(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Laura was written by Laura Hart.)
Kelly sat at the edge of the pool and admired the picturesque waterfall in front of her. All around her were forest trees muting any chaotic lifestyle, but sun shone through this clearing, and a breeze passed through as well. Barefoot, Kelly stirred her toes in the water and smiled. It was lovely here—just an absolutely relaxing place for a chat. All she had to do was wait for Laura to show up.
Laura smiled as she headed towards her favorite place to relax and let her creative juices flow, a waterfall tucked nicely inside a thick forest. She was meeting Kelly here, and wasn’t sure what to expect, but any anxiety about the unknown was overshadowed by the charm of the beautiful day.
As she approached, she saw Kelly sitting and waiting. She straightened her posture and walked towards the water confidently. “Good morning, how are you today?”
Kelly looked up and smiled when she saw Laura. She rose to her feet to shake her hand. “Hey! I’m doing great. How about you?” She motioned for Laura to sit near the water’s edge if she’d like.
Laura sat as she answered, “Couldn’t be better,” as she looked around. She kicked off her shoes to toss her feet in the water in a similar manner to Kelly’s. She smiled, with a bit of a questioning look to see what kind of questions were in store for her. A handful of birds stirred above them and it took her attention for a moment while she waited.
As they relaxed, Kelly smiled, “So, Laura, tell me a bit about yourself. What is it that you do? Are you a full-time writer, or do you have a day job?”
“Ah, it would be so lovely to be a full time writer,” her eyes went to a dreamy state for a moment. “I would love to just set up right here and spend my days lost in my worlds.” She wiggled her toes and let the current run between her toes a minute. “But, alas, I have a full time job and am a full time mom also. I’m blessed, though, because my children are now old enough to participate in brainstorming and love to contribute when I have the time to create.” Her eyes lit up as she thought of her kids and her passion working together. “Of course, as they get older, my hope is that I’ll have even more time to write.” She laughed a little, nervously.
“Wow, full-time mom and have a full-time job?? How do you even have the time to write??” Kelly raised her brows. She highly admired parents, especially mothers, who wrote. She knew it couldn’t be easy.
“It’s a group effort sometimes. My kids are 14 and 6. When they know I am sitting down to write, they do what they can to join in. They help me build characters, and give me names and scenery descriptions. My most recent work, my 14 year old is even drawing pictures to go along with it. We could spend our time watching tv or face down in tablets, but bonding over creating this book is priceless to me.”
Laura thought, she had other works that the kids aren’t part of. Those have been in the works since before kids were part of her life at all, and she was sure some day she would work on them in detail again…but during this phase of her life, she felt a different piece made more sense to fit into her life, even if she didn’t get to write daily, or even every week, consistently.
“How about you, Kelly?” She knew this was an interview, but she always felt awkward if she wasn’t learning about the other person also.
“Oh, I’m not married—don’t have any kids.” Kelly shook her head with a smile. “Hopefully one day, but not yet. So have you always been a writer? Or did something more recent spark the urge for you to write seriously?”
“Writing has always been part of me, since I was little. I remember in elementary school going to Young Authors, and then taking a story I wrote as a child and revising it and growing it to make another Young Authors trip in middle school. My nose was always in a book … which was a problem only because when I read, I am gone to the world.” She blushed a little, she remembered how more than once, her mom would have to physically pull a book from her hands to get her attention. “The biggest problem with being a reader like I am, however, is when you have small kids, reading goes on hold. It becomes a luxury.” It was true, she had read so much less because she was afraid of missing things with the kids. What if they needed her and she was so zoned out they got hurt, or lost?
“I don’t think writing will ever leave my blood. And I’m thrilled when I get feedback from my children’s teachers about how their voice is great, and how they are reading ahead of their grade levels. My 14 year old is even in her advanced placement English class.” Her pride was showing through, and while her kids may never write the same way, Laura knew she was influencing her kids at least a little in that way. “I’m sorry, I know this is about writing, but the kids are such a big part of that now for me. They inspire me, and help me. And because of them, one day I’ll even finish what I will consider my masterpiece.” A branch cracked overhead and she turned a bit to see. It seemed as if it was simply the wind breaking some dead wood. “Of course, a masterpiece, that’s subjective right?”
Kelly smiled when she heard Laura say all this about her children. “You know, I have to say, I’m glad to see how involved your children are in with your writing. You hear a lot of writers who are parents kinda…get frustrated because they don’t have their time to write. The two lifestyles don’t seem to mix. But you seem to have good handle on that, so good for you. When I get married and have kids, I hope to handle it similarly to how you do.” Kelly locked eyes with Laura and smiled once more.
Then she cast her gaze to look at the waterfall in front of them. “Okay, so…I’m sure you’ve written a lot of stories, but which one would you like to talk about?” She glimpsed back at Laura. “Unfortunately we only have time to hear about one.”
Laura shook her head, “Just remember, when you do have kids, they just like to be involved and heard. Even if you can’t really use what they give you, they will remember being part of the process and the time with you. And once in a while, they will surprise you with the most perfect solution to a problem you may not even know you had!” She fidgeted a little, focusing for a moment on the water. “As for the story to speak about, I think the one I am working on the most right now is best. The work is called ‘Hope in Darkness’. It’s just the fairy book when we refer to it in our home.” She cringed a little. Titling her works was always a challenge.
