By The Light of a Darkened Forest
The journey I took by writing this novel was a long one, ten years in fact, with plenty of stops and broken paths. I learned much through its process and even lost a few friendships but I wouldn’t change it if I could. The experience alone was well worth the price. Now that I made it sound like I went through hell and back let’s start from the beginning.
Originally I wrote this story in order to cure myself of a lack of enjoyable reading material. Now some may grump and state there’s plenty out there and that’s true but not for me. See I am an extremely picky reader. So much so in fact that there was only 3 book series that I’d read as a kid. Everything else was torture, especially school assignments, as it didn’t grab me and force only made it worse. Now as an adult I’ve been able to branch out a bit but it’s still a difficult task to find something good.
Another reason was for fun. It’s a funny thing that in writing I found enjoyment but in reading I didn’t. I used writing as a tool to fill my free time between projects and loved every minute of it. I was able to escape into a land of my own choosing and be who, I felt, I was meant to be. Writing helped keep my imagination strong even through exams and heartbreak.
For some ten years sounds like a long time for a concept to come to completion but this particular one wouldn’t stop giving me new information that I’d have to put in … somewhere. After a while I realized I needed to turn off the tap and focus on one subject. Even still this idea sprouted from a dream only to flourish into its own forest and to even prompt sequels. The thing about ten years is you tend to forget certain pieces of information, like why I decided to write down this particular dream out of many. I’m glad I did when I look back now.
So some elements in this novel I’ve made up but others were inspired by the world around me. Lochden farms originated from my grandparents’ farm; it may not hold animals any longer but it’s still a magical place with a thick forest behind it. Christopher Ashmore is heavily influenced by my grandfather though there’s a few differences. Then there’s Darrow’s clothes. Those who play video games from Nintendo and have read his description can guess where his attire came from. Totally not my fault, my subconscious dressed him that way.
One may ask if I dreamt of Darrow then why did I write it in Evelyn’s perspective? Two reasons, first the dream perspective was a girl’s point of view watching and following Darrow around and the second is more personal. As a girl I had found it hard to find a story with a female protagonist that wasn’t a damsel in distress. It’s left a bitter taste. When I read I want someone I can relate or look up to, someone confident and real. Queue Evelyn. Mostly, however, it was easier to write as a female since I am one.
Finally there’s one last secret to share that I accidently let into my writing. I had let lose my opinion of human nature and society. As my dad liked to say when I was younger, absolute power corrupts absolutely and I’ve discovered it’s very true. Take a look in any part of the globe and it will be there, at least that’s how I see it. So I’ll end this note with a question.
What are you willing to do to get power and what will you sacrifice to obtain it?