A handful of years ago my son, Gryphon, started writing the first draft of a shared-world novel for a character that had a brief appearance in my first book. After years of the struggle we all know far too well, he finished that draft and handed his novel over to me as his co-writer.
Obviously, I’m not just his co-writer, I’m also his dad. He was basically handing me his story baby and trusting me to guide it and protect it. I took that to heart and did my best to protect it from… myself.
As writers, authors, and creatives, some of us (if not all) are keenly aware of how easy it can be to get hurt with our art. Two creatives working together must learn to balance that creative spirit with the need to honor and respect each other’s vulnerability. At first, I was terrified. I was afraid that this commitment I’d made could potentially ruin my relationship with my son. Writing became almost impossible as I wrestled with my priorities in each role.
After months of the struggle, I finally came to terms with the fact that the only way forward was to address the elephant in the room: Ego. Gryph and I had a conversation about where the story was headed and the expectations that each of us had about how the book would turn out. I asked for his permission to make some changes that I felt would improve the book, while also adhering to the spirit of his story. I then gave him strict veto power over anything that I changed. He graciously accepted this arrangement.
With the freedom to write, and armed with a good understanding of his story, I set to work. When I was finished, the book had grown about 70,000 words. I handed it over to him, and nervously awaited his verdict.
I’m proud to say that, after a few minor changes, the book is complete and is now available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
Hard things are usually worth the struggle. I’m so happy that Gryphon trusted me with his novel and his writing. I’m glad that I was able to honor his story, and I’m excited that we get to share that story with the rest of the world.
Zachary Smith plays a powerful Barbarian in the world of Kingdoms Unbound.
Killing bosses and scoring loot isn’t just a fun pastime. For Zack and his party, it’s a way of life. It’s how they make their living. Before he can log in, however, one thing stands in his way.
While working on his assignment, he learns about a magical place. EndWorld Everlasting, a game world afterlife with monsters and quests and loot. Even though Zack has no plans of dying any time soon, it sounds like heaven on Earth, and it’s just what he needs to finish his assignment and log into the game. His party is already waiting for him in Kingdoms Unbound.
Zack doesn’t plan on dying, but when he does, he finds himself awakening to the world of his dreams. EndWorld Everlasting, a game for the dead.
And yet, something is wrong. He no longer feels like the powerful avatar he played in Kingdoms Unbound. Instead, he finds himself just as he is. A kid. Lost and alone… and weak.
Now he must choose his weapon and walk a new path. His eyes linger on the mighty battleaxe, but he knows he lacks the strength to wield it. When he chooses the staff, he unwittingly begins his journey as The Weakest Frost Mage.
The Weakest Frost Mage is the first book in the series: Magus Rising, and is a GameLit Dark Fantasy Adventure with soft LitRPG elements set in the digital world of EndWorld Everlasting.