I still think back to when it all began--before Tharin, before Lily, before Velesi. Like all great journeys in the history of writing, this one started with a quest. A quest to fulfill a mother's dream to give her daughter the wedding of her dreams.
It was 2009 in Las Vegas. We were hit by a shift in the economy and I was let go from one of the largest, most prestigious casinos on the Strip. It was a tough time for everyone in the gaming industry, and no one was hiring "another" catering/conference manager, especially one of my "mature" age. With the worst housing crisis of our time, along with a tsunami of downsizing (many lost their jobs due to cuts), and surviving on one paycheck, my husband and I were facing some lean times ahead of us. I had to do something to help carry the financial burden.
At the same time, our eldest daughter came to me one evening and said, “Mom, I’m getting married.” With my husband doing the heavy lifting with the mortgage, the cars, the insurance, and everything else, it was up to me to see about the wedding. My first husband (her biological father) and I paid for our wedding, and it was tough. I remember the stress, the tears, the family against family fights (he was Irish, I was Samoan) and losing 18 pounds a week before our wedding. I made a promised that our only child together would get her wedding without worrying about the dress, the cake, the reception, food, DJ and everything else involved. How I was going to do that...I had no clue.
I had to face some serious truths. One was that I had nothing to fall back on except for what I knew in event planning. The second was that I had no means at the time to start an event planning business. To be honest, I was tired. I had spent years of sacrificing so much time and effort working to serve others that I had lost precious time on what mattered the most...family. I was exhausted by the thought of what it would take to start a company in an industry that was already deeply saturated. I mean, I did live in Las Vegas--the Mecca of event planning.
However, the bills still needed to be paid. So, I took on several temp jobs, until filigrees of failure began to seep through the battered doors of my mind.
I remember sitting in front of my computer, feeling distraught and beaten. I couldn't think, and I didn't want to think...it only led me down the bleak path of my situation. Ever stare at something without seeing it? That's what happened that night. I was staring at my screen without seeing it, yet I couldn't shift my focus. Then, like a star blinking in the dark skies, a file at the bottom of the screen winked at me. It was the folder icon that I kept all my short stories, novellas, and epic stories in...most of them unfinished. So desperate to be distracted from reality, I opened the file with a shrug and a settled grin. Why not?
It was The Sleeping Prince that I opened first. This one I did finish. I wrote it when my daughter was only a few months old and discovered she had developed a love for books. Or I should say with paper. She loved the feel of it, and when she realized I was reading from it, she wouldn't go to sleep unless I had a book in one hand and her in the other. I could have been citing our HOA by-laws; she wouldn't have cared. She would lie there staring at the book so intently that it took forever to get the girl to go to sleep. I read that manuscript with fond memories.
That night I went on a ride down memory lane. I read one piece after another, and after several stories, I admitted to myself that I may be a so-so writer, but I was a damn good storyteller. I started writing on a new piece right then and there...at 3:10 am in the morning on March 10, 2011. And, no, it wasn't The Binding. That came four months later.
The Signed Wings was about a young girl who discovered she was a Nephilim who must work alongside a half-demon. I made it to Chapter 13 when I was hit by writer's block...a two-week-long writer's block (trust me, it was torture). Finally, I pulled out several boxes full of books from the garage and scanned through them for some inspiration. That inspiration came in the form of Tad Williams' The Dragon Bone Chair…
…and at that moment—Tharin Luna was born.
|Artist: Unknown 2018 (If you know the artist...let's give them their credit.)|
Until next time, good reading to all!