Creativity inspires creativity, and I love how other stories can birth new stories in other writers. Today, I’m happy to have author, Verity A. Buchanan on Fantasy Reads.
Behind the Scenes of The Journey
By: Verity A. Buchanan
Like many fantasy authors, I was determined to be the next Tolkien. Big goals for an 11-year-old.
I created 12 human tribes of varying ethnicities, several extra races, and a couple language skeletons. I wrote a dramatic, foreshadowing-heavy prologue and outlined some plot ideas. I named the world “Legea”, a truly prestigious combination of sounds. The Black King of Icedor, brainchild of Verity A. Buchanan, was destined for greatness.
And two years later, I was no closer to finishing it than my first impetus had taken me… which was about three hundred words into Chapter 2. I remained unfazed, however. Legea was genius. Legea was going to make history. Legea was obviously my future as an author. Convinced that I only needed to wait for inspiration to strike, I focused on other writing projects for the present.
Meanwhile, my creative brain was busy goofing off.
My love for Lord of the Rings was loyal and indefatigable. I drew paper dolls of the characters, made coloring books depicting scenes, quoted, misquoted, and invented Further Adventures of the Hobbits That Nobody Ever Wanted to Know. With my sister as an equally indefatigable companion, we invented parody versions of Middle-earth in which the fiery mountain was a lake resort, and Sauron a benevolent monarch who got jittery when delivering speeches.
But we could go farther. Using this new Middle-earth as a backdrop, we reimagined the Fellowship’s journey countless times, each time giving the cast a fresh set of character traits and backstories. This generated duplicates of almost every country, all miraculously converging on the same destination: the fiery mountain resort mentioned above.
But we could still go farther! Eventually, the multi-Fellowships got new names. A new set of names for every new reimagining. I started to keep lists in a notebook.
Well, by now, this weird and entirely inconsistent fantasy world was barely Middle-earth (about a year later, we would slap the name Legea on it instead). But we still thought of it as a game, a hobby: a portal for our brains to wreak creative havoc. We never thought these stories were going anywhere.
One of these rebranded Fellowships was a single family unit called the Thornes. It had a remarkable cast of characters. It had several hilarious scenes (none of which made it into the final cut). It had unusual purpose and a proper main character with a growth arc. It had a vision.
And I knew I was going to write it.
So that’s how The Journey happened. It was never going to be a grand epic. (It was, in fact, intended to be snarky comedy.) It happened rather by accident, at least on our part — nothing, of course, is an accident with God. It’s a rather crazy accident, but its very craziness makes it beautiful. I couldn’t have made an origin story like this up in a million years.
Who would have dreamed that a Middle-earth parody would turn into a heartwarming story about responsibility, and three siblings searching for a home?
Fred Thorne must shoulder the full care and protection of his sisters after a fire leaves them homeless and friendless. He sets out to follow the last advice given to him by his great-aunt: Take the girls to Menevace, to the refuge home.
But the road to Menevace is fraught with bandits, famine, and unknown dangers.
The Journey follows the three Thorne siblings through rejection, captivity, and an increasing downward spiral of guilt as Fred fails time and time again to protect his family from the dangers of a hostile world.
Can the Thornes find a place of rest and safety? Will their journey ever end?
Dangerous cities, breathtaking creatures, and an incredible adventure awaits in this debut novel by Verity A. Buchanan.
A storyteller by nature, Verity A. Buchanan writes to share her words with the world and give God the glory. The world of Legea took over her life about 8 years ago and she’s been there ever since. She wrestles through late nights and uncooperative characters to portray stories of courage, family, and very ordinary people living ordinary lives — because it’s in the ordinary that we find the extraordinary. In spare time, she haunts the pages of The Silmarillion and gives her piano hours of love.
Before you go, take a moment and connect with Verity on social media and check out her new release, The Journey.
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