Eris: The Tale of the Story

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:

How we did story-boarding in the dark ages.

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!

Back when I didn’t know about proper cover dimensions…

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.


Kimia Wood has been writing stories since she was little, and listening to her dad’s bedtime stories for even longer.

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Distance and the Heart

My brother just spent nine weeks at the International ALERT Academy Basic Training in Big Sandy, Texas. The fall-out has been interesting.

I didn’t miss him as much as I had suspected, seeing how close we are. A little background: we are the only “real” siblings in our family. While we had several foster siblings off and on growing up (that we love in a different way) he and I have a special bond, especially as we’ve grown older and more mature. We still get on each other’s nerves, but we’d die for each other in a heartbeat…

Anyway, the way I missed my brother was not a deep, pangy missing – rather, I missed him in the little things like, “Oh, he’d enjoy seeing that,” or “He’d be talking about this here,” or “Ha! He’d react like this.”

In that way, while I did “miss” him, it was more “it’ll be great to share this with him” than “oh, I wish, I wish, my throbbing heart…”

My dad is the sentimental/techie one, so he camped out on the organization’s Facebook page for most of the nine weeks, poring over every new video or picture they posted to find Jack. That meant we could sit back and wait for him to show us which seconds were personally interesting, or point out which of the uniformed, buzz-cut young men was ours.

My mom showed love in her characteristic way. She wrote notes, sent snacks, and prayed. We all prayed, I know.

Jack’s grown incredibly. We had to smile as each evaluation from his superiors pinpointed exactly his personal faults and struggles, but going through this crucible – a crucible designed to make you fail, then succeed in God’s strength – has challenged him and stretched him in important ways.

It’s funny how quickly I’ve gotten used to his presence again. While I didn’t lie awake at night thinking about how our house was missing a person, bringing Jack home we fell right back into our family patterns.

He is changed, and yet he’s the same. He talks incessantly, laughs, geeks out about Destiny, and is his same-old enthusiastic self. Now, however, he calls everyone “sir”, stands with his hands behind his back, yells out, “Yes, sir!” if he thinks he hears his name, and had to be re-taught to use first-person pronouns.

I know it’s been rough for him, but anything worth having is hard to get. We’ve all been challenged, and I pray that each of us hold on to what we’ve learned.

When everything you clung to is stripped away, when you’re 14 hours into the 24 hour hike and your feet are all blisters, there’s nothing left to do but lean on God’s strength.

Praise the Lord, my brother leaned, and came away with something far greater than physical fitness!

(I’m still prying my grip loose…and letting go… God is faithful…)