Inspiration & Books
This twelve-part series shows that hope can grow out of despair, that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past, and a reminder that heroes aren't born —they are created.
I have always been interested in the past, in ancient civilisations and dynasties; the kings, emperors, dictators, leaders and religious ambassadors. That's why I wrote The Kingdom of Durundal; an epic 12-part-saga, steeped in layers of blood-feuds, warring deities, and in the centre of it all - the common people fighting their own battles in order to survive.
The Kingdom of Durundal is a neo-medieval, epic fantasy adventure, though I am inclined to use the genres of speculative fiction and magical realism to cover the length and breadth of the series. This means there are many themes throughout the series, all of which are a metaphorical insight to our everyday lives, so the reader will identify and empathise with the characters.
The message is to follow ones destiny, never give up, and above all else, believe in a higher purpose. The story begins with a prequel ~ The Prophecy ~ which goes back to the dawn of time, when dragons, dwarves and elves ruled the kingdoms and the Dark Lord vowed to plunge the kingdoms into eternal darkness and rule by fear. Book 1 is A Hare in the Wilderness ~ where the child of prophecy has been chosen by the Fates to thwart his malevolent desires, while the following 10 books log her journey and those who influence her life.
I embrace the role of females and explore the notion it is not always the males that are heroes. Just like not all heroes are perfect, and mine certainly aren't. I was keen to convey the message of equality and that women are more than simply objects of desire. Primarily, the books show that hope can grow out of despair, that the seeds of the past can come from the scars of the past, and a reminder that heroes aren't born - they are created.
All my protagonists have imperfections or heartbreak to overcome. These imperfections and challenges symbolise the many factors that come into our lives and define us. For example, Ajeya (A Hare in the Wilderness) bears a slight imperfection on her face - the root cause of which is disclosed as the books progress. Lyall (A Wolf in the Dark) has lost his parents and ancestral home. Dainn (A Stag in the shadows) was saved from the weeping caves. Sansara (A Moth in the Flames) loses her child. Severn (Severn) is kidnapped. Sable (Sable) loses everything. Sagitta (Sagitta) is a dragon that has to face the very worst of humanity. This is possibly my favourite line from all of my books: 'These are the humans who fight wars, who want power and wealth and want to dominate everything around them. They are truly terrible and terrifying with weapons of war that make them stronger and more ferocious than any other species. Be afraid of these humans. Be afraid for the dragons.'
Books in the series are:
1) A Hare in the Wilderness
2) A Wolf in the Dark
3) A Leopard in the Mist
4) A Stag in the Shadows
5) A Moth in the Flames
6, 7, 8) Sorceress of the Sapphire parts 1,2,3
12) The Prophecy
I had a specific reason for writing 12 books, as the number 12 carries religious and universal data, in addition to mythological and magical symbolism. It represents perfection, completeness and holds a significant value in astrology. Notably, all my dragons in Sagitta are named after the constellations.
The animals in the first five books are totems, a symbol of courage and strength. They are guides and talismans - an indication that we all have to believe in something to give us a purpose.
When people read these books, I hope they take away the essence of the story ~ that anything is possible if you believe it enough. To quote from Book 5: A Moth in Flames - 'Whatever you read now you must believe. I will tell you things that seem impossible and highly improbable. But remember that we live in a world where everything is decided by what we see and what we touch. If we can't see it or we don't understand it, then we perceive that it doesn't exist. But it does exist, and what may seem impossible here, is in fact highly probable in another world.'