Monday, December 31, 2012

The Hunters return: The Tea-Maker's Task appears in Black Gate

As a New Year's Eve present, the mighty John O'Niel let me know that my next story, The Tea-Maker's Task, was going to appear early in Black Gate Magazine.  So it goes live this year, rather than early next year.

This story was my first return to the viewpoint of Gloren Avericci, and I was determined that it would establish two things:  first, that the stories were going to be written out of chronological order, and the stories would never reference something that happened in another story.

Writing the tales out of the order they happen to Gloren allows me to flit back and forth along his chronology, writing as I please.  The stories that take place in his youth, before his collaboration begins with Aven Penworthy, are usually marked by his financial straits, and, as those who live in poverty know, there's nothing quite so funny as being poor.  At lease, in fiction.  For fictional characters, being destitute is a laugh a minute.

Of course, writing in this way means I need to keep track of the details somewhere, and that's why I began an extensive compendium for these stories.  Each project I write tends to have one of these, a single place for me to keep notes on the facts behind the characters or settings.  I don't generally list every character's eye and hair color, since readers really don't care, and usually think up an image for characters all on their own, and these, by their very nature, fit that reader's conception far better than most writer's descriptions will.

Anyway, Tea-Maker's Task also marked my return to these characters, and made the idea of writing a series of tales about them more concrete.  Before this, I had but a single tale each from the viewpoints of Gloren and Aven.  But now, having a second successful tale told by Gloren unlocked the floodgates of ideas for stories, and laid the groundwork for the others.

The conception for a series is one thing, and having the genesis of it (in the form of The Daughter's Dowry) is another.  But Tea-Maker's Task was the story that really unlocked the conception, and showed that the success of the first wasn't a fluke.  This is the story that convinced me that there really was a series, here.