Ok, so I was thinking about my series A Realm Hereafter today. Surprising, I know. What I was thinking about was not entirely new. I’ve considered it for a short moment while writing Book 4 but today I was really thinking about it. So here it is. I think I’ve decided that I am going to do another short series. It will be a spinoff of A Realm Hereafter with the main characters being some new people in Books 4 and 5. But for a brief moment in the series, my Hereafter characters will not be in the spinoff. The new storyline will be slightly introduced in my current series but not enough to give away the entire plot. It will be a story that is unfolding parallel to Hereafter and eventually they intersect. It would be an interesting idea that I hope will turn out well. However, I have several other stand alone book ideas that I want to tackle before I pursue this venture.
When I first began writing The King’s Son I had my two main characters, Fen and Exendrik, all figured out. I knew their backstory, their personalities, and how they would interact with each other. But the one thing I hadn’t taken the time to sit down and think about was what the story was actually going to be about. I had characters. I had an ending I had already written and needed to get to. Now I needed a story.
First, I knew I needed something to be stolen. My original idea was to have a ring with magical properties to be taken, putting the kingdom at risk. However, this was around the time the Lord of the Rings movie was coming out and, having not read the books before, I realized a powerful magic ring was not an original idea. So I tossed that storyline away and thought about other items. Nothing I could think of seemed to be worth stealing if it wasn’t magical and I felt that would be too close to LotR. Then one day I came up with a brilliantly simple idea. A key. They are small, easy to hide, and stolen all the time. And though it had no magical properties at all, it was powerful in its own right. For it had the power to keep a kingdom safe or open it to the dangerous world outside. And so the story of The King’s Son was born and brought with it the five book series, A Realm Hereafter.
On December 3, 2011 Christopher Paolini came to Phoenix. For those who don’t know, Paolini is the author of The Inheritance Cycle. (The movie “Eragon” was based off the first book in the series.) The fourth and -for the moment- final book was released in November 2011 and to celebrate, Paolini did a book tour. Of all of the writers I am a fan of, he is the only one I kept an eye out for a book tour. I guess it was his second one here to Phoenix, but I had no idea about the first one.
Originally, I had planned to go with my husband but he got sick and instead I went with my mom. We got to the library two hours early and got a pretty decent seat. We were about the third or fourth row back. Slowly, more people trickled in and by the time they actually introduced him, the place was jam packed with fans.
I must say that it was a very exciting moment. I have never cared to meet anyone famous except for Paolini and there I was, sitting in the same room listening to his speak. It was like a motivational speech to me. He gave me even more inspiration to continue writing. Afterward, we had to wait to be called into line. My mom and I were sitting close to the signing table so I must admit I sat there staring at him until they called my group. Since I’d ordered months in advance, my spot was close to the beginning and we didn’t have to wait long before we got to him.
When I finally reached him, I was so nervous. He asked how I liked the book and I admited I wasn’t done yet. He responded, “So you haven’t gotten to the part where Galbatorix drowns in a bowl of green jello?” I just giggled and it was over before I knew it. Soon I was on the glass elevator and as we went down, I waved and said a sad goodbye to Paolini (which everyone in the elevator with me thought was rather funny).
So to share with you my experience, I have attached two videos of his presentation. I wish I’d recorded his Q & A but I was afraid my camera was going to die. Also, my arm was killing me (as you will notice from the occasional spaz attacks during the videos).
After much consideration and deliberation, I have decided to turn the four part series A Realm Hereafter into five books.
I had originally planned for Book 4 to be a three part story. Parts 1 and 2 are one story, each telling a different half. The third part, which I had planned to incorporate into the book, is a storyline that is completely different. It takes off in a totally new direction. Considering this, I think that including the third part would actually detract from the first two rather than add to it. For me it feels as though I am putting too much in one book. I really want the main focus for Book 4 to be the first two parts. Therefore, the current title I had planned for #4 will actually be converted to Book 5 and I must now come up with a new one for #4.
Ok. So to be honest, The King’s Son isn’t the first book I’ve ever written. A long, long time ago, back when I was in 5th grade, I got an idea for a book. It was to be about two girls in high school who auditioned for a part in a movie and one of the girls was cast in the role. Of course, enraged and jealous, the second girl murders the lucky one (or unlucky). And as usual, the idea transformed into something completely different from the original idea. Ultimately, the book never was about a movie role but the murder did occur as I had imagined it. Instead, it followed a group of teenagers in the aftermath of the murder where each are suspected of the crime, in particular the main character. Eventually, the true murderer is revealed as well as a strange new reality for the characters. It goes on from there to have a secret society revealed that is bent on taking over the world. Some of the original characters then have to work against this new enemy. As they do, an even more sinister plot develops that takes the reader deeper into the mysertious.
This summary makes the book sound a lot better than it is. The book, called The Royal Thirteen, was named before I even knew what the book really was going to be about. Halfway through writing it, I figured I should come up with a reason for the super cool title I came up with. So I threw a reason in there and kept going. So what started out being a modern day thriller type book morphed into a sci-fi novel. I don’t think I’ve ever read the whole thing through. I’ve tried, but I usually end up cringing and throwing it down. The sad thing is, I think I could make it good if I just had the patience to sit through the awful writing and do a complete overhaul of it. Maybe after I finish A Realm Hereafter?
I guess what they say about a writer’s first book is true… it always sucks. But I’m hoping one day I can save it.
For now, as you wait for that day, you can read A Realm Hereafter! 😀
The title of the third book in A Realm Hereafter is……. The Witch of Belasi. I plan to release the book cover in a couple months. Can’t wait!