"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes." ~Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn

"The characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst." ~Publishers Weekly review of High Maga

Monday, January 10, 2011

How It All Began

Welcome back, everyone.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to a great year in 2011.

Less than five months left before the release of EOLYN; I can hardly believe we are almost there.  Although I stayed away from blogging over Christmas and New Year's, we have been doing a lot of work with the book.  Hadley Rille editor Eric T. Reynolds has been busy formatting the pdf version of the manuscript.  Artists Jesse Smolover and Ginger Prewitt have been sketching ideas for the cover art and the map, respectively.  Later this week, I'll be meeting with Erin Bolton to talk about the marketing plan.

Some news from recent days:

Eric T. Reynolds has posted a list of libraries worldwide that carry Hadley Rille Books.  Visit the link to view this impressive list of libraries that endorse HRB publications.

My short story When Sally Met Ben is now available on 69 Flavors of Paranoia.  Stop by for a free read of this flash fiction horror piece.

The anthology A Visitor to Sandahl, edited by C Lee Brown, is now available through Amazon.  I contributed a short story to this anthology, entitled Chirro's Escape.  The volume also includes several great stories by talented authors, all of whom came together through the on line writers workshop tNBW.

Last but not least, I've been selected for a Writers Residency as a part of the Long Term Ecological Reflections Program at Andrews Forest in Oregon.  I'm very excited about this opportunity, which not only brings together my love of ecology and my love of writing, but will give me the chance to visit the magnificent forests of the Pacific Northwest. 

That's the news. 

So, why the title for today's post,  "How it all began"? 

Well, I just wanted to share a little something with you, though I'm going to keep today's reflection brief.  I was going through some boxes that we have in storage today, and came across the journal entry where I started writing EOLYN for the first time, just over four years ago. Here's an excerpt from those first few sentences:

I'm reluctant to write it down, because these ideas seem so much sillier when they pass from my imagination to paper.  But here it goes...

...The South Woods of Moehn was where the girl grew up.  After her mother disappeared, and her father and brother were killed in one of the King's raids, she was found -- or found -- a maga of the old school, who lived alone...in a place so well hidden only the Duendes knew how to find it...a cinamon-colored cottage surrounded by wildflowers and a thick garden of herbs and fresh vegetables...

The entry is dated 26 Nov 2006. Of course, none of this text survived subsequent edits to get into the final version of the novel, but what struck me was how very clear I was about the premise of the novel, from the moment I started to write about it. 

It also made me smile to remember how worried I was that what I had to say would sound 'silly'.  I seem to have gotten over that initial hesitation fairly quickly though, because what follows is seven straight days of journal entries devoted to Eolyn and her story.  (Followed, of course, by four straight years of working and reworking the delivery of that original idea...)

On December 2, 2006, I wrote for the first time about Akmael, the boy who would become Eolyn's closest friend and her greatest rival.  I ended that entry with this:

For the first time since he began his studies, [Akmael] had a piece of magic over which [Tzeremond] could lay no claim. 

...a sentence which faired remarkably well during subsequent edits, and still exists more or less in its original form, at the end of Chapter 3

So, that's how it all began. 

This year, we'll celebrate another beginning:  the publication of the novel EOLYN in May, by Hadley Rille Books.  Join me as we begin the count down!