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Today’s Spotlight: How a night of Dungeons and Dragons inspired our story.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Welcome to the first edition of the OTC! Each month Rachel and I, Ann Marie, will share with you a sneak peek into our fantasy world of Euphrasia. We shall begin by telling you a bit about ourselves and how our writing adventure began. Rachel has a fantastic imagination. Her love of sci-fi and fantasy allows her to create the most intriguing characters. She used her love of role-playing games to help harness her creativity in building worlds and storylines. This process sparked a passion for writing witty dialogue and exciting battle scenes.

As for myself, I’ve been a storyteller all my life. I remember being five and writing little poems for my teachers, eventually creating fan-fiction stories about my favorite bands Duran Duran & Prince and the Revolution. While at college, I wrote a screenplay for a movie that my class filmed for a senior project.

Rachel and I also had the pleasure of working with a local high school drama department. I directed plays at Steelton-Highspire School for a few years and complained to Rachel that I could not find a good script for my students. So she wrote a modern adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and an original script called Dead End Inn, a combination of the Adams Family, Munsters, and Dark Shadows.

Rachel and I have known each other for over eighteen years. She introduced me to the role-playing world of Dungeons and Dragons. We would hang out with her friends and play a few times a month. I was awful! My first character was a humanoid creature pushed down a well… by Rachel’s character! But that’s a whole different story to tell!

One day, we cleaned out some old boxes in her grandfather’s attic and came across old character sheets from a DnD game several years prior. She told me about the campaign and the characters. A few days later, I pestered her about turning it into a book. Over the years, I had dabbled in writing stories, but I could never come up with anything that held my attention. Once Rachel told me about her characters and how she wanted to focus on being a strong female character, I was hooked.

Rachel developed the story using the characters of Mug, Eugor, and Gideon. Now I would love to tell you that it took no time to flesh this idea out for publication. In reality, it took us ten years and many drafts until the story finally felt right. As I mentioned, Rachel wanted a female lead, so we decided to give Eugor a daughter named Raven. She would become our heroine.

We watched fantasy movies, read fantasy novels, asked friends and family members who loved the genre they thought made up a good story. We worked with her cousin Kevin, who had been part of the original DnD campaign, to input a few key story ideas. Then one Christmas, Rachel asked her two young boys to create characters at the time, 10 and 12. They wrote two of the characters in our world, Jarz and Aushade. So that’s how it began.

We had a fantastic journey writing our first novel in the series, and we hope you will enjoy Raven Naelo and the Artifact of the Stolen Souls. We are in the middle of edits for the second book of the series, Raven Naelo and the Fall of the Guardians, which will be out this fall.

If you would like more information about our books and merchandise, please visit our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

On behalf of Rachel and myself, We thank you for joining our adventure. Until next time, fare thee well, friends.

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