The first time I contemplated writing a book, I was around twelve-years-old. I my head was filled with the Greek tales and epics, and my first concept of the story was more of a Greek spin on things. I had names like Andromeda and Heracles and so on. It was more ancient and I was going farther back. I wrote things down on paper and tucked them away because I didn’t have a dedicated computer. We only had a public computer, and I could get kicked off any time.
About three years later, I saved up for and purchased my own laptop. I started writing short stories, but my mind eventually wandered back to that idea for a novel. I dug those notes out, looked at them, and went, “What the heck was I thinking?!” I trashed the idea and went back to the ‘old drawing board’. At that point in my life, I had read The Hunger Games trilogy, and two of the three Divergent books. I enjoyed them, but at the same time, the two lead female characters had a flaw I could not abide by: they hated killing their enemies. Now, note that I said, ‘they hate killing their enemies,’ instead of, ‘they hate killing.’ There is a difference. Somebody comes at you with a gun or a knife, are you going to stand there and mumble, “But I don’t want to kill them.” It doesn’t matter! They want to kill you! It’s your life against theirs, your future opposing their own. There is no pausing to think; there is only fight or flight. Both Katniss and Tris got on my nerves because they didn’t have the guts to do what was necessary. They thought too much instead of using their instinct.
When I created the medieval world ruled over by Orion, my mind fashioned Zodia. She believes she is common and nothing special; but she is so much more than that. She becomes a source of inspiration to others, she teaches and is taught, and she fights for everything she holds dear. Zodia is young and looks to others to guide her: her pet lion, Fangrus; her right hand, Zentii; her shadow, Kator; her father, Prince Horun; and her mentor, General Tiron. She had a support system, but still followed her own judgment and gut feelings.
I shaped her and honed her and other characters for three books. It was a pleasure and a joy to do so, and when I self-published them via Amazon, I was happy to think that other people could enjoy them as well.
And on that note, it’s been real!