The Story Arc
such as it is...
This is somewhat ironically the project with the least direction but the most thought. It originated when I was so bogged down in research for Phantasmagoria that I didn't have time to write anything. Clearly, the logical solution was to begin writing another novel.
I sometimes get the feeling that every Tolkien nerd ends up writing some piece of high fantasy, and while this is in no way a Lord of the Rings rewrite, it definitely qualifies categorically. The magic of this 'verse is subtle, earth magic based in the elements (which is to say, earth, water, fire, etc., not the periodic table—though that would be cool, too) instead of artful hand gestures and sparkly fire.
The first line that appeared in my head was the protagonist's mother, declaring, "I no longer claim her". A couple years later, a lot has changed, but that first line isn't among them. And, somewhere along the way, this turned into an outlet: for illness, for trauma survival, for a lot of things I never noticed until a psychopharmacologist asked me what it was about and then proceeded to just stare at me after I answered. In hindsight, I can't really blame him.
At its core, this tells a story about the consequences of forgotten heritage, the prices paid when people are dismissed as unworthy of additional time. It's a story about empowering the invisible members of society, sometimes independently and sometimes alongside those already in power. It's a story about balance, and what happens when you lose it. It's a story about recovery. And, for me at least, it's at least a little bit about catharsis and vengeance.
It is difficult to describe, but in a lot ways this universe is closer to my heart than Phantasmagoria, even though I thought that was impossible. I'm not entirely sure anymore how it's going to end, but I do think it'll be a fun journey. I hope you'll take it with me.