I've been writing speculative, fantasy and science fiction since I was in junior high. I write for a living as a marketing manager and still enjoy writing fiction and poetry on my own time. I've written at least 30% of five different novels but always stopped because they didn't quite speak to me enough to push through. Then the Side Ways came along, and I began writing with a new interest and energy for a fantasy world entirely of my own making.
I've always enjoyed being the game/dungeon master for live, pen-and-paper role playing games with friends. Having done that for 30+ years, I knew that one of my favorite parts was the detail work of creating entire cultures, histories and systems beyond simple characters. Because whenever I'd add a new character, the question always persisted: why do they do the things they do? I don't believe that "bad guys" do "bad things" just to be "bad." Nor that the good guys are just simply better than others. We all have reasons and histories and backstories that go deeper.
The Side Ways is an entirely alternate history that helps provide a very tangible "why" for the reasons behind the question: where does your power come from?
Seven magical Domains ruled by seven Houses that exist in parallel to the world you and I know. The power of the Reckoners within these Domains comes from the unique viewpoints of each House. The connections and conflicts between the the Houses reach back before the beginning of mankind. As children, most Reckoners learn the Song of the Seven as a way to recall their history:
Earth, the Mother, first and last,
Bearing Blood, the eldest sign.
Chaos leaves the patterned path,
Draws out Sight to spy and find.
Flux pulls power from the round.
Increase seeks the gain of gain.
Release opposes any bounds.
Ever balanced, poised Domains.
Each and every, all and one.
Seven equal, seven done.
Now... with every new chapter and character and scene, I get to think and take notes and write about that world, those Domains and their interaction with our view of history.
I'm having a lot of fun with it. I hope you enjoy reading. And let me know if you discover that you're allied with a particular House. I get that from a lot of my readers. ;-)
Me looking wise, vaguely amused and mysterious for standard promotional purposes.
Me dressed up as Dumbledore for a grade school reading contest awards ceremony.