Many folks have asked if I will write another novel and make Realm of Magic a series, in particular one that features the youth of Sir Roland Brisbane of the Knights of the White Stag. Hopefully, I will eventually write something about Roland, though I am also interested in writing about the black dragon Bonaparte who departed Caladonia with Hawk of the Raven Clan to seek adventure.
However, as this time,I have a prequel set in mind for Prince Tarquin Draconus and Valkyrie, his wife, and how they came to be together prior to sailing from another continent to Caladonia. I'd like to explore the origin of the House of Draconus sword - Calaburn - and how it came to be in existence. As readers know, magical weapons play an important role in the Realm of Magic and are as interesting as characters with the own personalities and quirks. Hopefully, I can start work on the existing draft of the prequel; its working draft title is 'Keey of the Scoff,' but that may well change. This story will feature a young Tarquin and tell his story of coming into power. I might compliment it with a secondary story that features King Korax of the Raven Clan, though I feel that story was covered well in the first three novels.
Origin stories are so interesting to me and provide the foundation of how and why a character does certain things in the present and what to expect in the future. Whenever writing a fantasy novel, you need a world that is not only believable but also pulls you in, so you feel as if you are a part of that world and can visualize every tree, rock and creature. Crafting a beautiful world with interesting places to visit and new cultures to discover is something I strive to do whenever I sit down to write. I want my readers to feel as if they belong to this world as they turn the pages, eager to learn more, and research plays a big part of this journey. I research all of my novels by studying history and ancient culture, including lore and mythology as well as actual events. Some of you might have noticed that the Raven, Wolf and Eagle played a large role in ancient Rome, not only in the symbols the Roman legions chose but also in the emblems of the Gods of Mt. Olympus.
I actually wrote The Realm of Magic before I wrote the Dead Hearts series. You might have noticed similar themes in both, for instance - whenever someone joins the Raven Clan, they leave behind their past and assume a new nickname, while in Dead Hearts, when survivors reach Pikes Peak, they too leave their baggage at the base of the mountain, literally, and assume new names and are assigned to patrol teams that suit their personalities.
While its difficult for anyone to forget this own past, when others depend on you for survival, you need to put away your personal problems or ghosts and demons and focus on what's going on in the present - by assuming a new name and a new persona this allows characters to move on and transform into someone else, hopefully a better person. All of us what to strive to be the best that we can be, or even imagine being someone else in our own lives, and this was the idea. I wanted to all characters in both series to put away the old and become something new . . . in comparison, in my own personal life, when I attend comic cons I often dress as a Valkyrie, as I have identified with Norse mythology and shield maidens since childhood. By doing this, I am able to allow my inner-warrior to surface and I feel confident and powerful when I wear armor and a winged helmet and swing my sword - this is how I see myself.
If any of you have a favorite character in The Realm of Magic who you would like to read more about, I would love to hear from you. I also welcome Fanfiction and will post stories for either Realm of Magic or Dead Hearts that meet my approval. Surely one of these characters has touched your heard and you can see yourself in that role - so share and let your imagination go wild. In the meantime, I will publish the last four novels in Dead Hearts, and see what comes next.
Thank you for all your support and all the lovely book reviews and personal comments. I write to be read, and I want to hear from my readers, as this is what inspires me to keep writing.
Susanne L. Lambdin