The Cover Story – Part II

•April 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

For a long time I scribbled in my sketchpad thumbnails of vials and swords and guitars and dragons and all kinds of imagery that I thought were symbolic of the story.

I tried the two-part green pendant of Lord Vidar, I tried the image of the vial, I tried drawing dragons and phoenixes into a border which surrounded the title (and it just looked cheesy!!), and I tried multiple iterations of the blue vial. And for the longest time I just could NOT settle on an image that was appropriate for what I was hoping to achieve.

It came to the point where I had the design of the sword pretty much set with the phoenix and the red stone and the white pommel but it looked too bare on the page by itself. I toyed with several layouts and threw the idea aside.

Then I settled into designing a sketch for Matthias’ ‘cuatro’ or Guitar. I think it was back in High School where I did this art class on some mixed medium printing and I had this design of the middle of guitar with some fruits around it – the middle part was cut out and replaced with the exact same design in another medium (yes, confusing) but that, and a CD cover I had seen with the perfect circle of the guitar gave me the idea to use that as a feature. I also decided that the circle (sorry to all the technical guitarists out there, I keep referring to the circle) could be decorated ornately to show elements of the actual story. Being a very expensive custom-built guitar in the story I went to town with putting gems and inlays into it.

The map was a last-minute idea when I was putting together the printing file for BookPal, I suddenly realised that I FORGOT THE MAP!!! At the time I was sketching the guitar design so rather than leave the guitar hollow in the middle, I decided to sneak in the map of the main areas of the story (muahahaha). Then I photocopied the design of the sword that I had, and of the guitar, and cut them out, and placed them side by side on a mock up cover to see how it would look. The phoenix on the spine of the book was meant to be the Standard or emblem of Itticca.

I hesitated for some time about including the guitar on the cover because it was not such a central element of the story – but in the end it was included – not only because it was visually fitting, but because it had some symbolic significance to the story. To me, it was the symbol of friendship and communion and solidarity – as well as belonging to the secondary-main in the story, Sir Matthias. Sir Endor’s dagger would have also been fitting here but visually much less appealing.

I scanned three different layouts to Xi (my very awesome graphic designer) and she came back with a recommendation.The cover design was born and my ‘evil’ plan of sneaking the map into the cover worked!! >:D

So that was the long and the short of the cover design ūüôā So say what you will about the cover design – but I had a lot of fun sketching and working with Xi through the process!! ūüôā

 

 

It has been some time….

•April 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It seems that I have allowed life to take over and have not put in an entry since February!!

Hmm… time flies when one is having fun! I have continued to be fairly quiet on the promotion front, perhaps to the bewilderment of many of my friends who knew of this work. But it has certainly not been quiet by any definition of that word!!

Apart from happenings at Church and weddings and parties and working bees and meetings (and some increased time playing SIMS3and ebaying), I have also been undertaking some post-graduate work (Professional Diploma) in Human Resources – it’s fun but writing essays and reports just don’t come as easily as fiction!! >< (and referencing is soooo tedious!!! – apparently one is never allowed to have their own ideas in academia unless you "level up" to a certain point – what idea is original anyway??!). But yes, I am a touch workaholic.

I have been looking at some trial post-card productions. I had sent off a file to Vistaprint and had received back a decent-enough quality of postcards (just to see how they would work). They worked out much cheaper than the other option I was looking at in any case, and if they worked well enough I may just do a reprint.

Well I think I might post something about the plot soon, so stay tuned!!

xoxo
Karen

The Matthias Connection – A brief touch on characters

•February 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I so named this post because it is a post about Characters and how I have found people around me who influence my writing. Matthias was among the more prominent supporting characters other than Evanna herself, with Endor and Vidar close behind. And so I just picked Matthias cos it had a nice “ring” to the title. No, nothing about Matthias, I’m afraid!

Almost every writer draws from his or her own everyday life, and crafts an piece of art from it. Part of that art might be fictional, part of it might be very real – and in time, everything melds together in the story that develops a nature and a life all of its own.

Some people are off-limits, such as immediate family and the like. They are just too close, a little “sacred” if you like to appropriate into something imagined.

