Today I thought I'd share a brief summary of my writing history and how it eventually led to The Paladin. Of course, like a lot of people, I started writing when I was a little kid.
The first two stories I really remember writing were in early childhood, and my mother saw fit to get them both nicely bound (or nicely bound to my childhood senses.) First was Super Gecko. It was, of course, both written AND drawn by me (I'm so talented!) I'm kinda glad I can't show you this one because it was pretty bad. Basically, a gecko wandered into a family's house, saw Superman on TV, and decided to become a superhero. He took the cape and mask off an action figure and set out. Of course, in his little section of the desert, there was no crime, so he became a nuisance. Yada, yada, a cigar smoking gila monster tries to take over the suddenly extant tiny animal city and Super Gecko's mom stops him and gives her son a lollipop. The End.
Shudder. Then next was a little book about the X-men, my favorite cartoon at the time. Little did I realize this was my first step into the terrifying world of fan fiction (nothing against you fan fic writers!) This transitioned into what I would loosely call "original" characters in the form of a superhero team. I had gotten an X-Men book which was basically a bunch of them telling stories, so I used this format to chronicle the adventure of my team. And drew all their exploits. It was bad.
Fast forward through high school and a bunch of Star Wars fan fic (didn't know that was a thing yet! But, in my defense, I only set it in the Star Wars universe, no using any characters or places... ) and I began my first long novel. It was a high fantasy that centered around a character named Nikrose Strongwing. It had distant lands, warring kingdoms, magical creatures, and enchanted weapons. And I must've rewrote it thirty times. Seriously, just before settling on The Paladin I was working on a fresh draft that was... almost unrecognizable to the first. I regret not finishing it, as I have a huge love for the world and characters and fully intend to return to it someday. But life moved on and I started other tasks.
While I was in the Netherlands, I put together an original IP centered around warring kingdoms that utilized the power of patron deities. I still intend to revisit this one as my team outlined a long, detail story complete with a production bible for it. It follows a young man as he escapes from a military state, searching out a fabled land where he can be free. Along the way the power of different gods impedes and assists with his journey, all dictated by the rulers of the three main kingdoms.
And that brings me to The Paladin. It's a long ways away from the other materials I had written. Urban Fantasy, rather than High Fantasy, so I suppose there is some overlap. I guess what really made me decide to focus on The Paladin was encouragement from my mother before she passed away. She read everything I wrote. Every scrap from the Nikrose story, from the Stars Wars stuff, all of it! In the end, I banged out a rough draft of what came to be a scene around chapter 15 in the current novel. She read through it, paused, and told me to forget about everything else I was writing. This, she told me, was what I needed to focus on. Sadly, she passed away before I could complete that first draft. I worked hard to get it finished, and just before I was ready to show my father the completed first draft, he passed away, too.
So, you can see The Paladin holds a special place in my heart. My mother praised the content. My father dug out his old catechism book from his childhood because he thought it might help me. I owe it to them and to myself to see this story through to the end. Hopefully, you guys will like it, too.
Thanks guys, and as Rufus once said "Be Excellent to Each Other."
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.