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Excitement Builds and the Future Awaits

I’m drafting this second post thinking of all the things that have gone right and all the things that went wrong in the past two weeks. More right than wrong, fortunately. 

Actually, I feel just as excited about these posts as I do about publishing the books. To see one’s words in print for the world to read and judge is exhilarating, to say the least. 

Of course, the process is not new for me. I wrote academic pieces during my civil service career and given speeches at conferences that found their way into print. Those pieces did reflect my opinions, but they were nonfiction, dealing with defence policy or international relations, matters of fact that were on the public record. 

The Ravenstones, in comparison, is a work of fiction, a matter of pure imagination — my imagination. The story was inspired by things I’ve read, as well as ideas and events in my own life, but the reader’s judgment will not focus on my knowledge base or understanding of facts. These books will be judged in terms of creativity, of my success in engaging the reader and my ability to craft a great story. 

The books and this blog represent two versions of my voice. They are not the same, because each has a different purpose. 

The Ravenstones is a fantasy about animals, a grand epic quest, an adventure involving a host of intertwining characters. Many authors have employed animals to tell a story; Aesop’s fables, Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales and George Orwell’s Animal Farm come to mind. Such stories can (and should) be read on more than one level. 

These posts, however, are meant to connect with you, the reader (hopefully there’s a whole lot of you). Their purpose is to talk about the writing process, discuss the books and answer questions, all in an easy-to-digest style. In short, their purpose is to provide an opportunity for dialogue and feedback.

First off, it occurs to me that readers may be wondering why I’m publishing two books right off the bat. Why not combine the two into one? Or why not stagger the publishing dates? 

I see Eirwen and Fridis and The Invasion of Aeronbed as companion volumes that represent the first complete part of the saga but also set the stage for what is to come. Book 3 takes things in a new direction, introducing a new set of characters. 

The books were originally combined, but as time went on, I realized it would make for an unwieldy tome — well over 700 pages. I simply had too much to say for one book. I found a natural break between the two parts that made sense, and went with that option. (To avoid spoilers, I won’t go into detail about what follows.) 

The decision to divide the series into seven parts came about in that same fashion. The saga had taken off from what was originally intended. Related characters needed their place in the sun — their individual stories needed to be told for the reader to grasp my message. Ultimately it took seven books (all about the same length) to tell the complete story of the magic Ravenstones and all the characters involved.

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