So I started pounding out a couple of ideas. But none of them quite . . . stuck. Oh, they were fun and clever enough, but they didn't have that compelling je ne sais quoi. That spark of magic that compelled me to complete them.
I set aside the idea for a few months, figuring I'd look at it again in the future. I was busily finishing up Shadow Hand at the time and had plenty of other things on my plate.
Then one evening right around Christmas, a friend of ours came to dinner. And he, being a fan of my work, told us that he had been trying to write a fan fiction set in Goldstone Wood. But he didn't quite know how to make it work.
I said to him, "Maybe I can help. What's the story idea?"
And he told me.
And the moment he spoke, something in my brain went: Ping!
And I said, "Um . . . you know . . . May I steal that?"
Two months later, I sat down with a notebook and pen and wrote the first sentence:
"She will always claim her tithe," the old man said. "Such is the law of this sea."
After that, the new characters of Munny, Tu Pich, Chuo-Tuk--not to mention the established personalities of Captain Sunan and Leonard the jester--sprang into action. The whole story basically wrote itself in two weeks.
Thus Goddess Tithe, the first novella of Goldstone Wood was born.
I am very pleased to be able to present this story to you now, full of action, adventure, and many little hints of things to come in larger novels. Keep your eye on Captain Sunan . . . and watch for the woman in the portrait and mysterious opal ring she wears . . . .