For the entirety of my life I have enjoyed reading. As long as I can recall I have actively sought out fantasy and science fiction stories to dive into, discovering new worlds and becoming enthralled by the tales told within them. Since childhood, I have enjoyed creating fiction of my own, games for my friends and I to play, and short, terrible stories to share with my family. Over time, this interest has only grown, evolving into hand-written novels which were fairly poorly constructed. Around that time, I began exploring more complicated fiction, taking up books such as the “Lord of the Rings”, by J.R.R. Tolkien, and even more recently George R.R. Martin’s, “A Song of Ice and Fire”. These epics only continued to increase my own desire to make fantastical worlds and put them into written form, and that desire has formed into my current projects. As of last March, I officially published my first full-fledged novel, an epic fantasy which I titled “The Stranger’s Orphan”. It is now available on Amazon and features artwork drawn by my illustrator, Molly McKinney. Set in a world containing countries like “Armea” and “Tagar”, the novel takes influence from books I read in my past, utilizing beings like elves and dragons and getting told through six points of view, but simultaneously weaves an elaborate and unique story not quite like any before it.
One of the most important aspects of any book, whether it be fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else, is world-building, crafting a backdrop full of rich history and complicated narratives. Authors like George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien begin by throwing you headfirst into their world, providing no life raft to float on. This sink or swim method is tried and true, and most fantasies feature it. There is no guidebook to read before beginning a new adventure, and quite honestly, if there was, how many of us would actually want it? Part of every reading experience is the way we get to learn and explore a setting alongside its characters. Frodo at the start of his journey has never even set foot outside of his homeland, and the readers get to discover the world outside this small area as he does. It is a fascinating experience, growing and learning to love the characters and setting of a world, and I hope readers will do this with mine. The Stranger’s Orphan is something of an introduction, a complicated, yet not overcomplicated first glimpse into a brand new series of novels. Characters are introduced and take time to become fully realized, evolving into figures who hopefully can be related to and enjoyed. They have stories of growth and maturity, about finding family and losing loved ones, and accepting the roles which they serve in or trying to find something new. These six separate tales are all interconnected, overlapping and joining in what I hope people find to be intriguing ways, and will only continue to evolve and expand as future installments continue my story. I do not claim to have a story better than the greats, for I am not as talented or skilled as they are. I, like the story which I seek to tell, am ever improving and getting stronger, building upon the base which has been established until something more complete and impressive is constructed.
Reviewers of The Stranger’s Orphan say it is a triumph for me, yet not one without flaws, and I accept and use their criticisms to improve what I genuinely believe to be a fascinating universe. No book I have ever read is without flaw, not even the stories which I call my favorites. Authors make mistakes, they forget their own characters and write moments which stir complaints and outrage within the fanbases. Currently, my fanbase is too small to have much backlash or outrage, but I look forward to the day I can claim it exists. I envy those who have to justify the sometimes bewildering plot choices that people in this profession make, because they have been successful enough to warrant anger and disappointment. I hope that people will one day care enough about the fantasies I write that they will belittle me with concerns and critiques, for on that day I will know that I have made something that people are interested in. Already my career as an author is improved by being allowed to post articles here on this site, and I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to write for you. Below here, I am including the official synopsis of my premiere novel, “The Stranger’s Orphan”. I hope you find it interesting enough to warrant a further look.
“NEARLY TWENTY YEARS HAVE PASSED since the end of the devastating war which toppled the Tagaran Empire. Following this conflict, Armea has stabilized, ceasing the threat of the Corec and other enemies alike. However, when the city of Sorranon falls to flame and fury, panic begins to grow anew. Within this panic, two strangers, claiming to hail from an apocalyptic future, find influence with powerful allies. Their goal- save Armea through the use of Anastasia Daren, a young girl living within the West. Yet, without agreeing upon the role of said girl, their differing ideals brew trouble for both king and country as other threats rise.
In the south, all the way in the sands of Tagar, a mysterious figure amasses an army in search of a missing queen. If he should find her, he plans to strike her down and claim Tagar as his own. When a young thief becomes entangled in the quest for this lost monarch, dire events begin to unfold for the already weak people of this once strong continent. Their future rests upon the fate of House Ortagia.
Meanwhile, an old threat simultaneously grows within the West. Considered brought to heel during the war, the Corec have resurfaced to strike terror into Armea once more. This, on top of the potential assault rumored to approach from across the Divide, adds weight to the terrible portent that’s been shared. Hope for survival, of both Armea and the world, may lie within the hands of these strangers’ orphan.”