One night, while I was watching a documentary about the ancient City of Troy, I began to wonder how awful it must be to find yourself trapped in a burning city. I sat down to write a story based on that image, but the tale ran off on a completely different direction. It became more of a slightly silly cross-country quest and mad escape adventure tale. with more than just a hint of romance. This is also the first novel I wrote where the characters took over control of the plot.
Our hero, young Harow, is a farm youth sent off by his parents to the city to study for the priesthood. The city is attacked, falls to the rebels and in flames, when our young man is forced into the job of getting the Queen and her annoying daughter to safety. This turns into a chase with the villains in hot pursuit and our hero in full panic mode.
The queen started out in the tale as appearing a bit simple, but turns into someone in full control. I needed to discover her backstory to make sense of it. Then I had to figure out why the Princess was such a brat. Another backstory. And what was motivating the villains?
Once I all this clarified, I had great fun abusing my hero who is way out of his depth, what with wily women and nasty villains. I even threw in wizards and the occasional dragon. The publisher loved the finished story, and the characters, and asked for more. The Queen's Man and The Queen's Game soon followed.
One reason I write is to discover how the story will end.