StG: Stenstrom’s Office and the Garden of Horrors
May 25, 2014
The release of LoE Book 8: “The Shadow tech Goddess” is just around the corner.
Being the eight book is the series, many of the items and weapons appearing in the book have been introduced and covered previously. It’s a persistent issue in a series–how much time should the author devote to going over things that already have been described? You really don’t want to bore a returning reader with the same information and you also don’t want to exclude any new readers.
The person who edited Book 8 had never read any of the previous books and was a bit confused in the beginning. “What’s this” and “what’s that”, she asked in frequent side notes.
I was watching my wife play Mystery Manor, it’s an app on her Ipad that she enjoys. It’s one of those games where you see a lavish static setting filled with unusual objects, and your goal is to find a number of specific objects before time runs out (find the tea cup, find the garden rake, etc). Seeing her play the game, I was struck with inspiration. I envisioned a scene where most of the items and weapons appearing in the book were laid out in one lovely composition. That way, if a reader has a question (for example, “What’s an NTH?”) they can look at the painting and see it first hand. I got Ewelina Dolzycka to paint it for me.
I think it turned out pretty well and covers most of the bases. Some of the objects laid out in the scene are specific to Book 8 alone and have never been seen before.
I had a similar idea previously in a map to the Garden of Horrors, an arcane place visited in the book.
I recalled once visiting a lavish garden in an Egyptian museum during a trip to California. The garden was like a maze filled with hedges arranged like streets, dotted with scented fruiting trees and potted flowering plants. Hidden in the hedges and elsewhere in the garden were a number of small to medium-sized statues depicting various Egyptian deities. A guide told us all the major Egyptian deities were hidden in the garden. They even gave us a small booklet providing clues where they were hidden and spots to check-off when we located them. It was like an egg-hunt locating the statues and we spent all afternoon searching the garden. I don’t think we ever found them all.
I got the idea to include a similar garden in Book 8: the Garden of Horrors, a wondrous place tended by a woman claiming to be the Shadow tech Goddess herself.
Hidden in the garden were a number of statues depicting the various types of Extra-Planar Entities following Paymaster Stenstrom, the main character. The highlight of the garden was in the center, a hideous monster hidden behind a locked door trying to get at the Paymaster and take his life.
I wish such a garden actually existed, I could spend all day in it.
The Shadow tech Goddess will be out early June, 2014 from Loconeal Publishing.
copyright 2014, Ren Garcia, Ewelina Dolzycka and Carol Phillips