Nora and the Eternal Waterwheel was something of a jumping off point crafted from the idea of wanting to see something more different, perhaps more pure, than current narrative exposure in all ages writing. In writing what was affectionately been dubbed “The Nora Chronicles” by fans, I worked to create a world that was as intelligent as it was innocent.
My bread and butter, or biscuits and bacon, is dark fantasy. I’m not a writer confined to a single genre; that would bore me to something ten steps beyond tears, nor do I confine myself to a single series, but if you ask me “Eugene, what do you prefer to write?” dark fantasy is quite probably the highest on my list. I was challenged by my editor and by members of my church to write something for younger readers, and the challenge was fun and humorous for me because my perspective on appropriate reading materials for youths is rather obscured. It’s easy enough to say “Most kids shouldn’t watch Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira or Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s Ninja Scroll”, though I saw both in single digits. It’s a bit harder with literature.
I was reading Poe and Hitchcock in Kindergarten; See Spot Run made me want to contemplate my first book burning. For loads of kids, See Spot Run is an appropriate threshold. For many, it’s insulting. I was reading titles like The Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Great Expectations, Kilobyte, A Matter of Taste and more in the first grade. So, my perspective on media for younglings is rather different. That being said, I also don’t believe every young person ought to embark on a journey with Saberhagen, and that’s pretty clear in my all ages writing.
How many of you are still reading? Felicitations; I do so love and adore individuals who don’t knee jerk and fly into rage. Let’s go on, shall we?
I established my own set of rules for all ages writing, as the rules the media said I ought to follow were followed by none and I don’t have a great deal of enthusiasm for what our youth are bombarded with today. I established that there would be absolutely no cursing in all ages books, the fight scenes would be toned down a bit from the Maverick line of novels (see: Tribus Dulce, Pretty Little Whispers, Blue Butterfly, Ochre Alleycat, the latter three you’ll get to buy later this year) and definitely would not have the possibility of depicting more graphic violence like my Leviathan line (see: Kill All Christians, Murder the Citizens, Blank Splattered Adagio, the latter two of which are tentative 2019 releases), and “adult situations” would be essentially non-existent.
I use that last term loosely; the day you’ll see a “graphic adult situation” in a Dragon House Studios novel will be the day I somehow let control of my enterprise be wrest from my iron grip. That day will not come.
In any case, Nora. I love writing this series and I’ve completed the second novel which will likely have a 2019 release, maybe mid-summer. I’m well into the third novel, and have adventures planned for the young warrior princess planned for years to come. There’s a measured difficulty in the release cycle; for fans of Tanielle she’s a fifteen-year-old young lady emerging into a world of wonder, knowledge and warfare, on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment (and goblins, swords, demons, monsters and interdimensional travel). For me, she’s seventeen and contemplating the responsibilities of the crown. Was that a spoiler? Well, it’ll serve you little good without context, dear readers!
The Nora Chronicles are very dear to my heart, as are all of my stories. Nora in particular is special for me for a lot of reasons. There’s a stark lack of people of color in media. Don’t point at Black Panther, Get Out and Us and say “BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT”, three movies in my lifetime do not a Kwanzaa make. That being said, I have perhaps the controversial opinion of not wanting to be pandered to. This isn’t to say I think it’d be a mortal sin for Idris Elba to play Bruce Wayne; that’d be the first time in years I’d willingly go see a DC property. What I mean is, I endeavor to create the change I want to see through original media, not through the breakneck acquisition of other properties that I then conform to my desires without consideration for the original properties or hopes and dreams of their creators.
I want to see more Black protagonists, and protagonists of every ethnicity. I want to see more positive Christian heroes that show our faith is badass and oft misunderstood. I want to see Christian Fiction that says “Keep your bake sales, that chick is riding a dragon and that dude is throwing fireballs!” I want to see a positive caliber of female lead that aren’t locked solely into the “manic pixie dream girl”, the femme fatale, and the “I’m mean to everyone because that’s how cool I am” lead.
I want to see all ages narratives, and narratives in general, depict positive strong platonic relationships. I want to remind people of every ethnicity, gender, age, identity, that you aren’t made strong and whole simply by the metric of dating someone, or more.
And yes, I said every identity, because I also want a world view where rather than both sides, yes both sides, and all sides, rushing to rage and vitriol and vilification, that instead we can rationally all look at one another and acknowledge that we’re all trying to survive, we all need to make it, and we don’t all have to be one hundred with one another to be human to one another.
So, Nora. Nora exists really because I had a dream about the waterwheel and I wanted a badass young black warrior princess narrative. And as a person Tanielle embodies a great deal of ideologies and moral fibers that I believe make her phenomenal lead. Tanielle is a young girl who won’t stand for bullying of any kind, whether you’re slandering Christianity, making homophobic remarks, or spitting in a girl’s hair. Tanielle is a girl who has had to and continues to have to work hard to overcome stentorian hardships in life. She is a young girl from a non-traditional family who would rather solve problems with love, but isn’t afraid to throw down when necessary to protect what she cares for.
So, who are the Nora books for? Well, a few simple questions will answer that for you.
Do you like stories of amazing action and adventure?
Do you like narratives with emotional depth?
Do you want to see a girl fight a demon spider army in a haunted library?
Do you think swords and the elements are cool?
Interdimensional travel your kinda thing?
Wanna watch a young girl go from high school student to warrior princess?
Do you like bacon? That last one has nothing to do with the narrative, but it proves you capable of making good, moral, rational and delightful decisions.
Then, Nora and the Eternal Waterwheel and upcoming sequel Nora and the Twilight Shadows and its presently being penned threequel Nora and the Realm of Whispers are perfect for you!
If you said no to any of the above, then you ought to read Nora and broaden your literary horizons; I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed!
-Eugene the Author