I never know where the inspiration for stories is going to come from. My debut novel, Vulcan Rising (link), arose out of a really strange dream and a couple of peculiar interactions with my five year old. One of my short stories, “The Murder Tree” (link) opened with a line that I derived from an off-hand remark made by the host of a podcast I was listening to.
But this story had a different path. In the Spring of 2022, I was involved in a conversation with several other parents about the tooth fairy and how everyone handles it. The group is rather eclectic, and the responses were diverse. During the discussion, one of parents made a statement about why they don’t participate in the tooth fairy myth: “We don’t do casual business with fairies.”
That sentence lodged itself in my brain, and out of it, this novel was born. But this is not the novel I intended to write.
After I wrote Forging Bonds (link), which completed the first trilogy of The Zauberi Chronicles series, I had planned to switch tracks. There was a horror story I wanted to write, but after outlining it and writing a chapter or two, I found it difficult to engage with. This may be hard to believe, but it was just too grim of a story. The really disconcerting part is that the story is based on a nightmare I woke up from one night.
When the horror story didn’t work out, I started outlining a murder mystery novel … also based on a dream I had. But for whatever reason, the muse wasn’t having it.
Next, I had in mind that I would finish one of the novels I had abandoned before starting Vulcan Rising. But Casual Business with Fairies (link) latched onto me like a spider monkey. Even though I had only the vaguest of ideas for a premise, I began to write. Five thousand words into the story, I still had no idea what it would become, but I kept the faith that I would figure it out. I had been in a similar position with my second novel, Seeking Sanctuary, and I would work my way out of it again.
Casual Business with Fairies surprised me at every turn. Each time I thought I had the story and characters figured out, things went a different direction. It was both exhilarating and frustrating. But in the end, I think it became the book that it was meant to be. Most of all, I hope it’s a story that you enjoy.
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