So today I have another great guest post for you. Today I have author Travis Simmons talking about how he created his saga. So let's get to it!
It’s hard to talk about The Revenant Wyrd Saga and not give anything away. There are many mysteries that go into the book, but one thing I can talk about is forming and writing the book.
I have said before that The Revenant Wyrd Saga wasn’t the first book I had started writing on the continent of the Great Realms. The first book I started writing was The Calling of the Two. That story is about some pretty interesting humans in the far future of The Great Realms. By that time I envision there will be vehicles and some pretty advanced technology based on wyrd (magic).
At first there was The Calling of the Two. I was writing about Gabriel and Sultana and I knew this isn’t where the story originally started. In fact, I knew there was probably close to a thousand years of history that led up to the events taking place in that series.
I was working in the cash office at Wal Mart many, many years ago when two names came to me: Jovian and Angelica. I wrote those names down, but promptly had to take a break because their story just started flooding my mind. In that one break I had pretty much the gist of their tale written down, later I would flesh it out.
I wrote the first book, and left no secrets, no mysteries for the following books. There were things I told in that first draft that I have decided not to reveal until the end of the series. In fact, almost every book has a pretty “OMG” moment when you realize something more of the story. At least, I like to think so.
I had a vacation from a bank job I took after Wal Mart, and in that week I wrote a 265 page manuscript originally titled “The Mirror of the Moon.” I thought that was it. I printed it out and gave it to friends to read. Of course they loved it (I have since realized if you want honesty, most likely you shouldn’t ask friends).
Like all good projects I let it sit for a while. Of course, that “while” turned out to be years. I knew there were some major changes that needed to happen. The big bad of the book was pretty obvious through the first book, and in fact was even revealed in the first book. That doesn’t happen now. In fact, as far as the second book the big bad still hasn’t been realized.
So, years later I sat down and really decided to rewrite The Mirror of the Moon. I researched some pointers for writing fantasy, and I built an entire world around it with technology (where needed) a working system of magic (because I hate when something coincidental happens with magic just to help the writer out of a tough spot) and even some pretty in depth religions built on myths and religions of Earth.
The characters just fell into the story, all taking personalities and quirks of their own. In one month I had written a 200 some odd thousand word book. This thing was massive I am not even kidding. After turning to an editor I was told it should be cut into two separate books, and so The Bonds of Blood was born of the first half and The Mirror of the Moon was the second half.
After having it edited (now living in Texas) I thought it was done. I quickly started soliciting publishers, and when I got turned down by a few I realized this was a process that could take years! I wasn’t OK with that. I wanted it out then so I could have millions of rabid fans right? Right….
I should have stopped then and re-read it, cut it down some, but we all learn. I went ahead with publishing it. I published through lulu, then (years later) I published through a vanity publisher (don’t ever do that, if they ask for money to publish anything, RUN) and then back to lulu and kindle.
The entire time I wasn’t happy with it. I knew there were major changes that needed to happen, namely in all the description that riddled the book (I mean do I really need to describe their clothes every single time they change?) This edit didn’t happen until I was working on The Mirror of the Moon for release. I did something then I should have done with The Bonds of Blood, I read it through, cutting out what didn’t fit and trimming out all the fluff and for God’s sake taking out all the question and answer time the characters seemed to enter into over every single topic!
Now what I have are two very easily handled books, much neater, more comprehensive and less boring. I am very happy with the way they have turned out. All in all, I have learned a very valuable lesson. Always edit, always take out things that don’t fit, be brutally honest with yourself, and hire out editors and designers, because you aren’t the best person to do that. If you are going to self-publish you need to understand that you are the author, normally not the greatest graphic designer for your work, and DEFINITELY not the last person to edit your own work.
If you have any questions about how I formed the world of The Revenant Wyrd Saga, feel free to ask them in the comments below. I hope you all enjoy reading the series, and just know, there are so many more surprises in store and literally nothing is as it seems.
I have been writing since I was 14. I began writing a book called "The Calling of the Two" and while writing that on and off I started uncovering another idea. "Yes, this is all well and good, but what about before? What happened in the world before these characters came into it?" I always knew there was a "before" and as I started wondering about it I got ideas. At first they were little ideas but as I discovered the names for my characters a whole story about them emerged. I started working on The Revenant Wyrd Saga several years back and I am very happy I did because hearing and documenting Jovian and Angelica's story has been one wild ride. I live in a remote part of upstate New York and honestly just hoofing around my neck of the woods gives me a ton of inspiration for my novels. I love research, and I love speculating on different ideas and theories.
With the death of one of the companions, Grace must answer for the secrets she’s kept. The path before them is ever lengthening in their quest for Amber. There are changes they all must face, and when Joya enters her trials of sorcery, danger lurks around every corner. The power within Angelica and Jovian is strengthening and with it comes confusion. What are they? It is painfully obvious nothing like them has ever existed before. Why is it at times they seem more one person than two separate people? With all the mystery surrounding their latent power, Angelica stumbles upon a passage in a book of sorcery indicating she is evil. Could she be the Mask prophecy speaks of? Is she destined to turn against her own flesh? To make matters worse, the Well of Wyrding (a giant well that controls all sorcery) has been breached and wyrd itself is spiraling into chaos.
I hope you enjoyed today's post. Thanks for stopping by Travis Simmons, it was great getting to know how you created your saga!