People and their lives are 4-Dimensional; a page is at best, 2-Dimensional. I’m not sure any pen on earth will do another person justice in any case. One person has not only the nature written in their DNA to contend with; but also their nurture, influences, thoughts, worldviews, mindsets, personalities – add onto that circumstances and you have layers and layers of story – just to ONE individual alone. No, no pen can fully capture another life.

A bit tongue-in-cheek, I wrote a disclaimer at the end of my book, stating that all characterisation which resembles someone I know is “accidental” as the characters are all fictional and don’t actually exist in life, so I take no responsibility for any perceived misrepresentation of friends, enemies or acquaintances. While it was said half-jokingly, it actually came about because I was talking to a friend about the plot and the characters and got a question directed at me saying, “So, is so-and-so THIS character?”. The answer of course, is: NO. So-and-so did not exist prior to the time of the Floods of ancient times and nor were they Knights and fighters of a kingdom long lost to memory and time.

Did some of my friends influence characters more than others? You bet! Strong personalities have strong influences. That’s just¬†a fact of life.

Well, I hope this brief post sheds some light on the characters – but perhaps I might post a bit more “Spotlight” posts on certain characters. We’ll see!

 

The Ancients & the Serpents & Phoenixes

•February 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

All throughout recorded human history there have been stories and legends of Dragons and Serpents and Enormous birds. We are so enamoured by stories of gigantic creatures Рfrom the Spiders of HP & LOTR to the numerous web documentaries about the search for giant snakes, lizards, fish, squid Рwell, we are just fascinated  by all these lifeforms and what they look like, how they behave Рand we seem addicted to the thrill of possible adventure and discovery.

That got me thinking. Perhaps stories that have been passed down from so many different cultures aren’t as isolated and baseless as some might believe. Perhaps among the common threads and story elements there is truth. Perhaps it is that the truth of the one-time existence of such creatures are interpreted through different lenses.

The story is set on a great island, consisting of several countries/kingdoms of varying sizes – what we have dubbed “Pangea” in the Geological world, perhaps remnants of the once-great Atlantis. All of these creatures were a daily reality to the people of this land, and in their world, it was completely logical to talk about Mountain Lions and Reptilian beasts in the same breath, because they were part of the same ecosystem. In my mind, it was a perfectly workable reality.

Warning: I am on ramble mode so – be warned!! ūüėÄ

Some of the more “fantastical” creatures in Blue Scorpion really came from this thought. Here are some examples:

Dragons & Great Reptilian Lizards:

In my book, Dragons and Lizards just aren’t the same thing. No way. The majestic winged dragons of the greatest stories can’t be related to the monitors and komodo dragons that we moderns are used to. And there seem to be more than one type of dragon. Some aren’t really dragons, they’re “serpents” – and personally I classify them separately.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, the worldview I adopted was one that was created perfect, and yet was ruined by a single act of betrayal. Things that were once pure were starting to decay and as the generations go on, the genetics started also to degrade.

And so it was with the Dragons. I imagined that there was once a great race of Dragons – perfect, faithful to the Most High and majestic beyond belief. Over time, they started to weaken. These are the creatures I have dubbed “The Ancients”.

These “Ancients” were the last of their kind – other dragons also existed (as dragonlore persisted way beyond the Flood) but these were cross-bred, less beautiful, less pure specimens. The Ancients were the fair dinkum Dragons – the originals. They were creatures of¬†beauty, strength and they were known to be quite fierce and unapproachable, and they earned their reputation¬†amongst the old world¬†civilisations as terrifying creatures. They were also elusive, living in the highest mountains and in the¬†most hidden places on the island, coming out only to hunt or stretch their wings.¬†They were creatures of incredible intelligence, but they would commune with humans on their own terms. And by the time the story began, they were really struggling for numbers. These creatures had a powerful instinct: when they were about to pass from Life, they woukld fly from the great Island to find smaller islands to make their own final resting place.

There are also Great Reptilian beasts (aka Dinosaurs) in the story Рbut they are completely unrelated to these Dragons. These creatures occupied lower lands, preferring to be in grazing herds or hunting those that grazed in herds.

