Heir to the Raven, by J. Wesley Bush

 

It’s hard to express just how exciting it is to see a creative project start as the seed of a “what if?” idea and then grow into an actual physical book.  Thinking about how Heir to the Raven began brings back a flood of memories.

I remember when Hubby and the boys first began talking about this story about six years ago.  As I remember it, we were living in Kenya and driving to Diani for a beach get away and one of the boys mused that it would be fun if zebras could be saddled and ridden.

We talked about why zebras are biologically not designed to be ridden, and then the conversation meandered into why Africa doesn’t have horses on most of the continent.  What would Kenya have looked like if the tse-tse fly didn’t exist? How would the continent of Africa developed differently if horses were part of the cultures?

We all started talking about a savanna setting with horse lords and that evolved into story ideas and we spent almost all of that beach vacation playing with story ideas and plotting what has now become the Breaking of Jandaria series.

One of my most vivid memories of that trip is sitting around the living room of our friend’s beach house with a strategy game in front of us on the coffee table, unplayed. Each of the four boys, Hubby, and I were too excited about the brainstorming we were doing.

While Hubby is the author in the family, the kids and I have all been very involved at each step of the way.  They have a five-six book story arc already plotted (though, quite frankly, I can’t remember all of the threads of this epic fantasy!)  We’ve sat around the dining room table talking about characterization, world-building, story development.

Heir to the Raven is more than a book to me, it is a snapshot of a season of our life as a family.

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