For a long time now I have wanted to write about the inspiration behind Dark Moon Rising, both as a way to document how it began and also reflect upon its origins. It still surprises me that a single book could evolve so quickly to become six. Clearly I had no idea the characters would have so much life nor indeed how rich and expansive the magical world of Maioria really is.
I always wanted to be a writer from a young age, I just didn’t know how I’d go about it. When fantasy books became the love of my life I hoped I would one day be able to write them myself. Finally, many years later after many years in education and sitting in boring corporate graduate desk jobs, the opportunity arose to finally follow my dream. I’d had enough of the mundane world of work devoid of any magic.
From a personal perspective I found that no matter how many fantasy books I read, very few had everything I was looking for. Some had lots of magic but not enough fantastical creatures; others had great characters but far too many depressing political agendas; others had fantastic epic dramas but no closure on the drama, the end to it just never came; others were just too young; (and in my younger years there just weren’t enough unicorns in any of them!) But despite all that the one thing about them all was nearly all of had male main characters and a heavily male cast.
I wasn’t satisfied with this, I wanted something different. I realized quickly that if I was to find all those things I wanted in fantasy then I would have to write my own books. So I plotted and I planned and in the end I took the plunge… I was going to be a fantasy writer!
I wanted a female main character that was strong but caring and moralistic (sorry, no vampires here), emotional and yet powerful. The ideals that initially came to mind were Red Sonja, Morgaine from the Mists of Avalon and, of course, the modern day warriors; Ripley from the Alien films and Sarah Connor in Terminator. I didn’t want royal Queens and princesses, I didn’t want selfless mothers, I didn’t want cold-hearted warriors – I wanted a woman who was just a woman that we can identify with; a woman who goes on a fantastical journey and suffers hardships and victories like any woman might. As we follow her journey and her trials and tribulations, her joys and her losses, together we grow and evolve as she does.
I knew what I wanted, but how do I do that? I could feel the story already there, the characters were just waiting to be released. When I closed my eyes I could see the fantasy world stretching out around me. I just had to get it down on paper somehow, in fact I was duty bound to get this story out. Well, there is only one way to become a writer, you just have to start writing… But where to begin? I needed a spark to get the story rolling, any spark to ignite it. And then it happened, then I had a dream…
Alone I stood staring out to sea, a landscape of grey stretching out before me. The sky churned and boiled above, thick rolling clouds of anger crushed down upon the world. Drizzle soaked the desolate sandy beach and tricked down my back, making sure the sodden clothes suffocating my body would never dry. But I did not care about any of this for my eyes were transfixed upon the roiling surface for under the turbulent waves and deep into the gloom the monster moved…
And so you could say that it was with the birth of Keteth the White Beast that Dark Moon Rising was born and perhaps his story was the one that needed to be told the most, like a wrong made right or an unknown truth come to light. *They* do say not to base stories on dreams, but I say sometimes that is exactly what you need.
Interestingly I never intended my extrapolation of this dream to ever become a publishable book. Indeed I saw it simply as a writing exercise, just a part of learning the craft of writing. This *little* book was always intended just to be a beginners attempt in practice for the real book I wanted to write (and, yes, after this series of six books I will indeed get on with writing that real book). Needless to say the voice of the characters of Maioria, and Maioria herself, were far more powerful than my own voice and in the end this author realized, I am simply their humble servant…