This december Prince Of Spires published my first novella, Emperor. It’s a story about what can happen when those in power are anonymous and willing to do anything to protect their power. That, and demons rampaging through a medieval, east Asian style forbidden city.
I started writing this story last year November when I participated in NaNoWriMo. That month I wrote the first 75% of the novella. I wrote the last quarter in December. And several edits later it got to where it is now.
It was a great experience which taught me a lot about plotting and about how I write and motivate myself.
The story itself originated in a post someone wrote on Ulthuan.net about a clan of dwarves where the royal heirs were hidden from public view.
[The] heir apparent is masked at all times in public, to symbolically hide which royal family member is next in line. Maybe with the extended royal family and all adult children of the royal couple living in seclusion, though probably not for reasons of … security. The heir apparent could be called the Hidden One, and this secrecy could play a great role in Gavemite epics surrounding dynastic turbulence and the ascension of a new line of kingsKarak Norn Clansman
This image tickled my imagination. After all, if it is not known who the heir or the emperor is, then how would anyone know who is behind the mask and who the real emperor is.
The idea bounced around inside my head for the next ten years until NaNo ’19. It felt like an idea big enough for a novel. In the end I fell short. Emperor is only 42k words, but that was close enough for me. It taught me the lessons I needed to know to write a novel length story. My next novel, which should be out in spring somewhere is around 76k words.
When I started writing I only had a couple of scenes. The first chapter was the clearest in my mind. After that, I knew what I wanted to do for the next 3 chapters, and there were a couple of scenes along the way. From there the rest of the story formed to get to where it stands today.
It was great fun to write the story, and even more so see it published. If you want to get a copy, you can find it for sale in various book stores.