SO, it’s high time I explained what the heck is going on with all these character profiles and whatnot.
Five years ago, I was at my grandparent’s house bored out of my mind yet unwilling to go downstairs and invent recipes with my sister*. I had exhausted the internet of free website builders and Windows Moviemaker of random video creation ideas. I was spinning around in the chair and thinking. And don’t ask me how, but something popped into my head.
*I’m an introvert and we’re stubborn. As much as I like to cook, I didn’t want to people. Go figure.
What if there was a book about kids who got to visit a fantasy world? How cool would that be?
And after googling the idea and finding very little** in regards to books about this, I sat and spun for a little more, somewhat disappointed. But then I stopped and realized- I like to write. Why shouldn’t I write that story?
**If there is another book about kids visiting a fantasy world, (a) the idea has changed thank you very much, and (b), don’t judge my poor googling skills. I didn’t find anything.
Needless to say, the next few hours were spent frantically scribbling ideas down on printer paper, drawing characters and swords, coming up with an elf language, and creating a family tree for one character. I’m pretty sure I called my friend, Karis, and told her about the idea, I was so excited. We decided to write it together.
The first iteration was awful, and I mean “let’s burn this when we have the chance” awful. We didn’t even finish. That first version had changed significantly from those early scribblings, but there was still a long way to go.
Four years ago, we decided to change it even more. The ages of the characters changed from fifteen to twelve and thirteen, most of the names changed, and the plot solidified. The names of several key cities and areas settled, and the idea of writing it grew. Of course, that version was awful, too, but we finished it. Huge steps were made from first iteration to second. That year was also the first year I did NaNoWriMo.
As the years passed, the inspiration for that version faded but the world remained. Short stories were written. Maps were drawn. Character bios written. Those four years were the years I truly started writing seriously, the dream of being published someday up front. Even though I wasn’t actually writing The Lost Isle, I knew I wanted to write.
Then in January, I found an old bag I hadn’t opened for years. I remembered the last time I’d used it, bringing it to the Fourth of July parade. It had a folder in it. My Lost Isle folder. In it were all of the scribblings I’d made on the afternoon I’d had the idea. All the sketches. I think I realized then that I’d never really be able to leave the world of Iona, and thus I decided to start yet another rewrite. Karis was on board with the idea, and so in Bio that day I cracked open a new composition notebook. To this day, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Going back to Iona was like going home.
Ever since she was five years old, Melissa Ramirez has wanted to travel the world. Her best friend Brandon agreed with her. Now with a gap year possible, she knows that she, Brandon, her cousin and his girlfriend, Annemarie, and her friend Julia can finally do just that.
But on their way out of the country, a mistake sends them hurtling through the Shift and into a different world. Without the knowledge and facts Melissa knew she could depend on, she is totally lost in a world of magic and constant danger. Nothing will ever be the same again.
(please note that this is my part of the story and not Karis’s!)