Tirumfall Tidbits

The Tirumfall Trilogy is done and I made my deadline (wipes sweat from brow).  So far copies of all three books are selling well thanks to readers who have posted some good reviews.  Before I get wrapped up in my next project, okay, I have already started on that, but for now I thought I’d step back and take a look at how this fantasy trilogy got started and what inspired each of the three books.  Each one had a unique inspirational spark.  As a bonus to readers who’ve followed me long enough to know much of this, I thought I’d throw in some things that haven’t been shared before.

As many of you already know, Book 1, Fall of the Western Kings, started as a short story that appeared in an RPG fanzine.  In fact, chapter 16 of the novel is a much-revised version of that short story.  It was the story of Gant, his magic sword and the fight in Egog’s cave.  It was a DnD inspired, hack and slash adventure.  Fun to write, but after it was published, I felt there had to be more to the story.  Where did Gant get his magic sword and why was Egog even in that cave?  I let those thoughts percolate and grow until slowly I found that I had a complete novel.

The idea for book 2, Child of Prophecy, was inspired inversely by biblical stories of Moses and Jesus.  Both had to do with children whose birth would threaten the ruling powers (who weren’t exactly nice people), and their solution was to have newborns killed.  What if instead a child was going to be born that threatened all the good people in the world?  What then?  Surely the people threatened would not go killing babies.  If they couldn’t kill babies, then what would they, could they do?  It took a lot of time to come up with an answer to that question and if you haven’t read the book, I’m not giving away the answer here.

Finally book 3, Key to Tirumfall.  At the end of book 2 I was left with a child born with some really evil genetic material that was being raised by the best parents ever.  A child with exceptional magical abilities, this is fantasy after all, and a thirst for knowledge.  There was no doubt that she would attempt to unlock Tirumfall Tower and discover the secrets within.  The trick to opening that tower wasn’t something I had to dream up while I was writing the book.  That had been part of a DnD adventure module I’d written and played with friends and RPG people at several cons, so I already knew what they’d have to do to get inside.  But, if she got in and gained the powers that were supposed to be there, what then?  Nature or Nurture. Would she use that power for good or evil?  It was the question I wanted the book to answer even though I didn’t know which way it would turn out when I began writing.  I actually didn’t make up my mind until I was nearly finished.  It was as if the story decided on its own what conclusion should be without my input.

One last thing, something that has never been revealed anywhere before.  Early in the writing phase of book 3, I took a picture of one of my granddaughters who I thought looked just like I envisioned Gwen (if you don’t know who Gwen is sorry you’ll have to read the book).  I planned on using that picture on the cover.  Turns out the cover did not have anyone on it.  So, here’s that picture, my concept of Gwen.  For those who’ve read the book, what do you think?  Bonus points if you know who this actually is.