By Christopher Keene
To write a book, I need to be in a specific state of mind; I need to be confident enough to be creative. When writing a book from an existing world, like the Super Dungeon Series, you need to know about the world, its magic, its factions, and the story you want to tell in it.
The hardest part of writing The Midnight Queen was getting on board with writing in a world that wasn’t entirely my own. There is a lot of magic and monsters, friends and foes, and I had to navigate that while also navigating my character through the world. Otto and the Princesses travel from Crystalia Castle, through the Fae Woods, and finally to the dreaded Midnight Tower. There is a conflict in each setting—raids, betrayals, and monster battles—and it all surrounds the mystery of the Midnight Queen. She is the greatest threat they face. Even though she is a villain, she is also one of the POV characters, and it was difficult to get inside her head.
Despite that difficulty, once you know the characters, you let them do a lot of the heavy lifting. I loved getting to see how the characters of Super Dungeon reacted to different settings, particular when they play the fish out of water trope, as Otto does in the Fae Wood.
Of all the characters in the book, I related the most to Otto the Royal Paladin, someone who is young and given a responsibility to complete a quest which began long before his involvement. Like Otto, I chose my career in life rather early and know the challenges such early ambition can put on a person, especially considering the expectations of those around you. I also know how once you’ve developed enough of the skills to be decent at a task, more responsibility is pushed on you, much like it is with Otto and his quest.
Writing the novelization of Super Dungeon was like trying to make friends in a completely different world. When writing from a character you made up, although you add a few quirks to distinguish them from yourself, they are, in many ways, you. So, when Otto befriends the princesses and the other characters he meets along the way, it is as though you are going along his quest too. As I got to know the other characters better, it was easier for them to surprise me. I was most surprised by Sapphire, who revealed her sensitive side in the darkest of circumstances.
Now that The Midnight Queen is out, I hope fans enjoy the banter and the thrills. Already coming from the LitRPG genre with my Dream State Saga, I had a lot of fun inserting references to popular video games, so I would be interested to see if anyone picks up on them. I think fans will be most excited to learn the identity of the Midnight Queen. And hopefully they’ll be excited to hear more about the aftermath of that reveal in my new trilogy, His Majesty’s Paladins.
About the Author:
Coming from the land where they filmed Lord of the Rings, Christopher Keene is excited to bring you The Midnight Queen. While studying for his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Canterbury, he took the school’s creative writing course in the hopes of someday seeing his own books on the shelf in his favorite bookstores. He is now the published author of The Dream State Saga, as well as his new epic fantasy War of Kings and Monsters. In his spare time, he writes a blog to share his love of the fantasy and science fiction genres in novels, films, comics, games, and anime (fantasyandanime.wordpress.com).
This is part 6 of a 6 part series.
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