Let me tell you a story. It’s a story about a story.
July 6, 2009, is the date I have recorded that the story first emerged as recognizably itself:
A human prince – Eris – is banished and branded, but accompanied on his wanderings by his elf and dwarf best friends.
As I usually do, I took the seed to my dad, who is an expert in taking my infantile premises and giving them plots. We began working with this prince (whose name comes from the dwarf planet at the edges of the solar system) and soon discovered why he was branded (to allow them to send him through a portal into regions unknown), what his supposed crime was, and a few other details.
I struggled and thrashed my way through a draft (at that immature stage of my author-hood, I was much more a “pantser” AKA making it up as I went along AKA begging Dad to get me unstuck after every scene) until the plot was complete, and the draft was about 85% complete. I had travel brochures for two of the fantasy worlds (that’s called procrastinating). I even had a cover idea!
Then I let it drop.
I had written the interesting parts, and all that was left was some blah plot points, so I moved on to other things. I wrote and published my medieval adventure Sons of the King, my contemporary murder mystery/romance Hayes and Hayes, and started work on my cheerful post-apocalyptic series White Mesa Chronicles.
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2015 loomed on the horizon, and my dad and brother started planning their projects. With my permission, Dad decided to revamp Eris (since, after all, much of the plot was his to start with).
December, 2015, dawned with a first draft of WMC: Zombie from me, a military sci-fi story from my brother, and Eris: A Tale of the Nether from my dad.
The document I had was the infant. The manuscript my dad crafted is the strapping young man, tall, comely, ready for adventure…and pain. Not only did the characters grow in depth, detail, and humor from the hand of an older author, but having the plot laid out beforehand has been a great boon – allowing the story to swell past the potential I imbued it with and rise to incredible heights.
What of this? It’s my own story – and my own dad’s words! Of course I would wax eloquent in its praises! Allow me to assure you that no financial benefit for me attaches in any way to the success of Follis Wood’s Eris…except insofar as I’m still mooching off my parents for most of my living.
But that doesn’t matter. The book speaks for itself.Eris is the crown prince of Teluria, but when the king disappears his world begins to fall apart. Banished, and branded a traitor, he must learn about the mysterious Nether to defeat the usurper and regain the kingdom.
If you like fantasy – exploring different worlds – stately, mysterious elves – raucous, hilarious dwarves – character development – father-son relationships – if you like any of these things, don’t miss this book! Join Eris as he discovers the dark and burning Nether that joins the Worlds together, finds out what happened to his father, and bears the suffering caused by the brand that allows him to travel the portals and the Web…
Am I ever glad Dad took my story. Not only is it so much more than I could have made it, but it’s now available for all of you to enjoy! And I hope you do! Enjoy it, that is.
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