In 2012 we returned from a decade of living overseas to live in a beautiful, quiet Charlotte (N.C.) neighborhood.Our rented house was built on nearly five acres of forest and surrounded by even more woods.It was an idyllic setting but one that often turned unsettling by evening when darkness enveloped our home and only the howl of wind through tall trees and random animal screeches or yelps broke the pervasive silence of night. While lulling my baby to sleep in a rocking chair by the window, my mind would project my unfounded fear by seeing non-existent creatures patiently waiting for the apt moment to pounce from the trees. Over time and with discipline I managed to scale down the brood of monsters to one who I could not get rid of. He sat on a long branch of an oak to the west, watching us go through our evening ritual and moved to another tree on the south side for a better view into my child’s room as I rocked her to sleep. I could feel his eyes peering through the inky darkness as I stood not a foot away from the doorway waiting for my dogs to do their last bit of business outside before putting them to bed. Sometimes, his footfall rustled leaves or cracked twigs and sent me dashing back to safety behind a locked door, leaving the dogs to fend for themselves should he decide to attack. It was quite ridiculous really. After a few weeks of scaring myself, I decided to tame this monster. I gave him a name, Kailash. I gave him a purpose, to protect us. And I began fleshing out his story on my lonely walks through miles of woods that I wrote down upon returning home.
It was my way of making friends with my fear. Soon enough, aside from my two mutts, Kailash and the other creatures and people in his life became my company on those walks. I looked forward to each end of the day when I would leave my data-filled papers behind and retreat to their world where I learned more about them, the intricacies of their relationships and the complexities of their individual lives. We walked the empty trails together for months into 2013 and 2014, watching beautiful sunsets, listening to the rich sounds of the forest, sharing the change of the Southern seasons. They saw me through raising my infant into a busy toddler, the ebbing and flowing of my marriage, and the painful passing of my Mother-in-law. They underwent changes as well. Apart from typical adjustments in plot and deepening of characters, I came to realize that the story of Kailash was better told through the lens of Aurora’s life, for which reason it is now the nucleus of the narrative. But I also abandoned them when the obligations of everyday life got in the way or, more often, when I was made vulnerable by self-doubt. Yet, every time I dragged myself back to the page, there they were, ready to pick up from where we had left off. The months of silence dissolved by the effusion of words. And so I wrote, strangely urged on by these figments of my imagination until the first part of their story concluded in what is now the first book of The Otherkin series called Realm of the Malach.
It is my hope to constructively engage with readers and writers alike through this blog as I serialize Realm of the Malach on Wattpad (www.wattpad.com). As the story unfolds, I will be posting about each chapter, giving the reader insight into my inspiration for the characters, the locales I use as settings, the themes explored by the story among other things. I hope we can use these as fodder for discussion and exchanging ideas. From time to time I might throw in other musings as food for thought as well. If I manage to retain you as a reader to its conclusion through 3,000 – 4,000 word bursts at a time, then I will have accomplished an important task. But if you actually enjoyed reading the content of Kailash and Aurora’s story, then I will have accomplished a far more meaningful goal.
I invite you to join me on this journey and encourage you to be a part of it. I look forward to hearing from readers and fellow writers alike. But most of all, it is my hope that you will find pleasure in the reading and, perhaps, when you’ve read the final word on the last of its pages, you might lament its ending even in the slightest way.
With sincere thanks,