How Love Came into the World: A Fable

Salvete, readers!

I wish you happiness upon the feast day of St. Valentinus of Hallmark!

I thought this would be a good day to share my retelling of the birth of Aphrodite. I wrote this for the Ashes of Olympus trilogy, but I suspect it won’t fit into the story. However, I’m proud of this little fable and am thrilled to share it with you now…

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The world was young then, still being shaped. In those days there were only words and forces. Earth was an empty place, barren and dark—until Mother Earth and Father Sky met.

She looked upon his face, smiled, and took his hand. Music filled their ears, and it came from another place. Earth and Sky became the harmony as they danced together. Light came into the world for the first time, shining from their hearts. Her delight echoed across the cosmos.

Earth and Sky did not know they were being watched with jealous eyes. Sky’s brother Time wanted Earth for his own. Time did not know the sound of laughter. He shunned the light, craving a return to the darkness.

Sky and Earth lay together. And as Sky rested, a thought entered Earth’s mind. Together she and Sky would make life and growth and beauty. The Earth would be full as it had never been before. But what manner of life would they bring? Earth wandered off, seeking solitude to ponder. And Time saw his chance.

He took up a jagged stone and plunged it into Sky’s chest. With prying fingers Time plucked out the heart of Sky, and blood filled the heavens. Time thought to give the heart to Earth and prove his dominance. But when he offered her the beating heart, her eyes filled with horror and she fled.

Across the rocky plains Time pursued Earth, the heart of Sky still writhing in his hands. At last Time gave up the chase, and in anger and shame he cast Sky’s heart into Sea. Into the depths it sank, beneath cruel waves. Sea took pity on Earth as she knelt weeping at the shore. With icy fingers Sea grasped the heart of Sky, and the white foam raged around it. Sea moulded the foam until it took the shape of a maiden.

The maiden stepped forth from the waves, before her mother’s very eyes. And where she stepped life sprang, bright wildflowers curling around her shapely feet. Earth reached forth. With trembling fingers she touched the girl’s face, and Earth named her daughter.

So Love came into the world.

I hope you enjoyed that! I’ve also written a short story in which a young girl must stand before the gods on her betrothal day. The short story is free for all newsletter subscribers.

2019: The Adventure Unfolds

Salvete, readers!

A belated happy new year!

It has been a little while since my last update, hasn’t it? I’ve been hard at work to reach a deadline. I had to provide a complete draft of The Ivory Gate, the sequel to The Way Home, by the end of January. Good news, I made it! It’s still a bit rough at this point, but helps assure my publisher that the book can be scheduled for 2019. So I’m glad to say I’ve already met my first goal for 2019!

But guess what? That’s not all I’m publishing this year.

Starting from April, I am going to publish my first serial, Tooth and Blade. It’s three short, punchy novellas which together form an epic. I’m really excited about this story. It is historical fantasy based on Norse mythology. Here’s the elevator pitch:

A young woman raised by trolls must find her place in human society. Caught between worlds, Dóta must bridge the gap between man and beast.

The first short instalment, Foundling, will be available for pre-order soon on Kindle.

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After that it’ll be time to get ready for the release of The Ivory Gate in August!  I had been working toward a publication date of October 2019, but due to some shifts in the schedule the book has been moved up. There is much to be done—edits, illustrations, cover design, the whole shebang.

Squeezed between these projects I will contribute to an interactive fiction project, Magic in the Mail, edited by the fantastic Felicity Banks. Remember me telling you last year about Murder in the Mail? This is a similar concept in that it’s a mystery told through letters and art which you receive in the post, only it’s a fantasy and aimed at kids. I get to write in character as a dragon. How cool is that? I’m also thrilled that Murder in the Mail will be published as an illustrated book—it’ll be slightly surreal to see my handwriting in a published book!

That’s the first half of the year pretty much taken care of. After that, I’m going to shift my focus to some academic research, the translation of the early sources related to St Nicholas. This will hopefully be submitted to an academic publisher by the end of the year. 

Throughout 2019 I will continue searching for the right agent for my Middle Grade fantasy. It would be wonderful to see it in print.

I’ve also been invited to be a panelist at a couple of cons, which I’ll update you on soon.

That’s… a lot. However, The Ivory Gate is largely done, and I’ve got the first Tooth and Blade finalised, and I’ve made a very good start on St Nicholas. So it’s achievable, so long as I can keep my focus.

It’s good to have a lot of irons in the fire! That’s what having a creative career is all about. There’s no such thing as a ‘big break.’ It’s about doing a lot of little things until they lead to big things.

Until next time,

Valete

PS. I’m offering a free short story exclusively to followers of my newsletter. Sign up here for your copy! Fear not, I won’t give away your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.