Earlier today, I checked my notifications on Twitter and learned that my supernatural fantasy novel, Rise of the Seers, had been included in the Lorehaven Library, a listing of fantastical Christian fiction.
To an outsider, that might not seem like a big deal, but, for me, it’s huge. Here’s why.
For years before Lorehaven Magazine came along, I was reading Speculative Faith. It was a favorite place of mine to hang out, read articles on fantasy and science fiction literature, and browse the seemingly endless library of speculative titles. I dreamed that, one day, a story I wrote would sit among those titles.
When that very thing happened yesterday, my mind immediately went back…
…back to six years ago as I hashed out the initial outline of Rise of the Seers in a WordPad document. (Yes, I was so lame I was using WordPad.)
…back to five years ago as I typed the prologue and first chapter sitting alone at a new folding table in a new room in a new house (because our old house had burned down).
…back to downloading Scrivener for the first time and realizing what a wonderful tool it is for writers.
…back to many, many @FriNightWrites, tapping out as many words as possible in thirty-minute sprints.
…back to outlining in Scapple and finally feeling like I had a roadmap for the story ahead.
…back to the feelings of stomach-emptying near-panic as I let my family read parts of this story for the first time.
…back to the many days I didn’t or couldn’t write and wished that I were.
…back to hundreds of nights, lying in bed, eyes closed, watching and re-watching different scenes from the novel play out like a movie in my head, realizing that the story is so deep and wide that it will take seven or eight books to tell it all.
…back to the weeks and weeks when I didn’t write and felt as though the story was dead, bleeding out somewhere at the bottom of a sullied lake.
…back to the intense joy of rediscovering the beauty and power of story when I finally got back to telling this tale.
…back to hours spent browsing categories on Amazon wondering where, exactly, my book would fit in.
…back to the thrainful work of rewriting and revising. (Yes, that is a blend word I invented that means both thrilling and painful.)
…back to typing THE END at the bottom of the last chapter even though I later deleted it because it’s cliche, and it’s not really the end of the story.
All these memories spun through my head within seconds of seeing the tweet below.
"Ethan's only wish is to stop seeing the realm beyond the veil. But seeing it is his gift to the world." New in the Lorehaven library: Rise of the Seers, from author Daniel Whyte IV @dmarkwiv. https://t.co/E8I2RHL6Lo pic.twitter.com/hXqGXBGVy5
— Lorehaven (@Lorehaven) August 19, 2018
Rise of the Seers has been out for a year. I don’t know what took me so long to submit it to the
Speculative Faith Lorehaven Library. I knew where the submission page was. I went to it several times, looked at the form, kept the tab open for hours, considering.
I think, ultimately, it was fear that held me back. Fear that, maybe, my story isn’t good enough. Fear that, maybe, I don’t deserve it. Fear that, maybe, I haven’t proven myself. That, maybe, I need to write the next two novels in the series before it can be taken seriously.
Eventually, I sucked it up, filled out the form, and clicked “Submit.” And, now, Rise of the Seers is in the Lorehaven Library and will be there till the end of time. (I think that’s how it works.)
Finally, I want to say thank you to the folks behind Speculative Faith (and, now, Lorehaven) for being there all those years. Thank you for providing some of the fuel that kept the flame of imagination and magic from being doused by the laborious process of writing. And, long before I started writing Rise of the Seers, thank you for providing a place for this fantasy-loving heart to feel at home.