The Backstory of "Conspiracy of the Dark"
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
We are now just under three months away until the publication of "Daughter of Fire: Conspiracy of the Dark," so I thought I'd give just a tiny sneak peak of what inspired it...and how I write!
Unlike organized writers who map out their full storyline before they ever start writing, I'm an impulsive writer. I sit down and start typing words and somehow, magically, a story seems to come together. Luckily, unlike writers who get long bouts of writer's block, I haven't encountered that yet. This style of writing, for me, is fluid, organic and derives from some sort of intrinsic thought process at the subconscious level. But because it's subconscious, I generally have no idea how my books are going to end...or even what's going to happen next. I'm just as much in the dark about the next chapter or the grand finale as readers! So we're all on this adventure together.
When I started "Conspiracy," the seed idea was "a spell with terrible consequences." What happens when you cast a spell that takes from you as payment something you weren't willing to give? Even though that was the prompt for me, immediately that's not how the book wrote itself. The idea of who I thought Aeryn was going to be was very different from who she became within the first few paragraphs. This was definitely for the best, in retrospect, but I did keep a hint of that original idea in the series, so keep an eye out, eagle eyed readers!
On the other hand, the love story in "Conspiracy" was always meant to be and never changed from its original conception. Later, after book two, "Daughter of Fire: The Darkness Rising" is published, I'll explain the backstory behind it in more detail, but suffice to say it played out as I intended. While this series is a fantasy series, the love story is a key component of the action. At its heart, this is a series about relationships: friends, lovers, and mentors. And honestly, who doesn't love a good love story?
Finally, a brief note on what it means to have characters "write themselves." For writers like me, the characters seem to spring out onto the page already mostly formed. This can be both good and bad. For example, my editor Zee said, "Karen, these names are too similar, you need to change them." And I tried. I really did. But those are the names they chose for themselves. How could I change that? So I apologize to readers with dyslexia or other difficulty distinguishing some of the characters based on their names. Blame Cayleth and Vardan.