Journal

The Writing Process Behind The Sorcerer Queen

by | Aug 21, 2018 | Books

As many of my readers know, my new book, The Sorcerer Queen, will be released on August 28th. I am so delighted to be bringing this book out now to share it with all of you. I actually began working on it about twenty years ago, and many

projects later, took it out recently to revise, polish and illustrate it.

People always ask writers about their process and where their book ideas come from. Mine often come to me as whispers from people in distant times and places, or else as wisps of poetry or bits of dialogue that float into my consciousness. I will listen, write it all down and wait for more to come. At some point I will realize a new story, a new book, is coming through. I do not really feel that I invent these stories, but I welcome them as gifts and try to do right by the characters and bring their tales to fruition.

The Sorcerer Queen is one of those stories that began with snippets of poetry. I was on my early morning walk one day when the first lines came to me:

“In the land of blue and silver moons
And jasmine scented air,
A just and aging sovereign ruled—
King Sagan, called ‘The Fair.’ “

The words had a haunting quality to them, and I realized that the king himself was haunted, deeply troubled by a curse that boded ill for his kingdom. Not long after that, again on my morning walk, the curse itself came to me in its entirety of eight rhyming quatrains. I rushed home to capture every word and sat back and looked at it. I had not invented this, but now it was my job to decipher it and write the full story. And I realized that the curse not only contained the key to its own reversal, but provided a template for the entire book.

“My curse be on this murdering band
For threescore years and more,
That every time the crown must pass,
The nobles go to war.”

So begins the curse, and so my work began. Who cursed the kingdom, and why? What must the king do to end the curse? Who is thwarting him every time he tries to name one of his three nephews as his heir? Who is the one true heir? Where is the mysterious goldspun weaver, and who is The Sorcerer Queen?

The story began as lines of poetry and became a magical, whimsical young adult fantasy, a tale I had to tell. And that’s what I was doing, telling a story. But as it unfolded, layers of meaning revealed themselves to me, spiritual questions and lessons that I had not consciously inserted but that I realized were underneath it all: What must we do to make amends for old wrongs? How do we make things right and bring everything full circle? What dark nights of the soul must we go through before we come into the light? The answers to these questions came as the story did, line by line, over many months. And so I do believe that this story is not only for young adults, but is a spiritual allegory for all ages.

Look for the book coming August 28! I hope my young readers will have as much fun with the magic and mystery of The Sorcerer Queen as I had in the writing of it, and that it will bring delight, and perhaps a bit of inspiration, to readers of all ages.

projects later, took it out recently to revise, polish and illustrate it.

People always ask writers about their process and where their book ideas come from. Mine often come to me as whispers from people in distant times and places, or else as wisps of poetry or bits of dialogue that float into my consciousness. I will listen, write it all down and wait for more to come. At some point I will realize a new story, a new book, is coming through. I do not really feel that I invent these stories, but I welcome them as gifts and try to do right by the characters and bring their tales to fruition.

The Sorcerer Queen is one of those stories that began with snippets of poetry. I was on my early morning walk one day when the first lines came to me:

“In the land of blue and silver moons
And jasmine scented air,
A just and aging sovereign ruled—
King Sagan, called ‘The Fair.’ “

The words had a haunting quality to them, and I realized that the king himself was haunted, deeply troubled by a curse that boded ill for his kingdom. Not long after that, again on my morning walk, the curse itself came to me in its entirety of eight rhyming quatrains. I rushed home to capture every word and sat back and looked at it. I had not invented this, but now it was my job to decipher it and write the full story. And I realized that the curse not only contained the key to its own reversal, but provided a template for the entire book.

“My curse be on this murdering band
For threescore years and more,
That every time the crown must pass,
The nobles go to war.”

So begins the curse, and so my work began. Who cursed the kingdom, and why? What must the king do to end the curse? Who is thwarting him every time he tries to name one of his three nephews as his heir? Who is the one true heir? Where is the mysterious goldspun weaver, and who is The Sorcerer Queen?

The story began as lines of poetry and became a magical, whimsical young adult fantasy, a tale I had to tell. And that’s what I was doing, telling a story. But as it unfolded, layers of meaning revealed themselves to me, spiritual questions and lessons that I had not consciously inserted but that I realized were underneath it all: What must we do to make amends for old wrongs? How do we make things right and bring everything full circle? What dark nights of the soul must we go through before we come into the light? The answers to these questions came as the story did, line by line, over many months. And so I do believe that this story is not only for young adults, but is a spiritual allegory for all ages.

Look for the book coming August 28! I hope my young readers will have as much fun with the magic and mystery of The Sorcerer Queen as I had in the writing of it, and that it will bring delight, and perhaps a bit of inspiration, to readers of all ages.

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