The Serpents of Old

There is an ancient legend from the ruins of the Mexican pyramids that a rainbow/feathered serpent came down to teach the people wisdom and culture and gave them much of the technology that they learnt at the time. There are creation stories with large rainbow snakes and serpentine dragons that imparted knowledge and teachings in many cultures across the globe. There are tales of the Loch Ness Monster and depictions all over the world of colourful, long, lithe creatures that floated in the sky. In the Bible the Serpent is a symbol of the Oldest Evil Рthe Deceiver and the destroyer of Eden.

And so I based my Serpents on such creatures – the Serpent in the story doesn’t do very much but much of what it did was implied in backstory. It was beautiful, cunning, and imparted secret knowledge and wisdom to a man who hungered for power. I won’t say much more lest I spoil the story for all! Suffice it to say that the serpentine characters in the story were up to not a lot of good!

The Phoenix & the Roc:

The first time I heard of a giant bird story was back in junior school – I bought this book from our junior book club called “True Monster Stories”. All I recalled was that I loved to scare the living daylights out of myself reading the werewolf stories – the rest of the stories were somewhat stereotypical, and they did not much interest me.

But among the stories that did catch my attention was this story that in Africa, a boy in the fields was carried away by a gigantic eagle which swooped down from nowhere to snatch him from his friends. The boy was never seen or heard from again. Many efforts were made to find this alleged eagle but no one could find it. There was also a story in my school English Text book which we never got to study – which was an Indian folk story about how a Princess Sita was carried away by a giant crow.

Ahh, giant birds – again, I decided that they could exist in that ecosystem – Giant Reptiles, Giant Snakes… why not Giant birds?

In the story, the Roc was a symbol of the Country of Simas – its national emblem.

Oh, and Phoenixes – need I explain them? They’re just awesome. End of story muahaha. Well, they are the national emblem of Itticca.

These two creatures in the story have a largely symbolic role – they really are just the markers for certain people groups and territories within the story.

There are many more…

Oh dear, how I do ramble…. It’s a lot of fun just playing with all the possibilities in a story. But imagine a world where such possibilities are real. Now that would be an adventure in itself ūüôā

The Cover Story

•February 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

If I haven’t already done so, I want to congratulate Ms. Xi Wang – a budding young graduate Graphic Designer for her hard work with the cover design.

While I had very strong ideas and pencil sketches and detailed instructions as to how the cover was meant to look, Xi was the one who brought it to life in a digital format – and really rendered the image to what it looks like now.

When she initially agreed to do the cover design for me, I had in mind the sort of colour usage and semi-realism of the work of Artist Keith Parkinson. I used to own an artbook of his, which I have since lost, but I loved the way Keith rendered humans and dragons and all things fantasy.

However when I instructed Xi on the style of design I was after РXi took my counsel to heart and researched the work of the artist. As a result, Xi not only commenced a digital work for me, she also did the exact same image in Oil on Canvas. The painting is as beautiful as the digital version, and is now sitting in my dining room waiting to be put up.

So, Xi, thank you for all your hard work. I will add a link to her site a little later, when she is ready for me to do so.

All Creatures Great and Small – the Animal World with Evanna in Blue Scorpion:

•February 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

What moves in us in the opening scene of the Lion King as the camera sweeps over multitudes of creatures all running towards the Rock to see their new King? What makes us smile when we see a big, fat cat roll on the floor next to the baby to keep it company? What moves us to tears when the family dog rushes into the fire to save his master’s infant son asleep in the cot? What stirs in our hearts when we hear age-old tales of Romulus and Remus being brought-up by the she-wolf; or the boy brought up by creatures deep in the jungle? It is as though this was the way things were meant to be. I wonder if this hunch is more correct than we dare to hope for?

On the flipside, there are incredible tragedies. What makes our blood boil when the family pooch turns on the hand that fed it? What saddens us when a lion trainer, who has raised this creature from infancy mauls the trainer to death? Why does it surprise us when Creation goes crazy and sends floods and storms and earthquakes?

