The world of Fate’s Hand: Book One of The Celtic Prophecy introduced a world where magic exists for those willing to see. Reliquary’s Choice, the second book in the series delves deeper into this world where magic is real for those gifted in the Auld Ways. When I made the decision to begin writing, it was a foregone conclusion that the fantasy world I would create would explore magical realism. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with the extraordinary in everyday life. Rainbows, birth, the affinity some seem to have with animals, to name a few—all scientifically explained, but yet there is still something more to each. Call it magic, miracle, or divine intervention; it is a mystery for which I don’t want or need a plausible explanation. I would much rather think of what we conceive as reality as layered, and much like the color spectrum, we, with our imperfect eyes, cannot see all. There may be multiple layers for all I know, but the most real is our everyday life. We know this reality all too well—struggling pay our bills, find a job we can at least tolerate, raise our kids, and find a healthy relationship. It’s easy to lose ourselves here, but there are glimpses and traces of something else, another layer. This is the mystery, and in it lay coincidence, destiny, and purpose.
The idea for the storyline was born ten years ago when I took a weekend trip with my daughter to Salem, Massachusetts in early October. A random thought occurred to me as we waited on a velvet rope lined sidewalk to be admitted to one of the many Salem attractions. The stray thought that turned into Fate’s Hand was that any real power would be effectively disguised by the tourist commercialism. But it wasn’t until a few years later, that I put words on paper.
My first words, “I’ve quit my job, and run away from home,” started my journey as an author. For the early versions of the manuscript this was the actual opening line. It was inspired by a particularly bad day at work, the kind that makes you reassess your career choice. Everyone has those days, the kind of day that really makes to reflect on what you were thinking when you decided to be a … It doesn’t matter how you finish that sentence. The funny thing is I can’t remember what it was that had me so upset, but certainly then it was earth-shattering. I remember thinking on my way home, “What if I quit my job, and ran away from home?” I was never going to follow through with the idea; it was a fantasy. Everyone has them or so I’m led to believe, and at this moment in time, this was my fantasy…quitting my job. The other part was a reaction to not wanting to go home, even in my fantasy world, to tell my family that I quit. (I didn’t quit. I am still at the same job, and I truly love being a teacher. I just had a bad day.)
Being the responsible person I am I did the next best thing. I closed the door to my office, sat in front of my computer, opened a Word document, and typed those words in quotation marks. I went out to buy a USB the next day, and transferred all evidence of this document to it. I was perfectly happy keeping it secret, until I overheard a conversation between two colleagues at work. That conversation was about a middle grade book one of the teachers was writing. I listened, asked questions, and became comfortable enough to venture forth that I too was writing a novel. The resulting shift in the conversation, and their genuine interest gave me the courage to tell my family.
When I told my husband and my parents, they weren’t shocked. Apparently, I was the one who needed to be told I was already a writer.
It was three years from my stray thought to words on paper, and then another seven to where I am today. Much of that time I was half committed, I liked the thought of being a writer but it wasn’t until I regularly started talking about writing with my colleague, did it become a need to write. Once it did, I gave myself permission to write. I worked it into my schedule, devoted my office to my writing space, tacked up notes on a corkboard, and scribbled notes everywhere; only then did I see the writer in me.