I actually got a question recently, asking which of my books is my favorite. For the longest time, I always said Gravestalker because… well, it was the most fun to write out of all of them. It was the conclusion to my first successful series and I do go back to reread it every now and then. The Magnifica series was a fun story that was little more than romp through a traditional fantasy world made modern.
However, that really changed in the last few years. When I began writing the Drakin series, I had an idea and a direction I wanted to take it… Sadly, to get from Point A to Point C, I required a Point B… and I really didn’t have a plan for that. Honestly, my weak point was always doing mid-point stories that were coherent and more than a placeholder. So I started working on a filler story to put in the middle… and had no enthusiasm for it whatsoever. It was a throwaway and nothing more.
The idea would be a simple story of a broken-down soldier that’s lost his way. He finds a reason to keep on going in a damsel in distress. His life regains his meaning as he once again has something to fight for. That damsel was a young dragoness named Nylie.
I feel that I should reiterate that I had no enthusiasm for this book, nor the characters in it. They were archetypes that I’d worked on for other stories. They weren’t fleshed out, and they didn’t really have much in the way of appealing traits.
Radley was an alcoholic and a speciesist (racism for different species, yes I know I just made up a word). Albeit, he had a reason for his hatred that, if nothing else, was understandable.
Nylie was little more than cartoon damsel in distress. She had no real personality other than being someone for the hero to protect and win over through great deeds.
Then… something happened. The characters slowly began to grow and take on a life of their own with intertwined destinies. Their stories became more developed and personalities grew where there previously hadn’t been any.
The biggest changes were made to the damsel. I eventually changed her name from Nylie to Qira and… in addition, she grew into something more than just a simple damsel in distress. Instead of just being something for him to fight for, she became the cornerstone of his transformation into a new man. Not only that, but her character really took center stage in the primary conflict. She also grew, changed, and became stronger for knowing Radley. You can actually make the case that she eventually replaces Radley as the main character… or at least shares the stage with him.
Since then, she’s made appearances in each of the novels that followed. She’s kind of become the mascot of the series, and I actually still get fan mail about her from that book, which is definitely something I didn’t expect.
So honestly… yeah, The Orphans of Haven is probably the best novel I wrote, which is amazing when you think about how it started. Nothing about how this novel turned out was originally what I had intended or thought would happen, but I couldn’t be happier with the result.
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!
Catch you on the flip side!