THE REFLECTION OF LUMA

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The kingdom of Luma is trembling with earthquakes.  A hidden secret buried in the annals of history comes to light.
Art by John Bauer

Art by John Bauer

When the mischievous young prince of Luma suddenly goes missing, a child princess and her baby sister must venture into a parallel world of twisted paths and strange creatures to find their brother.  The new world has a mysterious resemblance to her own...but has been ravaged by the reign of the terrible King of Night and his phantom henchmen. They soon gain the help of a fun-loving sprite child, a noble, shovel-toting lizard, and other unlikely friends and embark on a quest across the lands to gain passage into the dark fortress that holds her brother bound.  There is more to the reflection world than meets the eye and their presence there has more meaning than they could ever have known.  Together they will learn responsibility, the power of family bonds, and the weight of sacrifice.  Together they will save Luma...but at what cost?
Where the story came from:
The Reflection of Luma started out very much as a private project.  Since my kids are small, their imaginations are firing and they are starting to show interest in reading and hearing stories.  Of course, being my kids, they are particularly drawn to fantasy and fables and I wanted to write something special and personal that I could read to them and create some memories they could remember as they get older.  I decided to write a book about three children based upon them and their personalities, and drew a lot of inspiration from things from their real lives.  Much of this story is some kind of translation of watching my kids do what they do. While I liked the idea of this project, it would be the first time for me to ever branch out of darker, more adult-oriented fantasy.  I knew I needed to make something lighter, sillier, and more enjoyable for children, but also be a valuable read for adults.  It was a challenge and still needs to be improved through revision, but I found myself enjoying writing something short, simple, and stand-alone, as opposed to a series.  I took this opportunity to dig deep into my own childhood and find the things that sparked my imagination as a child.  I re-watched the 80's films 'Legend' and 'Labyrinth', re-read some Roald Dahl books like the BFG and the Witches.  Other childhood influences that played a part in the project are the Legend of Zelda games series, the Neverending Story, and some of my personal real-life experiences. I went for creating a story that felt like a traditional fable or a fairy tale with odd characters and otherworldly set pieces but also layers of meaning that could appeal to a wide range of readers, the theme of strength that comes from family bonds, being at the forefront. The first draft was finished in late 2014 and the book still has a long way to go before it is ready to stand but I am pleased with the direction it is going and can see a lot of potential.  I am very excited to get back to it once some of the other projects on the forefront have been cleared away.
 
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