Learn how the world of Alamore came to exist and the thoughts of the author behind it
How did you come up with Alamore? Well ,I came up with the name of the land long before I ever did any stories. When I say 'long before' I mean at age 11 and I wrote the first book - Ranger of Kings - when I was 12. So, if the land came first, how did the story come about? What gave you the ideas? Honestly, the story came about on its own. I started with an idea and thought it'd be a fun script for me and my cousins to create a movie but when I first started writing, the plan was that one of the main characters would be a girl. They were going to be in a high magic world. They would all have dragons. And then, as I wrote, I ended up with six books of "Low Fantasy" (they classify as fantasy due to world building, low Fantasy for the lack of magic. I truly didn't know what would happen until it did. There was no control at all. You mention that some of the characters were meant to be girls but, in the first book, there weren't really many girls or women to speak of. How did that come about? I think that this largely had to do with actual history. From as long as I can remember, I've been in love with medieval history. When I was little, I'd check out all the books in the library on medieval battles and armor, and when we'd go to the art museum, I couldn't be drug away from the swords and chainmail display. In the medieval days, I knew that women weren't allowed to be warriors and I wanted to play that into my books. As I mentioned earlier, I intended one of my main characters to be a girl - I was going to have her be disguised as a boy - but it never came about. But I knew Alamore would be ahead of medieval times. In the first book, I really set the stage for that. Revlan always was going to be the King who started to give women more rights - and this continues with the series. Eldin and Serena really go above and beyond to break that glass ceiling and it was important to show. What about love interests in your book? Had you considered that? When I edited the first book - 13 years after I wrote it - I really did consider this. I played with it in my mind but, in the end, I decided against it. 12 year old me had written something I loved, something not caught in romance and love triangles or any of the other tropes. When I was younger, I only craved books of friendship, good defeating evil, and adventures. So, I held true to what I'd written before. Really, my job now is only to smooth over things I wrote before and improve the character development (a skill I lacked as a preteen author) Now, this doesn't mean love doesn't show up eventually. I aged with my characters, but everything stays as I enjoyed it - focused on friendship and adventure. Who is your favorite character in your Alamore world? Sir Laster, without the slightest doubt. I love writing Laster. Sneering, cool, and snarky. He's essentially what I grew up to become (only kidding… kind of) His backstory always interested me as well. He's had that since I was twelve, all the knights have their own. But it really explains a lot about him and why he acts the way he does. You mention the backstory of characters - do you have a lot of those? Absolutely! Each character has them. One of the biggest edits I did when working in the first book for release was remove three characters who never had a backstory. Some of the backstories are simple, others will twist and turn throughout the series as they come to life. These books really do all tie together. I will give 12 year old me that - my writing might have been rough, but I loved and still love the stories that make each character the way they are. That includes the villains too. Lastly, to tie this out, how is the third book coming along? It's going great! The start of this book may be the biggest edit I've had to do to any of them - it was very unrealistic and predictable and all happened in the span of about three pages. So that was changed But, it's coming together really well now and I've got a fantastic Alpha reader who has been reading it as it's written. His input really helps and lets me know where I'm on the right track and where things need to change. Fingers crossed, I may be able to kick this first draft before the close of 2021.
Have questions you would like to ask C. J. R. Isely? She's always open to hear them. Comment on this post or contact her directly through the site