The story of HANARIA came streaming into my mind while I was on a walk in the woods with my dog. When the first bit came through, I was amused. And then more came. And more. And the story kept coming until I realized that this was no longer just an amusement. It had morphed into something greater.
At one point, I literally looked up to the sky and said, "Stop! Wait for me to get home so I can write it down." And like magic, the story flow stopped. "Huh," I thought. "I wonder if it will come back later." My dog and I enjoyed a long, lovely hike that day and then headed home.
As soon as we got home, I sat down at my computer with my hands on the keyboard, looked up to the sky and said, "Okay, I'm ready," half-joking. I sat there for a moment feeling silly. Or maybe foolish.
Yet in no time, the story stream in my mind began again and my fingers moved over the keyboard as fast as I could make them go to try and capture it all. "Wait!" I pleaded. "Slow down...please."
What was happening? Before I knew it, I'd typed a short story about a young girl and her journey of self-discovery. Then my hands became still. No more words or thoughts streamed through my mind. I sighed and leaned back in my chair, stretching. It was complete...or so I thought.
I decided to call it Hana's Heart as a working title, in tribute to one of my six nieces. In its original form, this story wasn't 30 pages long start to finish. It captured the heart of a powerful spiritual transformation I'd undergone and the magic I found on the other side of it.
Days later when a friend of mine read it, she said something like, "You should turn this into a chapter book." At that moment I didn't grasp what she meant by chapter book. So I asked her, "What do you mean, a chapter book?"
"You know, a chapter book. A book with chapters. A novel."
My stomach tightened. A novel? I'd never considered writing a novel before, and this little story of mine didn't seem like novel material. At all. At all. Could I actually do that?
By then, I'd already published a professional book, a spiritual book, and a children's book, but a novel? Nope. I didn't think so. I didn't think I could.
For several years, that little story slept amongst files of written scraps on my computer. I didn't know if it would ever be written. But the truth is that my writing scraps pick themselves for me, and off we go.
It's been over a decade since the story of Hana's Heart took its first breath into this world. The heroine's name eventually became HANARIA and The Sorcerer's Legacy series was born. One book became two, and then three, four, and five. I don't know if there will be a sixth.
I'm still in awe of how this little story scrap has grown and where it's taken me...still takes me. The journey of penning this tale remains one of the most fun parts of my life. The characters and the story continue to surprise and inspire me.
I hope thousands of readers enjoy this sweet, fun, coming-of-age adventure series for decades to come. I feel very blessed to be the conduit through which it's choosing to emerge. Thank you, Great Creator Spirit, and blessed be.