Well, this is new.
I have never done a blog before and thus really don’t know quite where to start. But, as many a fictional character has pointed out, perhaps the beginning is the best place. So, let’s kick this off with a look into how “From Out of the Shadows” came to be.
I feel like there are a lot of authors who have really interesting stories about how they came up with their books. A crazy dream, a real-life experience, a sudden spike of inspiration at the most random time possible…
I’m not that interesting, sadly.
Honestly, I just wanted to write a book. That’s all there is to it. For almost as far back as I can remember, I’ve been trying to write books. The very first was a comic book created in Grade 1, about a bald eagle and a rather unfortunate rabbit. Soon to follow would be a tale of velociraptors and their evil foe, the “Alastairsaurus,” a non-fiction piece about moose, and countless other little stories. Eventually, as a school assignment, we had to write a story based on a wordless series of pictures, which our teacher actually bound and turned into little books of our own creation.
That was a magical feeling.
There are all sorts of tales I could tell about my early writing, but that’s a topic for another day. The point is, I’ve had a thing for writing pretty much my entire life.
I think I was around ten when my dad told me about Gordan Korman, a Canadian author who published his first novel when he was just 13. My dad would tell me how I could be the next Gordan Korman and publish even sooner than that.
Clearly, that never happened. But it did solidify my goals to publish a book. The idea of becoming an author, whether I was 12 or 13 or 82, suddenly became so much more than just an idea.
It was a dream.
In Grade 7, I discovered the game Dungeons & Dragons, and hoo boy, was that ever a whole new can of worms. I had some truly memorable experiences playing that game with my friends, but on top of that, I also tapped into a whole new well of inspiration. This was also the time when my obsession with Lord of the Rings went from casual to absolutely off the charts.
A brand new love for high fantasy had been born.
So, I got to work writing my very first novel: Varis Galanodel, the story of an elven druid who wages a war against a terrifying demon god. It was entirely based upon the lore and characters of D&D, but it was my own creation and the very first novel-sized piece of writing I ever created.
Varis Galanodel is an abysmal work of fiction and will never see the light of day, but! It showed me that I had what it took. It was the final push I needed to get to work on “From Out of the Shadows.”
And so, that’s how it began, really. After years of writing and dreaming, I knew I was finally ready to go for the big one.
So, I started thinking. I thought about my favourite books, my favourite characters, my favourite villains. I thought about what kind of book I wanted to write, the kind of book I’d want to read. I looked at authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and R.A. Salvatore for inspiration, found the parts of their stories I loved the most and thought about how I could make that my own.
And then one day, it finally came together. The fragments of characters and plots and ideas I’d been shaping in my head finally wove themselves together into one, grandiose story.
All that was left was to pull out my laptop, open a fresh Word document, and begin.