Sam’s Chain

January 8, 2011

Detail of Sam's Chain, from "Lady Sammidoran of Monama" by Fantasio

I’ve had such a great opportunity to share my crazy thoughts with talented people all over the world. Since I cannot draw, I take the help of those who can draw all the time. And, with each new picture I get back, I always find something that inspires and causes me to get the old eraser out and make changes. Ive added all sorts of things to the story after seeing things Carol’s done. I do it all the time.

Such is the case with the incredibly talented German artist, Fantasio. Fantasio painted me a great pic of Sam some time back. I gave Fantasio a detailed outline of what I wanted and he came up with a very gothic, stately looking Sam.

One odd thing. He added a chain to the skirt of her gown trailing off into the fog and hung it with bird skulls and keys. A pretty cool artistic detail, but nothing more. I didn’t describe Sam in the book as having a chain attached to her skirt.

"Sam's Vision 1" by Fantasio

When Fantasio began giving me series of dreamy sketches called “Sam’s Visions”, he again sketched a chain hanging on her skirt. The chain is also heavily featured in the cool frame he designed for the Sam’s Visions sketches.

Hmmm. I thought it over and added it to the cannon of the story:

“She was wearing a crinkled black gown covered with intricate black-on-black designs, low cut, showing off arms and shoulders and a fair amount of her cleavage, pulled tight into an hour-glass shape. The final strange touch was a chain wrapping around the skirt portion of her gown and dragging on the ground.”

So, I stuck the chain in and meant to leave it at that, just a weird detail, nothing more. But then, my little pea-brain began wondering: what’s the chain for? It had to be there for something. I added the exchange:

“What happened to your clothes?” Kay asked.
“My clothes? I lost them,” she said, her whispered voice trembling.
“Lost them? What’s with the chain?”
“Oh, it’s a tradition. Don’t pay it any mind.”

I thought to leave it at that. But then, I was at the tail end of a thirty-hour editing binge and my addled head went off in a strange direction. Quite without my consent, the purpose of the chain came into clarity:

She snorted. “We’ve played this game before. You can’t hide from me. Hide anywhere you want and I can find you like that!” She snapped her fingers. “And …” she took a deep whiff, “I can smell you, Kay.” She licked her lips.
“I think this time you’ll be a bit more challenged.”
She got off and huddled up on the dusty ground. “All right. Go hide, Kay. Hide anywhere in the castle you want. You have an hour. Oh, and Kay?”
She seized a piece of old mortar and shattered it in her hand. “You best get that chain and don’t be afraid to use it when I find you.”

So, that’s what the chain’s for. Still a little fuzzy. How about this:

She pulled the chain off her skirt. “You’re going to need this …” She threw the chain over her shoulder. Kay made to get past her and grab it and she tackled him.

Ah, love …

Bowl Naked


copyright 2011 Ren Garcia and Fantasio

5 Responses to “Sam’s Chain”

  1. This makes me anxious to read the next LOE! You have no idea how nuts I went when reading Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein trilogy and the third book was taking forever to be released!When I actually like a book, I fall IN LOVE with it. I happen to be in love with the League of Elder Series. I enjoy your attention to detail–buttons on uniforms, Syg with or without shoes, Sam’s chain,Carahil’s journal. It all makes your books so fun to read, like a puzzle within a puzzle.Your mind must be complicated to write this intricately: )

  2. theleagueofelder said

    Thank you, Chris. My wife sometimes says to me: “What is it like to be in there where you are?”

    And, I really have no idea.

    It’s fun seeing how these things sort of take on a life of their own and go off in odd and unexpected directions. The great fun of creating a story is to experience it yourself as it happens. I mean, this is all coming out of my head, but it’s from a weird and seldom-visited piece of real estate in the back of my brain. A lot of times I sit down to write just to see how it ends.

    PS–How’s the Poison story coming along??

  3. chantellyb said

    Seeing the incredible artwork from your usual artists always makes it hard to get back to working on my illustrations (which I have to do this afternoon.) My stuff just doesn’t measure up. I envy you too. I’d love to see someone else’s visions of my stories.

    • theleagueofelder said

      Hey Chantal

      I love your art. It’s so distinctive, you can pick it out from a crowd no problem. Your pic is mixed in with the other ones for Book 3, and I treasure it alone with all the rest. I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with such talented people–yourself included. And, I can’t wait to see Fervor bound and printed.

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