As a natural story weaver (see earlier post on story weaving), I already had a repertoire of ideas as cornerstones for future novels before I began working on Issaura’s Claws. Some were series for both adults and young adults, others were meant to stand alone. Yet none tugged at my sleeves or whispered “I am ready! Choose me!” in my ears. Until I had a dream...
In this dream, I was training in a military camp. The various buildings and barracks that comprised the compound were tucked away in the woods. I could feel my mischievous and curious nature bubbling over in self-enthused confidence. Suddenly there was a roar and a lion dressed in a military uniform arose from behind some bushes. He shouted my name menacingly. I instantly knew he was my superior officer and that I was in trouble.
I ran past the barracks, past the mess hall, past the training arenas. I did not stop until I reached the end of a dock at a lake. I could hear the lion-man following me. I had no choice; I jumped into the water. I felt myself swimming hard and realized that I was no longer a human but an animal.
All at once, everything changed as dreams often do. I became an omnipresent figure looking down at the person whom I had just been. For a few more moments, I watched as the white tiger swam away. I knew she would be forced to return to camp and that her punishment would be great.
That was it. That was the dream. That was my nest egg. Over the next several days, I could not get the dream out of my mind. The vision of a military camp with beings that could obviously change between human and animal form was fascinating. Who was the girl? Why was she training to be a soldier? Why was her commanding officer so angry?
Well, the tigress became my main character, Lluava, who has a knack for getting herself into sticky situations. The race of animal-men became the Theriomorphs. I even kept the angry commanding officer though his animal form was soon replaced by a ferocious mountain bear.
As I began to write Lluava’s tale, the story took a life of its own and went the way it was supposed to go. I knew how the book would end before I wrote it, but I had not anticipated a series to arise. The other three books manifested almost simultaneously one summer when I attended a writer’s conference. In one workshop, I was given an assignment to take a character of minimal importance and discover every aspect of his/her persona. From favorite color, to all the jobs he ever had, to why his personality was the way it was. In completing that assignment, I realized Lluava’s story was not over. There was more to share.
I hope you will enjoy Lluava’s journey in The Incarn Saga. The first book, Issaura’s Claws, will get you started!
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