I did not plan on a group of assassins moving into my head. But, such is the unpredictable life of the author.
I also did not plan on writing a sequel to Rulers of Light, at least not for a while. And yet here we are.
If I were to honestly say what inspired this new story, it would be my pastor's sermons on the book of Revelation. Besides that, I desperately needed to visit my friends in Heretrua again. After publishing Rulers of Light, I felt empty. I had to try pretty hard not to let depression set in, especially after losing Ty. I didn't know if I would ever recover.
Lots of drama over a fictional world, I know. I'm an author, get used to it.
Then I met Jay.
Jay is an assassin. He is Ty, but deadlier, snarkier, and just as attractive. Wait, did I say that out loud? I don't crush on characters I made up. That would be ridiculous.
Jay ignited the spark in me I needed to write again. He knew things I needed to know, and he was willing to share them with me. He introduced me to five other new characters, all of whom I instantly fell in love with.
I had to tell Jay's story. So I started writing everything he told me.
It's hard for someone in my profession to explain how something like a novel happens. It's like one day I'm sitting there, depressed and purposeless, and then I look up one day and I've written a book. I don't know what happens. I can't explain why I act like a lunatic and genuinely have imaginary friends. But hey, it works.
Ruination of Light, I realize, is not exactly a hopeful title. In fact, it's terribly gloomy. I hope you'll give it a chance anyway. These characters are my family, this story is the outpouring of all of my love, and this series is a Legend I hope will leave eternal marks on the hearts of all my readers.
Fantasy was one genre I never expected to try. I've written several other novels, and each of them, though dear to my heart and holding a lot of potential, failed to pass my standards for publishing. I firmly believe that making a career and pursuing a passion involves a lot of personal growth and development. If you aren't being stretched beyond what you're comfortable with, you're not doing it right. So I decided to let go of my dubiousness and give fantasy a shot.
Then came the freedom, and the bliss. Developing this series has been a blast. In fantasy, hardly any of the rules of our own world apply. You can do anything you want. Mystical creatures, magic, an entirely different world or worlds, new cultures, languages... it was all up to me. Sure, maybe I didn't do anything crazy like flip gravity around, but I have complete freedom to make the stories I want to make. Even if "Rulers of Light" doesn't become a hit, at least I've grown, and at least I've loved the process. It's been fun. It's worth the work. And I plan on spreading my boundaries more with each addition to the series.
But why fantasy?
One of my favorite series is "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, along with books like "The Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale, and just about anything by Gail Carson Levine. Besides that, I enjoy reading fantasy, and saw no point in not writing what I enjoyed reading.
Besides pure enjoyment, I feel as though as an author, I have a mission, and everything I write has a purpose. After going through all the books by my favorite authors multiple times, I discovered that there wasn't much else out there I wanted to even pick up off the shelf, at least not in the fantasy genre. Most fantasy seems dark and brooding. I don't understand it, but there seems to be a surplus of books about zombies, vampires, witches, and that kind of thing, and the majority of it is not artfully done. That doesn't have to be, and it isn't appealing to me, so, Heretrua and thus "Legends of Heretrua" was born.
The first and thus far only book I have written in the series is "Rulers of Light." It definitely will not be the last. I've found a land very close to me that has so much to offer me and the rest of the world, and I'm not about to let it go. With every revision, I get more ideas for new stories. Every time I draw another map, a different kingdom cries for my attention. Each visit to the bookstore or library, a glance at a picture, a nice walk out in nature, all of these things give me ideas and give me goosebumps thinking about how I could use them in my own stories. There are characters inhabiting my brain just clamoring to get out and tell their stories to the world. Who am I to tell them no?
This series, beginning with "Rulers of Light," is something I know will not die, and that I hope will give people as much pleasure as it gives me. Sometimes it's hard as an author to see from a reader's eyes. After all, it's my story. It's one thing for me to see it in my head, and another thing entirely to effectively share my vision with another person. When you read this, or any other works of mine, please feel free to share anything with me. I'd love to hear your opinions! There is no such thing as a wrong or bad opinion. Like I said earlier, growth is a necessity, and this isn't all about me. It's about you, too. Because I believe you are worthy of the best I, or anyone else, can put forth for your enjoyment.