A Personal Note
From Richard H. Stephens
I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have an imaginary story bouncing around my mind, asking to be written down. To say I have an active imagination would be an understatement. But, to actually publish a book, had always seemed like nothing more than a dream.
In the latter stages of 2017, I was finally able to write ‘THE END’ on the epic fantasy trilogy that had been in my head for over 35 years. But, as I’m sure most writers will concur, finishing a storyline doesn’t alleviate the mass, or should I say, mess of ideas flitting around their imagination. If anything, it has compounded the literary chaos roiling within my subconscious.
Halfway through book three of the Soul Forge Saga, Into the Madness, (aptly named), one of my main characters did something so uncalled for that it opened the floodgates to the potential for a 20-30 book series. A storyline so involved with lore and magic that it will span many centuries. Who knew the addition of a dragon would become an all-consuming desire to write an in-depth back story? Thus, the Legends of the Lurker was born.
Book one in Legends of the Lurker, Reecah’s Flight, came to me one day in the shower of all places. Actually, I do some of my best thinking there! I wanted to explain why the dragons had disappeared from the original Soul Forge Saga.
As Reecah’s Flight began to take shape in my head, I felt the need to create a unique character—one that will resonate with people of all ages. A character with everyday flaws, inhibitions, and facing adversity amongst their peers, but someone whose yearning inner self wouldn’t allow society to prevent them from following their dreams.
Now that I had the idea for the storyline, I needed a name. A unique name. One that wouldn’t easily be forgotten. So, naturally, I combined the names of two of the inspirational people in my life and came up with the name: Reecah. My oldest daughter, Rebecca, and my wife, Caroline. Rebecca and Caroline have shown me that anything is possible if one perseveres and puts their best foot forward, even in the face of adversity, hardship, and the ever-present doubters.
Reecah’s quest to follow her dreams sum up Rebecca and Caroline’s desire to be the best they can be. Through her actions and thought processes, Reecah proves anything is possible if one wants it badly enough.
In creating Reecah’s story, I drew from personal experiences of my own. Being over 50, and working in a warehouse and then in the policing community, I’ve seen my share of heartache and loss, but I’ve also enjoyed the thrills of accomplishment and joy through my own eyes and the actions of others.
The Legends of the Lurker chronicles one person’s up and down journey through life. Learning by her mistakes, Reecah conquers her fears and demonstrates the power of the human condition.
Reecah, like Silurian before her, are extensions of myself. I’m far from perfect. But, like everyone else, I learn as I go. It took many years for me to realize life isn’t a dress rehearsal. We don’t get to come back and do it again.
Though there are circumstances in life that can make it seem impossible, I encourage everyone to believe in yourself. You can do it. Just follow your dreams.
To follow along as I write, connect with me on my author’s page on Facebook. As always, I read and appreciate your feedback.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads or anywhere else you purchase your books. Reviews are everything in the publishing world. When you leave a review, it empowers authors to continue writing. Part of the reason why I continue to write, is because of the reviews you, the Fans of Soul Forge, write.
Let’s get the word out together!
Born in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1965, Richard began writing in 1974; a bored child looking for something to while away the long, summertime days. His penchant for reading The Hardy Boys led to an inspiration one sweltering summer afternoon when he and his best friend thought, ‘We could write one of those.’ And so, Richard did.
As his reading horizons broadened, so did his writing. Star Wars inspired a 600-page novel about outer space that caught the attention of a special teacher who encouraged Richard to keep writing.
A trip to a local bookstore saw the proprietor introduce Richard to Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson. Richard’s writing life was forever changed.
At 17, Richard left high school to join the working world to support his first son. For the next twenty-two years he worked as a shipper at a local bakery. At the age of 36, Richard went back to high school to complete his education. After graduating with honours at the age of thirty-nine, he became a member of the local Police Service, and worked for 12 years in the provincial court system.
In early 2017, Richard retired from the Police Service to pursue his love of writing full-time. With the help and support of his wife Caroline and their five children, Richard has realized his boyhood dream.