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.