Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Linda Winstead Jones Guest Blogging and Giveaway
For years I started and stopped - and started and stopped - writing on the book that would eventually become THE SUN WITCH. It was a play project, one I loved - one that went nowhere. I’d get the first chapter done, and that was it. I didn’t know where to go next. I went over that first chapter again and again. Beyond that, nothing. I’m not a plotter. I sit down at the computer with a vague idea of where I’m going and I let the characters and my fingers take me wherever they wish to go. So, I had no way to work myself out of the corner I’d somehow painted myself into.
Then one day I was lying in my hammock in the backyard, thinking about these characters, and it hit me. “They’re not from here.” That was the beginning of Columbyana, an alternate world where magic is very real and emperors rule and there’s a surprise around every corner. I had no idea it would grow beyond the original trilogy, but that’s what’s happened.
UNTOUCHABLE is the seventh book in the Columbyana series. If I’d given any thought to a seventh book, as I was lying in my hammock, I probably couldn’t have gotten through the first one. Thinking that far ahead is never good for one who does not plot. I also had no idea that a child who was conceived in magic near the end of that first book, THE SUN WITCH, would return to be the hero of the seventh. Here’s a short excerpt from the prologue of UNTOUCHABLE.
After almost six years in the palace, the twins had heard many tales of their conception and birth. The stories were told in whispers and tinged with magic, and it was impossible to know what was true and what was myth. No matter how it was told, the story was an unsavory and sad one, one they did not wish to dwell upon or examine too closely. Still, they could not ignore what they heard. They did not know all, would never know all, but one aspect of the tale was unchanging.
One twin had been conceived in darkness, the other in light. One twin was destined to wrestle with darkness, while the other was born of goodness and light.
Those who knew them surely believed that Emperor Jahn, a man who gambled and occasionally drank to excess and often enjoyed the company of inappropriate women, was the twin who struggled with a darkness of the soul, while Alix, who was noble and steady and well-mannered was the twin born to light.
Only Alix knew that they were wrong.
I wish I could say I’d planned this all along, that when I wrote THE SUN WITCH I knew exactly where I was going. But I didn’t. Now and then writing a book brings as many surprises to me as it does to a reader who picks up a book and has no idea where the story will go. Some days it’s a little scary - but it’s also a lot of fun.
Linda has graciously offered to giveaway a book and a tote today. All you need do is leave Linda a comment about her post.