August has traditionally been a busy month around here! We already got to celebrate on book birthday earlier this month when "The Stairs in the Woods" turned two years old, but now it's younger brother "The Forbidden Scrolls" get it's turn in the sun.
Originally planned as a stand alone novel, somewhere in the writing process "The Forbidden Scrolls" morphed into a trilogy, and the second book "Redemption & Ruin" came out back in June. I'm currently working on the conclusion of the series, and I can assure you that it's gonna be a doozy.
But in light of today's celebration, I thought it was worth taking a look back at the first installment of the series. The genesis of the idea for "The Forbidden Scrolls" is roughly sixteen years old. I had originally thought up Juliya, Frost, and the general concept of the story for a D&D game that I intended to run for a group of friends. Unfortunately, it didn't come to pass, and instead the story just kicked around in my brain for a decade and a half. So after I completed "The Stairs in the Woods" and realized that I wanted to be a full time author, I knew which story I needed to tell first.
There are a lot of familiar elements to this tale for those of you who have read your fair share of fantasy novels. You've got your magic, your pantheon of gods, etc. For me, the thing I've tried to focus on the most is the characters. I hope that they feel real and raw first and foremost. Despite the fact that this is a fantasy tale, I believe that the more real the characters feel, the more likely they are to grab you and not let go.
To a certain extent, I feel the same way about the world. Teren'vei should be a magical place that both takes you away to another place, but feels grounded enough to be believable. When you climb the snow covered mountains, they should be as much of an obstacle as the harpies hiding in the caves above. When you enter the crystal city of Elind'thas, there has to be a reason why gemstones large enough to be converted into buildings could exist. And even if all of these things aren't described in intimate detail, they still should feel real enough with what is offered that it fits the world without feeling out of place.
Hopefully, if you've picked up "The Forbidden Scrolls" and "Redemption & Ruin," you think I've done a respectable job of adhering to the concepts listed above. I invite you to judge for yourself, obviously. I've been pleased with the overall response to these books, and I can't wait to share the story's conclusion with you sometime in 2021. I'm hoping for a spring or summer release. Hope to see you all again then, and once again, Happy Birthday "Scrolls!"