Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kylen Finished His Novel! :)

Kylen finished his first novel, Keys to the Kingdom, a few weeks ago!  This was a MAJOR labor of love and time investment spanning over a couple of years - working on it an hour here, an hour there; sometimes making progress daily, sometimes weekly.  He did so much editing, I decided to wait until it was finished to read it.  (Hopefully soon!)  171 pages, typed and single-spaced.  We presented him with a card and small plaque I'd been saving for the big day.  :)

I asked him to give me a description and pick out an excerpt from a favorite part.

Theo Thompson grew up listening to tales about a world filled with monsters, heroes, and magic. After the mysterious disappearance of his grandfather, Theo is called to take up arms in defense of the First Land. An old enemy, Ragor the giant, has mustered an army to once again wage war on all that is good. As the threat approaches, Theo must put on the mantle of Guardian and travel to the Shrine of Destiny, where he hopes to find the power to defeat Ragor once and for all. Armed with the magical Keys, weapons blessed by the Life Giver, he sets out in search of the Shrine. But, following close behind, a deadly assassin plots to destroy the young and inexperienced Guardian…


As one, they advanced together towards the door. Suddenly, it was flung wide open and a hulking form emerged. It had to duck in order to squeeze through the door, which was about twelve feet high, but as the thing cleared the entrance it stood to its full height. It was a minotaur—a creature with the body of a man and the head of a bull. The monster wielded an enormous spear in its left hand, and a mace and chain in the other.
Theo pulled up short, as did the others. The minotaur looked right at him with a surprisingly intelligent expression and asked, “Are you the Guardian?” Its voice reminded him of rolling thunder.
Though his heart pounded, Theo was determined not to show any fear. “I am.”
The monster advanced slowly. Theo drew the Keys, but did not raise them to defend himself. “I am Gronskr,” he growled, stopping just an arms-length away. “The Life Giver charged me many centuries ago with the task of guarding the Shrine of Destiny.”
“Great. So, can I go in?”
The giant let out a deep, rumbling chuckle. “I’m afraid…it’s not that simple. You see, I am to defend this Shrine with my life, until a Guardian can best me in battle.”
“I don’t understand. Is this some kind of test, to see if I’m worthy?”
Gronskr shrugged his massive shoulders. “I do not know what the Life Giver’s intent was in placing me here. All I know is that, if you want to gain entry, you must defeat me in fair, single combat.”
Theo looked at the creature’s enormous bulk. “Doesn’t seem like a fair fight to me.”
The minotaur laughed again. “You have the Keys, Guardian. If you are the Chosen One, those are all you will need.”
Gronskr lunged toward him. Theo jumped out of the way, narrowly avoiding the initial charge. With a speed which defied his bulk, the minotaur swung his mace around in a tight arc. Theo ducked and backpedaled several steps. He knew that Gronskr’s advantage would be in his superior strength and reach, but he had to get his bearings, figure out a strategy.
The minotaur took a giant step forward, approaching more slowly this time. He brought his spear up and began jabbing at Theo repeatedly, moving the weapon back and forth with such rapidity that he was forced to give more ground in order to avoid the deadly tip.
Suddenly, he felt his back press up against the wall of the Shrine. Gronskr let out a roar of triumph and brought his mace swinging in from above. Theo once again narrowly dodged it and went into a full retreat. He knew that he had to find a way to end the contest, and soon. The Keys were pumping him full of energy, revitalizing his tired body and making him stronger. But it would not last forever. Sooner or later, one of them had to grow weary, and Theo was afraid it would be him.
Suddenly, in a flash of insight, he knew exactly what had to happen. Pretending to lose his balance, Theo reeled backwards. Gronskr charged towards him, eager to end the fight with sheer force. The Guardian waited for the last possible moment, then ducked under the minotaur’s swinging weapons. He rolled between the giant’s legs, coming back up on his feet behind his opponent. Theo raised his sword and plunged it into Gronskr’s unprotected back.
The minotaur roared in pain and anger. Though Theo had felt the blade strike bone, it would take more than that to bring the giant down. But now Gronskr would be angry, and hopefully that would push him to make mistakes.

For now, he has no plans to publish.  His writing improved over time, which would require major revisions to the first half.  We're so proud of him for sticking it out!!!  And he's already started a new novel (not a sequel, but a whole new story).  Awesome job, Sonshine!!!


Greg said...

Awesome summary, Son!! And the excerpt is certainly getting me excited again about reading the whole book!

Farrah said...