There are a very few people, maybe less than a handful, that know when and how Shadowolf came to be in my life, and how “Shado” became my nickname in my teen and adolescent years. I must apologise to those few, as I only gave you the origin and not every occasion that made it seem more real and bound me to that name forever. I will not share that here though, as that is considered sacred among our small group and I would not want to betray that.
I wish to focus more on the next favoured question to the realm of authors: how did the story of the books come about? In my last blog I gave an idea of how I was inspired to become a fantasy author. My literary inspirations, visualisation capabilities and passion for writing only set the tools and resources for writing a novel – the story of Shadowolf and thereby Celenic Earth is an entirely different tale
I remember that at that time, circa 2002, I was taking classes for Tai Chi Chuan… no, not the relaxing health-focussed kind, but rather of the chinese martial arts variety. I was taking it quite seriously, to which my 3 years of official training and Tai Chi tattoo can attest. I was always visualising how the forms learnt in Tai Chi could be used in real life situations, when the world of fantasy somehow became incorporated in it. I am and always have been into the natural elements of fire, water, earth, spirit and air, the last one to which I have a special affinity. (Maybe the title of “The Windfarer” gives it away). Through my years of studying the elements, its use in religious scriptures and ancient cultures, and its significance in rituals both christian and pagan, I find myself quite fond of these elements (without which we obviously could not live) and tie them to almost every aspect of my life. They were even used during my wedding ceremony.
It is with no surprise then that I quite enjoy kung fu and chinese martial arts movies where the air is stirred around the person practicing his art, or where any of the elements are incorporated. I started toying with these type of combats in my dreams, using Chi to summon elemental energy from around or within you and then utilising them in your fighting forms. I was pretty much focused on writing a fantasy novel with Shadowolf as the main protagonist – this type of daydreaming set the scene for a world where combat takes place with the use of the elements. Of course, the “Dragonball Z” universe that was prevalent on the South African television screens back then went a long way into nurturing this kind of fantasy further, and then not longer after I published “The Windfarer” in 2007, I discovered the animation series “The Avatar: The Last Air-bender” which spoke volumes to the elemental philosophies hidden in my books.
The final battle in the “Sadgi” was the first scene I imagined for the series and it was so intense in my daydream that it became the foundation for what I would base the entire Celenic Earth Chronicles around. I am happy to confess that I was unwavering in this objective and after so many years of writing, the final battle was finally scripted and published. It was the highlight of my nascent writing career, and it had me shivering for every second it took for me to put it to paper. As a matter of fact, I was so afraid to write the final battle that it took me a week or two to build-up / plan / procrastinate until I finally had the guts to start it.
Of course, a lot has happened since I started writing “The Windfarer”. New characters found their way into my carefully planned tale. With the new characters came their histories, their essential parts to the main plot and their relationships to one another. From the small battle I envisaged in 2002, with Shadowolf taking on the hordes of the dark lord Le’Mar, it evolved into an epic battle between the various races on Celenic earth and with the people that Shadowolf found himself loved and supported by.
It became more a tale about Celenic Earth than it did about Shadowolf, which is why I eventually named it the Celenic Earth Chronicles. Shadowolf’s journey does not end here though, as in the next 5 years I anticipate starting Volume 2 of the Shadowolf series.
The Count of Celenic Earth