Wednesday, December 28, 2011
On Christmas Eve 2011, after 26 years--off and on--of writing, and one full year of editing and re-editing and trying to convince myself it was finally finished, I published my historical fantasy romance, paranormal horror novel, Shadows In A Timeless Myth. I categorize it as such somewhat tongue in cheek, but the truth of the matter is, it would fit easily in any of those categories.
Here is the story behind the story.
Hello, welcome, and thank you for your interest in reading about my newest novel Shadows In A Timeless Myth, and joining me on a strange sort of journey that took nearly 26 years to complete. I always dreamed of being a writer, and spent most of my early twenties writing books, short stories, fairy tales and just about everything else you could possibly imagine. Then I had children, and had to figure out a way to give my two sons the best life I could manage, and so my writing ambitions took their place on one of life's more haphazardly accessed back-burners.
Anyway, as ridiculous as it may sound, 26 years later, I know almost to the exact minute when this story was begun...because of the letter x. You see, in June of 1986 my darling mother made my wildest dreams come true, by giving me a wonderful birthday present–a Tandy 1000 computer to replace the electric typewriter that I had been using to write my stories. That computer arrived on the week of my birthday (June 28th). Deliriously excited, I unpacked it, and immediately sat down to write a horror novel, that had been rambling around in my head. So where does the mythical “x” come in? Well, before I could type my first word, my youngest son Shawn, a few days shy of his 1st birthday (June 3oth), toddled over and poked at the keyboard, producing—you guessed it—an “x” before wandering off to play with something more interesting.
Call it superstition or sentiment, but that “x” is still there, in exactly the same spot where he typed it. I've added chapters in front of it, and chapters behind it, and upgraded computer and software nearly a dozen times, but his “x” remains still. Over the years, I even managed to work it seamlessly into the story by using old-fashioned Chapter Titles—with his “x” forming the basis for the chapter entitled, “Ta da!” x Marks the Spot.
Now, all maternal sentiment aside, I originally envisioned these characters as the people behind many of the myths, legends and fairy tales that have been passed down through time. That's why Bellina is not your run-of-the-mill Vampire, AraBestla isn't just an ordinary Witch, and FenMaric is not a Werewolf, as such. My Immortal trinity had to be outside the realm of our known mythology, in order for my envisioned line of pseudo-legends to play out correctly. This particular story was originally conceived as a horror novel that incorporated modern-day incarnations of my wandering trio of Immortals. However, it didn't exactly work out that way since my original historical-fantasy short stories quickly wove their way into the novel as memories and dreams.
As you will notice, the book is filled with a plethora of strong (and some not so strong) female characters, women who, in one way or another, reflect many of my own thoughts and feelings, hopes, dreams, aspirations and frustrations over the years as I aged and went from a stifling marriage, to single mom, to adult college student, to gemstone show host, to working executive and internet entrepreneur just trying to find enough hours to make it through each day and pay for the kids and the college—both mine and eventually theirs, as well.
To be honest, I love the women in this book. Good, bad, admirable, courageous, caring, ambitious, out-spoken, slightly incompetent, mature, immature, delusional, loving, arrogant, hard-headed, combative, loyal, generous or selfish, each faces adversity, taking whatever I've chosen to throw at them and, in their own way, makes the best of it. And I guess, when all is said and done, that is what Bellina and AraBestla's story and this tale in particular, in its own odd and quirky little way, is really all about—women making it through life as best they can.
So why, finally publish after all these years? The answer to that is complicated, but basically, it comes down to the fact that over time I developed both Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis, lost my superhuman, supermom strength, and realized that time was running out for my someday dreams of becoming a published author of fiction. And with that realization, I made publishing my stories a personal priority. I began by publishing A Very Merry Chase, my very first novel, a Regency Romance that I had originally written 35 years ago, and then I moved onto finally completing my second novel, Shadows In A Timeless Myth. Written in bits and pieces over the past 26 years as time, circumstance and the muse struck, the final three chapters were completed just last December. This past year, I've spent reading and re-reading, editing and re-editing, as always, trying to convince myself that the story is finished and give myself permission to let it go.
I'm not sure where I will go from here. I have a collection of short stories I want to release, and I have another Appalachian-based, fantasy horror novel that is half-written, and a 30 year old screenplay about a lady pirate that I would like to novelize.... Or maybe, I'll just cast fortune to the winds and go back and finally explain just what in the world Bellina, AraBestla and FenMaric were doing standing with the Knights St. John and Templar at the battle of Acre, and how the aftermath of that battle developed into the basis for one of today's most well-known and beloved fairy tales.
Either way, I sincerely thank you for joining me. I do hope you've enjoyed your visit to my little corner of the world, and will decide to visit again as my journey continues.
Smiles, and Good Reading,
As my gift to you, to thank you for joining me, download a Shadows In A Timeless Myth complimentary musical jigsaw puzzle featuring the cover art and the lovely ballad Greensleeves.
Plus...there is a complimentary short story available that introduces my two main characters.
A Tryst In Time
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915