From the Author
Well, not just Mr. Gaiman. There's Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, J. R. R. Tolkien, Jim Butcher, J. K. Rowling, Alan Moore, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, James Morrow and many, many others.
They all had a hand in this obsession of mine to write.
A fellow author and dear friend of mine, Sean Develin, recently said to me: "The beauty of middle age is that we now actually finish what we start." Both he and Chris Davis--old comrades for many years--started me down a writing path back in the eighties. We'd develop grand ideas, fantastic dialogs, and build whole worlds.
And then we'd drink some beer and the conversations would drift off to other topics.
Since then, Sean has become a writer and a consultant. Chris develops live shows for his stint as 'The Renaissance Man.' And I built a career in the technology world.
Fast forward to 2007, when my children, whom I always spun tales for when they were little, both said to me "Dad, you should write your stories down." My partner agreed. And thus, the Arcana Chronicles, and The Prodigal's Foole were born.
Writing in the 21st century is very different than when I dabbled with crafting stories when I was younger. Social media didn't exist back then. Neither did ebooks nor the number of Indie Publishers that have embraced the new mediums of publishing that exist today. It's a whole new world and the possibilities are exciting.
Which leads me to the surprising fact that it still took a lot of people to get my book published.
My "alpha" readers--family for the most part (my partner, mother and sister) all made comments for the very first draft of the book. My cousins did a read through of the second draft, joined by my beta readers (and WONDERFUL friends) Leah Petersen, Eden Baylee, Deb Moses, K. A. Storm, J. D. Robinson, Karen Smith, Matthew Munson, Tesse Conte, Kate Danley and Emmett Spain. Most are authors I "met" through Twitter.
There was the 50-page critique I won via an online auction done superbly (and encouragingly) by Amy Boggs, an agent for The Donald Maass Agency in New York. And editing by C. A Marshall.
But the most amazing set of editing and comments came from my brother, Charles Wood. They say you should never let family edit your manuscript. "They" never met my brother. Nor have "they" met his wicked-sharp red pen.
Of course there is also the creative director for Pfoxchase, Diane Nelson, whose eye for detail and ability to make me laugh while ripping a scene to shreds is unique in my experience.
I'm sure I've left out folks--but you know who you are and you know how absent minded I can be.
With that all said, I sincerely hope you enjoy what follows.
R. B. Wood