What we don’t tell in a story is just as important as what we do.
I think of stories as being set in living worlds, thousands of other lives, other adventures, taking place around the main thread of telling.
Although some authors attempt to chase these many threads into madness, most stories pull one or two and leave the other stories to fall to the side.
But what if the stories that aren’t being told are just as important as the ones that are?
I’ve always been interested in the art formed by negative spaces. The ability to use the shadows and the emptiness around a foreground object to create a more interesting picture is something that has always interested me as a writer.
Stories seldom start on the first page of the book.
They are the product of all the events that have happened before and during and after, connecting at the point the narrator observes them. Even avoiding philosophy, we don’t get always get to choose what narrative we’re thrust into in our own lives. When living, we have to take the scene set before us and hope we make our way successfully across the stage.
The main character of With Honor Intact runs into problems because she is missing pieces of other people’s stories. The “Tales from the Virtue Inn” series is a fast-moving modern fable, but it is also fundamentally a mystery. Honor’s decision to cut ties with her home as a teenager means that she is missing the crucial pieces of information she needs to survive in the strange world of the magical Inn she is managing.
Honor’s story is as much as about what she doesn’t know as what she does.
It is not magic to face an unfamiliar world unprepared.
It is not magic to balance our duties and desires on a swiftly changing stage.
The magic is that we make the attempt in the first place.
The magic is that we succeed.
Sometimes we miss the larger picture. Sometimes it’s better that we do.
The idea of a living world that the narrator tells of a small fraction of the activity is something that I have wanted to write for a very long time. “Tales from the Virtue Inn” explores the inevitable consequences of missing pieces of the bigger picture in a dangerous, fantastical setting.
With Honor Intact will be available digitally from all Amazon sites on April 23, 2015. To read the first book in the series, you can find The Guests of Honor here.