Truth is, perhaps we don’t ask why enough. We are often too quick to blame God for being unfair and for not being compassionate enough. But perhaps we have missed something vital. Perhaps we don’t realise how pivotal a part we have played as human beings in causing this disharmony. The world that Evanna’s story was set in, was a world where some of the Animals¬†were loyal to humans in a very daring, committed way – even to¬†battle and death. In that same world,¬†some have turned into creatures that induced fear and hate. And Evanna, with her Gift of Communion moved between them.

A Glimpse of Eden – a Covenant of Love

In the very centre of our souls is the memory of Eden – of the harmony that once was. When Creation was in a right relationship with us, its stewards. I once read an article of a study – I believe it was in conjunction with something Micah Challenge (a Christian advocacy movement for those who are poor and disadvantaged around the world) that the Earth has more than enough resources for every human being who lives on it and more. However, due to exploitation and greed – there is now too much in some quarters (throwing out excess food every night) and in some quarters there is simply not enough.

Perhaps I should rewind a bit. I want you to stay with me.

Genesis 1 tells us that when God created the heavens and the earth, he “saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:9, 12b, 18, 21, 25b). Soon after that God created humankind “in His Image, male and female He created them” v. 27. To cut the long story short, God let Adam be caretaker of all the creatures, and allowed Adam to name the creatures. Before we rush into the fall and everything thereafter – I want us to stay in Eden for a while. There was harmony between man and woman¬†– and a trust so deep that there was no shame. The creatures did not attack each other – they did not attack Adam but let Adam name them. There was fellowship and belonging and trust. These are the very things that move in our hearts when we see the Lion King.

The Covenant is Forgotten:

Yes, we long for Eden. But we are forgetful creatures.

When was the last time you asked God to be the boss of your life? When was the last time you stopped to listen to what He had to say? I would say to you that while we want Eden we are content to ignore the Creator. Content to ignore Him until something goes wrong. When someone dies – the first to get the blame is the God no one bothered to acknowledge while the loved one is alive. Perhaps it is we, humans who are unfair?

We are forgetful of the power our actions have – that our ignoring God opens the way for a Curse – the Curse of Genesis 3. It is not a curse of vengeance – it is the declaration that the relationship is no longer hunky-dory. We are no longer buddies with the rest of Creation, because Adam did not follow God’s instructions on how to take care of it. That pure relationship of total trust in God and total trust in each other is the very KEY to Eden. Break that and Eden was broken.

The Blue Scorpion Connection:

The entire world of Evanna and her friends was constructed on this very worldview. Evanna existed in a world where the Fall was still only very fresh, and the creatures still recall the covenant of the Most High – their covenant to serve the stewards of Creation.

The Ancients, the Big Cats and the great birds all kept the covenant to be faithful and to love, protect and serve. The Horses, led by their King Eytan came to lend their strength – but many also shied away from their covenant, and chose not to follow their King Eytan. Many other creatures in the land at the time have already forgotten their covenant, and had started to become rabid and develop a blood-lust. They have attacked humans and ate each other. The Gift of Communion was becoming rare – the ability to communicate with and understand the creatures. It is not some mystical power – it was what was meant to be – now tainted by blood.

Even today, some creatures still recall their covenant. Today, some humans still recall their covenant.

Only God – the one who Created the world can restore the world to what it was intended to be.

Some people like to challenge Christians with this question: Do animals/pets go to Heaven?

Well, my answer would be this: I don’t know. But I know this: That the Bible says in Isaiah 11:6-9 these words:

¬†“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed¬†with teh bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobr and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Perhaps this sounds far-fetched. Perhaps you don’t see how I’ve connected the dots. I didn’t do them all on my own. Perhaps you need to ask the Creator to help you to see. You might find yourself surprised to experience that God has been wanting to reach out to you to be¬†a part of that Grand Restoration. That day will happen. But it must be on the Creator’s terms. Will you be a part of it?

The Power and Poverty of Words

•February 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I believe C.S. Lewis might have said something about the “poverty of words”. He couldn’t have said a truer word.

