Just as Every Person has a Past…
…every story has a backstory.
Because nothing really starts (and nothing really ends), my stories are just a snippet of a grander, larger whole.
I plan the larger whole just as I plan the snippet that constitutes the little pieces that make up the books.
Today I’m sharing a part of the backstory of The SoulNecklace Stories.
A castle on a hill. A small girl plays a chasing game along its ramparts. Mid-stride, the girl pauses.
‘Daddy,’ she stares at the castle tower. ‘Look! I see someone!’
As her father grabs her into his arms, his crown falls. ‘No, Dana. There’s nobody.’
Peeping over his shoulder, the girl sees: a flash of red at the tower window, and a figure smiling. Her father is wrong. There is someone there.
‘She’s waving at me,’ Dana whispers.
Her father hugs her tightly…
My story-world begins in fire and ice. First came the fire, and then the ice, and then, much later, the fire returned. This second time the fire came it changed the world, and my story-world split away from our own Earth. So my story-world, the world of The SoulNecklace Stories, is similar to our own, but is also very different.
With the second fire came the Kamaye, creatures of great evil. Seeing the world, so beautiful, so small, they wanted it for their own. The Kamaye struck a bargain with a powerful emperor: they would ensure he would never die, provided he gave them his eternal obedience.
Of course the emperor agreed (after all, who wouldn’t want eternal life?) and so the Arm of the Eternal was born. A side note: the emperor should have asked for eternal youth, but being young when he made his choice, he did not consider the effects of age. Youth was all he knew; he took it for granted that it would remain.
Over time the emperor grew old, but did not die. And being old and full of malice and a most efficient ruler, the Arm of the Eternal gradually spread throughout the world. Eventually the entire planet came under his domain.
Except for one small island, far out to the west.
There is a castle on this island, and a tower within the castle and a woman within this tower. The woman wears a necklace, and the necklace protects the castle from the Emperor. This woman is called the Guardian.
There’s one catch.
There’s always a catch.
The necklace protects the land by taking her strength and magnifying it, but …
At the base of the necklace is a ruby. The ruby lies over the wearer’s heart. Over time the ruby becomes the heart; the wearer’s ribs dissolve and her heart dissolves and they grow into the ruby, and the Guardian becomes the necklace. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to live without a heart, so when this happens the body of the Guardian dies. Another Guardian must be found.
Almost always the Guardian comes from the royal family. Almost always she is the oldest daughter of the King.
As The SoulNecklace stories begin, Dana is the daughter of the King.
At the beginning of A Necklace of Souls, Dana wakes from a dream of a necklace and an old woman, dying…
This is only part of the backstory. There is more. Because nothing really starts, and nothing ever ends.