What was the inspiration for your story?
The primary inspiration for The Lightbound Saga is our sun. The secondary is the fact that we don’t realize the importance of everyday things until they’re gone. Stay with me a minute longer and I promise, I will explain.
How the inspiration came to came to be is a story by itself–it was a blustery winter morning and the sun was low and blinding and bothersome. Not only was it in my eyes, but it was making every other motorist squint as well.
Can you guess what happens when a metro ranking high in the worst-traffic-in-the-US list is hit by the blinding sun during rush hour? You got it—sun delays. All the way to work, making my usual 1 hour commute double, I cursed the star that sustains life on its third planet.
Fast forward to the next day, and the clouds had moved in to hide the offending star of the previous morning. The weather report said the gloom was going to linger a while.
Guess what? Instead of being happy that there was no chance of those pesky sun rays getting in my eyes, I was sad. I missed the sun already. I wished for it to be back. I didn’t care if it took me 3 hours to get to work; I wanted the light and the bright back.
Suddenly, I realized that even though the sun is critical to our existence, we care very little about it on an everyday basis. The ancient people were probably wiser; they prayed to the sun and realizing its importance, granted it the status of a God. We, in our immense arrogance, take it for granted.
What if the sun were to vanish on us one day? Within the following day or two, the sudden possible loss of a star became the core premise of “The Lightbound Saga” series.
What kept you going throughout the writing process?
My characters kept pushing me into writing more and more. Characters are funny things–they have a way of coming to life. I had heard that from authors before I did any writing of my own. Back then I was tickled by the idea but I didn’t quite understand how true it was. Once I started my book, my characters came to life with their needs and wants–the biggest of them was their need to complete their personal journeys. I had to write on until they had reached where they hoped to reach. Although, the fact that I enjoyed writing about them was an important motivation to write.
I also had my cheerleaders–fans and friends and family who kept wanting to read more and more of the story and see more of the characters. Their interest and love for what I was crafting keeps spurring me on.
Who is your most meaningful character and why?
Maia, my teenage protagonist, is the center of everything. She is heart of the story, so she is, by necessity, the most complex character, the one with the most profound journey and by extension, the most interesting. She is almost an essential part of me, more so than any other character. Her journey and her transformation as she finds her way to through the quagmire of obstacles, mirrors many of my own adventures in life. In a way, Maia is more than just a character, she is a reflection of me.
There are other characters that come close, some of them surprising me as I wrote, taking on far more space in the books and in my mind than I had originally planned, but Maia still remains the most meaningful one.
Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
Of course. Remember those pesky characters in my head? They won’t let me rest until their tales have been told.
There will be more books coming to The Lightbound Saga. Maia’s story was planned as a five book series, a pentalogy. I have only just completed the first three parts, with two more books yet to come. I have just started on the fourth book, in which Maia comes another step closer to being in control of her destiny.
I have also started a series of novellas and short stories in the Lightbound Saga universe, all of which are told from the POV of a minor character in the main books. One of those, The Firefly League, is available now at all major online retailers.
How has this story touched your life?
The story has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. I never imagined I’d love writing so much. Now I know. Never before had I thought of writing as a career. Now I do. Not only has this story changed my life, but by changing me, it has also touched the lives of people around me.
What motivated you to start writing?
I have always loved writing and often wished to write on a more regular basis. As a student, I ventured into writing projects every now and then. My forays into writing at the time however, were limited to works that got published in school magazines or community newspapers. Although I was frequently praised by my teachers and urged to indulge more in the art and craft of writing, I never found the time and energy to devote to it–until something unexpected happened.
It was sometime in the early 2000’s that a certain series geared towards children and young adults captured my imagination. I loved everything about the story–the elaborate plotline, the true to life and diverse characters, and the vibrant and fluid storytelling. Then came the heartbreaking ending.
I call it heartbreaking because it really broke my heart. I thought it denied the series a loftier, more perfect conclusion that it clearly deserved. The final character and plot arcs left me feeling betrayed. I was resentful, angry even. After boycotting the final installments, I spent a few weeks in misery at having been robbed of a perfect imaginary world.
Then I realized something. I realized that while I had the right to be dismayed, the author had the right to end his/her story in whichever way he/she pleased. If I really wanted to have a world created in a way that I found perfect, I would have to create it myself, and not seek it in works of others.
The following day, during my lunch break, I started what you could call a “disappointed-fan’s-fiction.” I wrote four paragraphs in which my two central characters meet for the first time. By that evening I had completed a chapter, and by the end of that week I had an outline for the whole story. I had embarked on an epic journey, a science fiction book series of five parts—The Lightbound Saga.
I knew the road ahead would be long, but I vowed to endure.
- A Kindle copy of the entire Lightbound Saga series!
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