Oh yes, the story was perfectly clear in my head! I could watch the story happening like a movie in my mind as I wrote it – of course it made perfect sense to me! So in order to paint the picture I have in my head so that you can see it in yours – I have to use words.¬† There were so many things I wanted to express, or describe or elabourate on in the writing of the book, but words failed me at the point, and I had to abandon those ideas and keep things simple just so that the reader does not get confused. When I wrote something one way, one of my proof-readers will “get it” and another will completely miss the point. I thought I’d been clear!

I am so thankful to my proof-readers Tim D and Amanda L – two VERY different readers who have helped me out with reading the scripts and giving me feedback. My best friend Kate W also gave me lots of pointers to help me be clearer in the expression of the story. They pointed out all the discrepancies and all the phrases that made sense in my head (but in reality resembled more a dog’s breakfast), all my grammatical errors, and of course, the spelling errors. Any writer would know that once you are on a roll things just get typed and sometimes mistakes happen in the silliest places!¬†And as they were editing I was making more and more refinements to the way the story flowed and how things were written and so¬†on.¬†Had I all eternity to work on it, I would have been editing the manuscript till Kingdom Come.

Words are powerful – our words can carry enormous power: to wound, to heal, to bore, to entertain,¬†to influence another for good or for evil… I wonder if you have ever stopped to wonder why? Why do phonetics and intonation make meaning in a particular sequence – something which we cannot see or touch – how can it encode so much? Having done my Tertiary Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders (I studied as a Speech Pathologist – then gave up) I was particularly interested in the question.

On the other hand, how can four dimensional thoughts with all its inputs, influences, and the circumstances that surround the utterances be put into a simple sequence of sounds¬†– let alone on a two dimensional sheet of paper? The physiology of language formation, learning and production is complex enough, then to add abstract thought into it just makes for a “brain hurt” scenario.

It seems that language is all at once wonderful and majestic in its scope and sway; and falls woefully short of adequacy all in the one go.

While day to day communication is important to mere mortals; there is nothing that can sway a soul like a well-read verse, or a good story told, or a moving tribute written for a purpose. What moves our very heartstrings go above and beyond things which are necessary for survival. This, I would put to you, is a clue to something greater and higher than ourselves.

Yet on the other hand, I think most of us have had the experience of being misunderstood, or having our words taken out of context.  It can also carry destructive power, or carry meaning we never intended. Such is the failure of words to convey all of our meaning. For all of our years on earth, us humans have progressed in many ways but our language has never been able to be perfect.

The Power and the Poverty of words is a clue. There is something of the Divine in our make up and yet something that falls short which we cannot help ourselves out of. We are made in the Image of the Living God – who Created the Heavens and the Earth out of¬†spoken Word; and yet we¬†fail the moment we¬†open our mouths to express that which is adequate and fall short of the Glory of the Creator.¬†Yet there is One who can help and the Gift is there. It is The Word of God¬†(John 1:1-3). Why don’t you look in The Old Book and see if you can find the answers?

History, Myths, Legends and it could all just be true…

•February 8, 2012 • 1 Comment

Ever been captured by the legends of an ancient civilization that predates even our own written history – an advanced civilization that had all the technology to build the incredible, phenomenal structures that Archeologists are puzzled by even today, and engineers with today’s supposedly advanced technology could barely replicate?

Ever wondered what happened to the supposed Atlantis – a land supposedly greater than Asia and Africa put together in its land mass?

Have you ever wondered about the legends of Greeks and Romans and the mythologies of the East about heros and giants and more-than-human beings? What of the pattern of megafauna and the fossils of Giant Reptilian Creatures whose bones are strewn across the lands of the world? And the tales of dragons and serpents and enormous birds?

What of the Great Flood that carried Noah and the Ark?

We are often too quick to dismiss these as tales and figments of the imagination. Too quick to put our glasses on and forget that we do not have all the information.

We tend to think of these events as broken, unconnected facts of history and remnants of myths and legends. But perhaps they are more fragments of a broken pot – that do not seem to fit together simply because we do not have all the pieces. But perhaps they do fit. And for me, the Old Book – the Bible brings all the pieces together in a picture of possibility. While I do not have all the history, and the Bible is not explicit about all these little minute details about dragons and dinosaurs or Atlantis – if one read closely, these things are not foreign to the world of the writers of the Bible.

