People often ask me how I came up with the idea for The MoonQuest, intrigued as they are by the idea of a land where stories have been banned, storytellers have been banished or put to death and the moon has gone dark. I’d love to be able to answer with a great yarn about how I translated my feelings about censorship and my personal journey with creative blocks into an epic fantasy quest. But I can’t.
You see, The MoonQuest is a story that snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking and attached itself to me with such relentless ferocity that I had no choice but to write it. I had never written a novel and had no conscious desire to write fantasy. But a writing exercise in a workshop I was facilitating produced a fantastical scene that so intrigued me that I felt compelled to keep it at. The result, a year to the day later, was the first draft of a novel whose plot and trajectory I only discovered through the writing of it.
If my story sounds similar to Toshar’s in the excerpt you are about to experience, it’s no coincidence. But it’s not a conscious coincidence. I had no concept of Toshar as some sort of alter ego until days before I completed the first draft of The MoonQuest, when I had a not altogether comfortable epiphany: I realized that in more ways than I cared to admit, I was Toshar and that my third-person first draft would have to be converted into a first-person second draft. It was in that instant, that I composed the Prologue I read to you in this excerpt.