The World of the Keepers of Life
Writing fantasy is a fun gig. I get to create all sorts of interesting and diverse characters and creatures, but I also get to create a world similar, yet unlike the one I live in. So I’d like to take you on a quick crash course in the building of Teag.
All good writers know you start with character. My heroine’s name is Kera. She’s a First. The Firsts were the original inhabitants of earth. I had them being the caretakers. I don’t know about you, but when I was little my original caretaker, my mom, seemed to have magical powers. Whenever I was hurt or sick, she knew exactly what to do to fix me up and send me on my way. I approached the Firsts in the same manner. I gave them magic that could fix the earth’s problems. That is Kera’s world, one of wonder and beauty and magic.
And as all good writers know, once you have a character, you have to create a problem. When you introduce something powerful, like magic, you have to have serious consequences when that power is misused, and the Firsts misused their power. Especially when it came to mankind. They created monsters that would terrorize the Humans into submission. They fed on our emotions and used our weakness to enslave us. In short, they were jealous because Humans were free to fully express themselves, while they were bound by truth and their duty to support the earth. War between the races broke out and a terrible price was paid on both sides.
So I had my character and a basic problem, but I needed more, so I created a backstory that slowly unfolds in my current story. It’s the foundation for my drama, and it goes something like this. To fix the outbreak of war between these two groups, an equal, yet separate realm was created to separate the Firsts and their magic from the Humans. The entrance was situated on the other side of the world from where most humans lived. Shrouded in a dark forest, no one could find it easily, and it was protected by a group of Firsts called the Teags. Out of all the Firsts, they were the most noble and trustworthy.
The new realm progressed equally alongside the human realm. At times of crisis, a select group of Firsts were allowed to pass into the human realm and offer help. They became muses, creating a balance of beauty and progress before retreating back into their realm.
So at first, the solution worked, but If I left my backstory here, I’d have no reason for my future conflict, so I had to throw a wrench in the cog of life. As the world aged, the humans expanded, and soon the humans were settling near the gate that lead directly into the land of Teag. By now, you can guess where I set the entrance to the First realm. Oregon. During the Victorian era, it was part of the wild west and the last of the new world to be settled.
Like all solutions, mine had a flaw. In my story, Humans and Firsts are naturally drawn to each other, and though humans are banned from Teag, they found their way in, some on their own and some smuggled in. A mixed race of First and Human grew and in some Firsts’ eyes, a weaker race had been created. Tensions rose and during a time of Victorian expansion and progress in the Human realm, the Firsts realm dissolved into chaos. Innocent people were slaughtered and the way between the realms was locked. No human or First could pass between the realms ever again. This is where I set Kera’s world, where hate and mistrust are a common way of life and to be different is frowned upon. Kera’s world had tried to eradicate half of its population out of fear and it became more and more clear if anyone was to save those left on the fringes of her society, it would have to come from someone like her.
Q: Are the Firsts Fae?
A: In a sense, yes. Firsts are my slant on fae. I wanted definite character flaws and since the original concept of fae is firmly entrenched in lore, I decided to spin it into my own lore and separate the two by calling my fae by a different name.
Q: Why are the Firsts stuck in the Victorian age?
A: That was the moment when they were separated from the Human realm. I thought, since the Firsts believed they were superior to Humans, wouldn’t it be fun showing how they stagnated once they had no more contact with Humans, but the Humans continued to advance? The Firsts thought they were the reason for human success, but in fact, they supported each other, and progress usually stops once tyranny takes hold, and Navar is a Tyrannt I really enjoyed creating.
Q: Exactly how did the gate get locked?
A: That is explained further in the story, and since I don’t believe in spoilers, you’ll just have to read the other books to find out.
Q: Who is Dylan’s dad?
A: His name is Baun. He’s an interesting guy, one I hope you’ll come to understand because his story is actually quite complicated. He’s been through a lot and when you meet him, you’ll be surprised…I hope, and in a good way.
Q: Is Dylan’s mother really as terrible as you make her out to be?
A: This is a complicated issue. Personally, I feel sorry for her. The relationship between Human and First is mired in magic. It’s an all consuming love, one that is so tight, once it’s found, it can’t be broken. But like all love, it can be twisted to resemble something more along the lines of hate. It’s the pain of losing love that destroys her. Dylan’s mom was never happier than when she was with Baun, and now that he’s no longer with her—through no fault of his or hers—she has had a mental break. She’s going crazy, searching for someone to love her like Baun did. But of course, no one can because no one else has that magical tie that bound them together.
Q: What’s with Dylan and Kera?
A: I’m assuming you’re talking about their instant attraction? The one thing I know about love is that it is unexplainable and the more you try to understand it, the more you can’t, but I’ll try. Dylan and Kera have known each other for most of their lives. They were in each other’s dreams, comforting each other and being best friends. They fell in love long before they physically met, which has got some readers confused. Because of the magic used to share their dreams, once Dylan woke up, his dream would quickly fade, unlike Kera, who lived in the magical world and could remember every dream and every conversation they ever had. When they meet, she gifts him with those memories and he is given the most precious thing ever. His one true love. So their love isn’t instantaneous, but has grown over time, and until she gave him back his memories, he didn’t realize what he’d been missing, which of course, was her.