Dragons and Dinosaurs and a Covenant of Creation

Great beasts were known to the prophets of old, famous references to the Leviathan and the Behemoth in the Book of Job (Job 40:15-18; 41:1) are well-known to English scholars who have taken the time to study the texts of this great book. Such creatures must have existed alongside humans when the world was young.

We have a world strewn with the fossils of such giants, created with so much power and strength and majesty that we look at their bones and are taken with awe. We are taken by movies made of such creatures and are taken with imagining their origins and lifestyles – not primitive by any stretch of the imagination – what if they were once ours to observe?

And what of those moving accounts of unusual friendships between creatures – the lion and the goat that lived side by side happily; or the horse-whisperer who could tame a wild steed into a gentle friend? Echoes of our very purpose as stewards of a harmonious creation still resound in our souls. We want to replace harmony and caretakership with training and a sense of control – but that power is not ours to take – it is God’s to give. The Creator put the creatures there to teach us; and He put us here to take care of them. They were never meant to kill. Death was never meant to be Natural.

I believe our interest is because a part of our Created humanity still recall that God made all things beautiful and logical and good. What has occured to our souls that have allowed us to settle fof second-best? To accept Death somehow as Natural? No – it has never been designed to be Natural – its origins are Supernatural and WE are the cause of its coming into being.

Heroes and Giants

A single line in the Bible bears a clue to the existence of supra-human creatures which are referred to as “Nephilim” (Genesis 6:4) that intertwined with the bloodlines of humans. Stories that gave rise to Beren-and-Luthien type tales of Lord of the Rings renown come from accounts such as these. These stories capture our hearts because somewhere in our own history and lineage – those were our stories. Perhaps the mythologies are not as mythological as we think. Perhaps there is a grain of truth in there – maybe not ALL truth, but certainly not complete imagination.

Kingdoms and Ancient Thrones

Oh the romance of discovering a lost world! Those discovery channel documentaries about ancient findings of civilizations unknown! Ahh, the very shadow of Atlantis is on our hearts. A Kingdom – or perhaps kingdoms – lost forever in the oblivion of Time from a mysterious event in History.

Perhaps not so mysterious. Genesis 6 goes on to recount how the whole world was judged by the Deluge of God for its rebellion towards God, who created them and gave them life, intelligence, incredible creativity (to build cities, and discover music and engineering etc) to the distortion of all the good gifts that have been given them for things that hurt one another, that exploited and damaged and destroyed. The Bible stands solid on the account of the Great Flood – it is no mere hint that God does not like being snubbed. Don’t believe me? Go and check it out ūüôā

The land of Simas, Itticca and Adar…

This is where the world of Evanna was born – an Antediluvian (or Pre-Flood) world that existed after the Creation and the Fall and just before the Great Floods were sent to judge the Earth. Little is written about this time period and perfect for the story that puts great beasts together with half-giants and lost worlds together!

This is the world where the young, powerful energy of Creation is still coursing through the earth – where animals and trees grow big; where people are healthy and live to hundreds of years; where the Mountains and the Valleys of old stand taller, grander, and more green than we can ever see in our lifetime.

It is a world where Creation still remembers its covenant with it Creator – and still respects the stewardship of humankind.

But Evanna’s world is also showing signs of enormous decay – as kingdom rises against kingdom; as humanity inclines towards evil of all kinds; and as life becomes cheap and wars become frequent – a remnant who still remember the Most High fight on, although they declined in numbers they held fast to the worship of the Most High, their Creator. As those faithful¬†were decimated by the evil that grew around them, the Ark was built by one last faithful man and his family. God brought all the creatures two-by-two into the great vessel – young creatures full of life and ready to reproduce after the Floods have receded – in order to preserve all that is good and green on this Earth.

Yes, Blue Scorpion – Last Flight of the Ancients is a story. But perhaps not as mythological as one might believe. Consider the Bible – I reckon it’s got a lot more going for it than rules. Check it out!

“Blue Scorpion – Last Flight of the Ancients”, A Sneak Peak

•February 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Let me tell you a story. Come, sit around the lounge, make yourself comfortable on the beanbag and enjoy your coffee.

