Let me tell you a little about the beginnings of creating this story. I’m thirty years old now. But the idea for The Journals of Ravier series started back when I was fifteen. It was in the Fall, the first week of school. Oh yeah! I almost forgot to mention I was homeschooled K – 12th grade. Though not an ideal way to grow up, as I spent a lot of time alone, I survived. A lot of things happened, prior to school starting that year. I was never the same. This story helped me to stay sane, during a time in my life when I was lost and lonely; hurting so, so bad inside. I needed an escape. And I got it through writing that first horrible, ugly draft in a spiral-bound notebook. It’s true what the battle-scarred authors say. First drafts are never pretty. The original story began with something like this: ‘What if horses had wings, and could fly? A boy once found this horse, and he named her Angel. He found her in the woods by his home. A boy named, Tyler Craven. This is their story.’ Not a good beginning, I’ll admit. But it was a beginning.
In 2005, around the time Hurricanes Katrina then Rita hit, is when I made the start. It was such a sad year. Yet a good year. Lovely Texans opening their hearts to their Louisiana neighbors . . . that was a beautiful thing. Recently home from a lengthy visit to Texas, my heart was bursting with so many emotions. Through it, I found a love for writing. And here I am, fifteen years later. My third book will be out, at the end of this year or sometime at the start of 2021.
In 2013, I changed the focus of the story. I made it better. Closer to what it is now. Caucasian Tyler Craven became Tyler Malik Ravier—half Caucasian, half Iraqi. Angel was renamed to Awngelic and then finalized as Awngeleik, similar in sound to the name of Angelique. I won’t even mention what Gemma Galloway’s name used to be. I will say this, however. Tadashi’s name was Ted! Amira was Gloria. All the characters were Caucasian. But I changed that, in 2013. Started thinking of new things. New names. New storylines. Then I wrote a rough draft, in 2015. That draft became the foundation for the first three books in Tyler Ravier’s series.
I’ve spent countless hours dreaming of the landscape of Muraine, tweaking it as needed . . . I wanted something unique. See, I grew up in a place with few trees around. Southwestern Wyoming. Always took twice as long for trees to grow to a “normal” size. It was a place at risk of droughts, well, quite a lot. Very dry. Unbelievably windy. Lots of snow, in the winter (usually). As you can imagine, I wanted a place vastly different to escape to. A place with lots of trees. Hence, Paragon was born. A model of excellence. The ideal sort of place I’d love to escape to. I later realized it needed a foreign name. Therefore, Pawv’Ragaen it became. I think that was in 2014.
Writing the books in this series has been a wild ride. I never thought I’d be an author. Though I’m self-published, I’m proud of it. Proud of the work I’ve put it. My writing isn’t perfect, but it is heartfelt. I’m honored to be the author, who’s steering Tyler’s story. Being a writer is so many things, really. I hope the product of my imagination wins you over. And know that I’m just warming up. I can feel it. Tyler demands that more be said than what the three books contain. And who am I to stand in the way of an amazing story being told through his eyes? Truly, there are days I simply feel like the characters are writing the story. That I’m their voice. Lol! I feel what they feel. I laugh with them, cry with them, cheer for them. As they grow, I grow. Not the other way around. Being a writer has changed who I am, as a person. I’m better, kinder, stronger. I actually like who I am. I didn’t, before. I simply existed. But that’s not living.
In parting, I must tell you . . . if you want a dream badly enough, chase it. Don’t give up. Just know that it takes time. Persevere.
J.R. Vaineo is a self-published indie author, residing in Salt Lake City, UT. In 2018, she published her first book: Kings of Muraine. When she’s not writing, she and her husband, Jessie, have many adventures together. Mostly in cooking, hiking, photography, analytical talks, and fawning over their two adorable fur-babies.
While J.R. Vaineo writes mostly fantasy fiction—combining elements of epic, portal, paranormal, and dark fantasy—she enjoys reading all genres; except, perhaps, for horror stories. After finishing a creative writing program, through the Institute of Children’s Literature, she continued to improve her craft of writing. In 2013, she graduated with her AA degree in psychology. During that time, she expanded on many things, especially focusing on what would prove invaluable for fleshing out characters and plot twists. What started out as a writing prompt, in 2005, has now become a nine book series she is currently working on: The Journals of Ravier. Sometimes, she is quite jealous of the characters’ abilities, found within her own writing. If that is a sign of anything, it is this: Obsession.
All the best,
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Thank you so much to Julie for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her story with BnV and Word Mongery and Musings 🙂