The Riven trilogy is largely about a person who realizes that the action adventure life he thought he was living is far dirtier, more dangerous, and less clear-cut than originally intended. I could say the same about myself and the writing of it.
“Let’s go have fun fighting the souls of the dead!” I said to myself over coffee. Too much coffee, in retrospect. Or not enough. It’s hard to tell when hungry spirits play about the mind.
And that’s how it started. I’d recently read a couple books and explored a game set in a steampunk version of Dickens’ London and thought well hey, that might just be a fun setting to explore too. So I smashed them together and the characters went off on their adventures.
As usually happens, however, what I thought would be an entertaining cave turned into a gnarled cavern, with deep tunnels venturing to black pits full of creatures I hadn’t imagined. Some of these frights tormented the characters in physical ways – manifesting themselves and forcing a reliance on each other and skills barely learned to bring about victory. Others, and these were truly the lost ways I’d failed to see coming in my outlines, rose up within their minds. Tore at their notions of who they were and where they, and their world, came from.
After all, when confronted with terrors that have no point of reference in one’s daily life, how do you handle them? Do you run? Do you trust in what you know?
When all you’ve learned isn’t enough, what then?
I’m still new enough to this writing endeavor to find surprises in every book, and I hope that never stops, and there were plenty here. I set out to tell the story of the unintended consequences of war for those that have no part in it, and it turned into a fantastical, action-and-adventure roil through a doomed world. I’m happy to have told the story, and happy to move on from it to something new.
Carver, Selena, Anna and the rest – it was a pleasure getting to know all of you.
Thank you for the stories.
Spirit’s End is now available on Amazon, and will be out eventually on all other retailers.