A long, long time ago, in a world before the Floods of Judgement of the Old World, there were mountains and valleys many, many times more beautiful than they are today. The trees grew larger and greener, and the ground was rich and fertile. The earth was young, and the air was fresh, and everything grew quickly and lived long. Great civilisations flourished in this world, with technologies that far exceeded that of our own present age.

In this world we join the journey of a young woman, Evanna, as she slept on the floor of a hut in the Simasian outpost of Drone. Round about the same time the previous night, she was in the Mountains, making her way into greater civilisation to commence a new life and a new adventure. Now she slept on the floor of a dusty, crumbling home of an old man and his wife, who had been attacked by bandits on their way home. And Evanna, rather unexpectedly had gotten involved in the commotion. It was all quiet outside until  stealthy footsteps approached. In the moments that followed, Evanna was catapulted into the monotonous life of a labourer in Drone as she became the new lady blacksmith in the outpost. In the apparent subdued atmosphere of the outpost something was brewing.

But the hand of the Most High was moving in a different direction. Rumours of a lady blacksmith travelled through the outposts towards the City of Simas, and brought back with it a grand, new opportunity to serve in the Palace of Simas following a visit from two strangers from the City. Sensing her time in the outpost was up, Evanna took the invitation to work in the Palace on a commission for the King’s Birthday. She was admitted into the company of the High Knights of Simas, and as she worked her commission, the High Knights took care of her as one of her own. The ever-attentive Sir Endor was by her side; while Sir Torias the Strummer and Sir Matthias the newly-knighted champion of the Northern Border kept her constant company.¬†And in the City of Simas, an old beggar sat at the gates of the Palace, keeping watch.

The King’s Birthday came and went, and the mood of the Palace shifted markedly with news of the impending diplomatic visit from a princess of the neighbouring country, Adar. Simas and Adar had long tolerated each other with a treaty made many years ago binding them into¬†an uneasy peace. The final piece of the treaty was the union of the Prince of Simas and the princess of Adar, a union that not many in Simas looked forward to. Slowly, pieces from events in Drone started to fall into place and Evanna realised that the arrival of Princess Zhora would bring her face to face with her past, and the legacy which had been thrust onto her since the day she was born.

How strong was a¬†mother’s love for her child, that it left a legacy for the Kingdom that was destroyed. The road would lead Evanna full circle,¬†all the way back to face her mother’s murderer. She had to decide whether or not¬†to return to the faithful remnant of her own people in¬†the Mountains, or to let them slumber into the forgetfulness of Time. And ultimately, it would lead her to confront an ancient enemy most thought had perished in the last war in the very city where the story began.

 

Well, that’s a sneak peak anyway… ūüôā hope this whets your appetite a little! ;D

A Question of Promotion…

•February 4, 2012 • 1 Comment

Many people (my parents included) asked me why I did not spend a bit more time and effort into marketing the work.

The answer is a bit of a complicated one.

1. The issue of cost:
I had looked into doing postcards to “market” the book to a wider audience, and the cost is upwards of $2K (AUD) and frankly I don’t have that sort of spare cash lying around. Marketing just feels like another big project and so much maintenance work needs to come out of that – that the lazy side of me said that on top of my full time job and voluntary stuff and a household to keep – I really did not want to take that on at a large-scale level. If anything I would do my own promotion small-scale, in-house.

2. A Word of Mouth Consideration:
Perhaps I’m an optimist but I am a believer in the power of word-of-mouth and to me it is a test of the quality of the work as to how far it goes without a huge push.

3. The Power of Providence:
God is ultimately the promoter and inspirer of this work, and perhaps in my human limitations, I would do a lot better to let Him do the promotions and the moving of hearts towards the book to those He intends to pick up. In that light I am not entirely worried about the success or failure of the book, but what our God will have happen will happen in due course. I do not see that it is fatalism or a letting go of one’s destiny – I have put a considerable amount of work into this piece myself according to the ability God has given me – but the outcome of such investment is not in my hands. This frees me from having to control or worry about the final result and liberates my time and energy to continue investing in lives that God has brought to me and my household.

So, there we go – let us see where the adventure takes us!