Every writer has a story about how and when it all began for them. Today on BCB, Leisl Kaberry, author of the YA epic fantasy series The Titanian Chronicles, tells us her tale. Welcome, Leisl, and thank you for sharing!
I was never going to be a writer… that’s what I said when anyone suggested I should. ‘Nope, too much work, writing is.’ That was despite my being a storyteller for as long as I can remember and loving writing stories at school, even more coming up with stories and telling them to myself – often while swinging on my swing in the backyard.
Cut to me being a young mum at home with my newborn son. Hubby was out playing footy, bubs was sleeping and I was in a mood to create… something. I picked up my guitar at first and tried thumb a tune in order to write a song, but it wasn’t working and I wasn’t inspired.
Then I sat down at the computer filled with despair as my urge to create had not been satisfied. There was limited time before it was back to playing mum, and I had no idea how to fulfill it.
I stared at the screensaver before me. It was a fantasy piece of art of a huge green moon overlooking a small beach with palms and dark lapping water. I imagined someone sitting there on a rock with their feet dangling into the water. I imagined that someone was an elf and that he had a difficult decision to make and his soul was tormented by it. I imagined him being approached by an old friend, a human this time.
Then I began to write a scene.
This turned into me writing a chapter, but along with that, I was constantly brainstorming and considering the bigger picture. In my mind, I was creating a world that would soon become Titania and which would give birth to a whole kingdom of elves and then further beyond the borders – other races and peoples, good and bad.
By the time I had finished writing that chapter for funsies, and to curb the creative urge that gnawed at my gut, I had figured out the general overarching plot of Titanian Chronicles. It was a trilogy worthy of story, so I figured – and it was good – really good, as far as I was concerned anyway, and so it would have been a discredit not to write it. The story deserved a place in literature, and since it was trapped in my head, I was the only person who could give it life. It was my job. I decided that day that no matter how long it took, I would write it, and then I would have it published even if I would be the only person to have a copy on their shelf. It had to done.
And so I wrote. I wrote when my children were napping – one, two, three and then four of them – and I wrote when I could be bothered, when I had energy, when I was in the mood. It was a slow process back then. It wasn’t every day and it was haphazard at best. But I kept it moving and growing. Then we relocated from the heat of Australia’s summer to Montreal Canada at the dead of winter with lots of snow and plenty of cold I was not used to. Our belongings were arriving by ship and would not arrive until we found ourselves a house and moved in… weeks of little to do apart from mum duty.
What I did have was my computer and all my notes and drawings for my world. I could write. And I did. I wrote and I wrote and I became excited by it all again and I got the first book finished – only about ten years from when I started but I got there! The difference was now I was addicted to it, and writing had once and for all taken hold of me. It became a part of my daily habit no matter what was going on in my life. I studied a degree and wrote, I raised my kids and wrote, I moved to the other side of Canada and wrote, I went on holidays and wrote, I got a job and wrote. Writing was now a part of me, even if just a small amount each day or week because that’s the time I have. It is what it is, but it is a priority in my life. It is definitely work and I love it!
The chapter that started this whole journey? It now exists, after heavy edits, as Chapter 2 in the first book!
If you’re a fan of YA fantasy, or there’s a teen in your life who is, here’s a quick rundown of Journey of Destiny, book 1 in the Titanian Chronicles…
Found beyond the Elvin borders, Afeclin, a human child, is taken in and raised by an Elvin King. Now grown and longing to learn about the mystic arts, he embarks on a journey back into a land now unfamiliar. Accompanied by his elvin friend, Wolflang, they leave their homes to seek out their destiny. Unbeknown to Afeclin and Wolflang however, the warlord, Moorlan and his confederate, a dark mage, are preparing to bring war to the peaceful Land of Marrapassa, putting their lives and those they care about, in danger.
Leisl Kaberry was born and raised in Australia, and has lived in a variety of places, including the Australian outback and Montreal, Canada. Despite Leisl’s lifelong love for making up and telling stories, she had no desire to become an author. But after a creative urge spurred her on to write an idea for a scene, the world of Titania was born and she hasn’t looked back since. She currently resides in Kitimat, Northern British Columbia with her husband and four children. She is studying a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, is an amateur theater actor, and enjoys snowboarding during the winter.