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The Origin of TJT – A Briefish Tale

Hello, Readers! It’s a little hard to imagine that we’re already into the second week of the new year, isn’t it? ─ how time flies!

As promised, I’m setting forth with the intent to come around more often, sharing my two cents on various points of writing, book reviews,  TJT related projects (as they come), updates on current writing projects (most presently rereleases and vol.7! So excited . . . ), and who knows what other surprises this year has in store? In honor of that, I’m going to share with you today the inspiration for The Journey Taken saga. It’s a question I’ve been asked often enough, and truth be told, I’ve actually been a little embarrassed to confess the origin of this story! But, inspiration has come from stranger places, so here’s the not-so-closely-hoarded anecdote of how TJT began:

It happened over the summer of 2012, while I was watching a YouTube walkthrough of a videogame, a Final Fantasy videogame to be more precise. You see, I’ve never been very good at those kinds of games (I have a reputation for having reflexes akin to a dead cat’s) but I nevertheless wanted to follow the story . . . so I watched someone else play the game.

Anywho, as I followed the characters and story I (as I often do) found myself imagining things going differently, events playing out as I wanted them to and not the way the writers had them (selfish, no? Yeah, probably). By the end I had the concept, barer than a skeleton, if such a thing is possible, for a similar story. I confess I based many of the initial characters off those in the game. But that was only the beginning, the scraps of steel that would soon begin to soften in the forgefires of creativity, taking on a shape and life of their own and hauling me along for the ride. From the onset of this project, from the first notes I jotted down the end of that summer, I’ve felt carried away by this story, which developed and grew of its own volition every day from that moment. As the world and characters solidified themselves they ventured further from the amoebic concepts of their origins. My initial plan was to fit this story into a single volume (can you imagine it? How silly was I!) but the more I wrote the more I realized just how much that idea wasn’t going to pan out (plus, a little encouraging to publish something soon helped get A Journey Begins out about a year after I began).

It never ceases to boggle me just how much this story ─ this world ─ has grown from its humblish beginnings, really fleshing out more than I had ever anticipated, engraining itself deeply into my mind and heart and becoming more than ‘just another fantasy’. Who would have guessed that watching a videogame on YouTube would inspire a five year, seven volume, and beyond project? Who could have known? Inspiration is a funny thing, after all. The tiniest spark can set off a storm of fireworks, and you never know where or when that spark will strike.


Don’t forget! This January is the special re-release month of A Journey Begins! Enter the giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win one of seven copies of this journey’s setoff. Each copy comes autographed and accompanied by a series bookmark!

Published inTJT

11 Comments

  1. Erika Stephens Erika Stephens

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    You write so honestly about this. Thanks for sharing!

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