks a little bit darker. But the past... even the grimy parts of it... keep on getting brighter.”