It's never easy to talk about the genesis of an idea - especially
when you are working toward creating something of *scope* that
resonates with the reader while at the same time entertaining...
because that is what it is all about, after all. Forget longevity and
fame and all the rest, your reader chooses to lay down cash they
could have spent on beer or cigarettes, movies, a nice chair or a
latte down at the coffee shop, in other words anything that eats
disposable income. They make that choice, your words over some other
form of enjoyment, so it strikes me you owe it to them to make those
Okay, rant over.
So, about eighteen months ago I was on a nine hour drive back
from a convention knowing I needed to come up with an original back-
ground for this fantasy novel I wanted to write. I always thought it would
be interesting to look at fantasy land where the hero hadn't crossed
over in time to save the day - where he had refused the call to
action and instead stayed home to grow old. What would have happened
then to this fabled land of elves and dwarves and pretty maids?
Nothing good, that's for sure... so that was the starting point, a
world gone to hell because it's chosen one decided it wasn't worth
the effort of saving them. Lee and I (my co-editor on Elemental for
Tor) back and forthed ideas, having a blast simply creating. That's
one of the drawbacks of doing stuff like Dr Who and Warhammer and all
these other IPs, you get to exercise your writing muscles but your
creativity ones begin to fester. The drive disappeared in a flurry of
world building and by the end of it we'd essentially mapped out an
entire world, elements of its past and future, and of the fall.
Then like all good ideas it got to sit on a shelf for the best part
of a year, building into something more.
I wrote the first Thera story back in April, for Solaris' Book
of Fantasy (The Song Her Heart Sang - It's a love story) and then a
linked one for Meadowhawk Press' Touched By Wonder. When Ed asked
me to do something for IMGS I knew I wanted to do something in Thera,
giving one of the legends some life. Most stories tend to be written
in coffee shops, this one was written on the plane to
, in Croatia and on a balcony in Markashka during a hurricane. Little Dubrovnik
Bosnia(Mostar) and snuck into the story in the Dubrovnik
architecture - which is always something I find difficult to do - I
tend to just want to say it's a house, it's a place, it's a big shiny
ball... and leave it at that, but surrounded by so many amazing
constructs I knew I had to do the visual aspect justice this time.
Late next year there's a mosaic novel coming out, The Machineries
of Silence (Bad Moon Books) which will piece together more of the
legends of Thera while I work on the first novel.
All that remains is to thank Ed for his work on the piece, and my
co-pilot on that long drive without whom the world would cease to be.