Kelly nodded when she heard this. “So…I’m guessing it has something to do with fairies or fairytales?” She raised her brows but then smiled encouragingly. “What’s it about?”
She nodded, “Yes, fairies, but there’s a little bit of a twist. The environment we have set up has a world on many planes. There are gods who can travel between planes. One plane had its world set up by a group of gods, who ended up killing each other, save for one who still resides there. The gods who died still have their essence in that plane, and each god’s essence and magic core spawned into a set of fairies.” Whenever she has delved into her world, she always waits for the odd looks like she’s lost her mind a little. “Anyhow, these fairies can die, and as they die a new one spawns at the source of the god power that they are created from. The only way to get rid of them completely is to kill the entire set of fairies at the same time, which also destroys the god power associated with it.”
She started to wonder if she was getting to deep in the world creation, but carried on anyhow. “So each of these factions of fairies works pretty independently of each other, and are pretty oblivious to how the other groups carry on in their day to day. One of these groups ends up inadvertently pulling a human back from the earthen plane which starts the story.” She took a deep breath, glancing at Kelly to see if she was giving the information Kelly was hoping for.
Kelly listened closely to everything and nodded as she kept up with it. “Sounds complex, but you’ve got a good world there!” She offered Laura a warm smile. “So, who are the characters? Their agendas? Conflicts? Struggles?”
Laura’s smile was a little devious at this point, as she went to start on about her characters in specific. “Tim is our human,” she paused and pondered a second, “but he might not stay named Tim. I think the kids were changing that.” She shrugged, it wasn’t important in the long term. “Anyhow, this human had a rough life. He grew up with his grandmother after his father killed his mom and went to prison. Tim lost his grandmother just before he finished high school, and is a very dark individual, he carries a lot of pain with him.” She felt a little guilty at just how much heartache she was putting this person through, especially by the end of things but she would keep some secrets.
“Tim is completely out of place and lost in the new world, and because of the selfish nature of the fairies, they don’t pay a lot of attention to him either.” She shifted how she was sitting some, turning more towards Kelly and getting more enthusiastic about the conversation. “And, around this time is when we meet the remaining god on this land, currently just called Darkness. Darkness is so named by the fairies and keeps pretty much to his own castle keep tucked in the rocky mountainside. The world makes him sad, and he wants to destroy it and begin over with a new creation cycle.”
Kelly listened and tilted her head, trying to keep up with all this. “Is Darkness the antagonist?”
Laura nodded and tilted her head some, “Yes, and no. You see, Darkness does not have evil motives. Initially we are setting the book up to see the fairy point of view, get to know the world we are exploring. Once we get to Darkness, and Tim gets to meet him and learn about him, we will find that Darkness has a lighter name and is a kinder soul. His brothers and sisters were the other gods who fought among themselves and killed each other. Darkness never joined those fights and only wanted peace. We will find that he hurts, and every day on this world that he built with his siblings pains him, and he wants to start over to end the pain … he views the fairies as beings who are blocking the gods from being at rest and wants them gone, as well. We will start to feel for him, and, as evil as I may be as setting it up this way, I want to make both sides likable and have people torn as to how they want things to end.” She realized that she had been doing some rambling, and it was getting close to the end of their time together. “I’m sorry, I know I ramble on a bit. Do you have any other questions you wonder about before we have to go?” She was a little sad that other responsibilities of her day would pull her away from the waterfall as well.
Kelly shook her head. “Laura, stop worrying so much about what others think of your story. Don’t worry whether or not they’re going to like it or that you’re rambling or so. I enjoy hearing writers ramble about their creation. I like watching their eyes light up as they talk about their stories. Now though, before we go, what inspired this story? Your children? Or something else?”
“It was something else. We had some trouble in the family and hard times. I was in a dark place, and one morning, and I know this may sound crazy to some, but I had a visit from a friend. She was a friend that meant a lot to me, we had been friends since we were born, almost literally but she passed on a couple years ago at a very young age. Anyhow, I can’t tell you how I knew that morning that she was there with me, but she was. And when she left, and I woke fully for the day, the story arch was nearly fully formed. And my kids are helping fill in the details, and I credit that friend for bringing me inspiration in a dark time.” Tears started to form at the corners of her eyes, but she was smiling.
Kelly smiled when she heard this. “I’m glad your friend inspired such a story for you and that your kids could help fill-in the blanks. Now, complete the story, title it, publish it, and let me know, so I can help share it with the world.” With that, she rose to her feet and offered Laura a hand up. “It was a pleasure meeting with you, Laura. I can’t wait to see which character you’ll have me meet.”
Accepting Kelly’s hand, she rose and shook Kelly’s hand in return before gathering her shoes from the bank.
“It has been a very nice visit, thank you very much for meeting me all the way out here. I will keep you posted as the book comes to full reality.”
She smiled at Kelly and thanked her again, before she started on her way back to home. She was going to have to think long and hard about the character; she had thus far thought about having her meet Darkness, but something else started tickling the back of her mind.
Laura Hart’s story ‘Hope in Darkness’ is not yet published, but you can follow her on social media for more updates!