Why do we write?
I mean, we can say it’s about fame, fortune, but as someone that has been talking to authors, publishers, and editors for quite some time on my podcast Just Joshing (https://jpantalleresco.podomatic.com for those that want to check it out) most of us write for the simple reason that we seek understanding. Understanding of the world we live in, and understanding ourselves and our place in it.
More so, as time as gone on, I’ve been able to go to deeper places in my writing. In doing so, I find that the work is better because of it. Writing from the head, the technical details, all add polish to the piece, but the meat and potatoes of any experience is the emotional connection we establish to our readers. So for me, I find the more personal you get, the stronger the work is.
This year reinforced that opinion.
Writing The Wandering God and The Cloud Diver at the same time made me think otherwise at first. The Wandering God is the send of an epic poetry series and The Cloud Diver is a very different animal I’m starting. They don’t have really that much in common.
Yet both stories are touching on key things that are happening in my life right now.
The Wandering God was written at a point where I needed to make changes. My teeth need to be fixed and I had been neglecting this for a number of reasons. This year I could no longer avoid it. It meant dealing with a lot of things from my past. How I looked at myself, and kind of who and where I want to be next.
This has been nearly ten years in the making. I looked at the shape of my teeth as a battle scar. I’ve chased my dreams and got the opportunity to work with my heroes, and paid the price. A price I’m okay with. I never ever really got deeper than that until I decided to fix it. The emotions that came as a result surprised me. The anger, the brokenness, the fear…it hit me.
I never realized it was there. It surprised me and took me awhile to adjust. I relived some moments and it made me more resolute to let some things go. Is all my anger gone? No. But, I look at some of this time a little differently. There were a lot of people that helped me. I need to change, and my teeth are the last remnant of that time. A time I need to let go off.
Yeah, sure, I’m not dealing with dragons or flying saucers or post apocalyptic dystopias, but in many ways writing this book was about letting go of people and characters that I care very much about. That was not an easy thing to do.
Getting rid of my self image; how I saw myself before, and how I want to see myself after, was a very hard struggle. Some people saw some things that surprised them. I got a letter from a friend who heard some of the pain who was there when I went through what I did and apologized to me. She had nothing to be sorry for.
If anything, I needed to be grateful for what I had even in that time. Friends like her were precious. They were there for me when I needed them.
The Wandering God is also about the end of a journey. The Watcher, Kristen, Will and Nicki come face to face with everything they’ve been through since the Watcher left the compound in book one. One of my favorite chapters in The Wandering God is entitled the Glass Cage. In that chapter, Kristen looks at her captors and saw things about herself, who she was, in comparison to who she is. It was a real moment of growth for her, and she became stronger for it. It’s probably one of my favorite chapters in the book. Kristen is still probably my favorite character to write. Even more so than the Watcher, I thought she grew quite a bit.
Now does she get a happily ever after? You’ll need to read and find out.
Life takes it toll, as it does in The Wandering God. My characters must change, as life moves on. So does this author, whether he wants to or not. Somehow, it never occurred to me to see the themes of what I experience and how they apply to my fiction.
Greater Worlds than These
Following the events of Stormdancer, The Watcher receives a vision in a dream of a city in turmoil. The dream haunts him, as does the voice that insistently repeats, ‘Help me,’ night after night. Leaving the safety of the tower of scientists behind, the Watcher and his friends embark on their final journey to locate the source of the message and come face to face with their most difficult obstacle yet: doubt.
Though they trust the Watcher, Kristen and the others can’t help but fear that the voice in his head is driving him mad and leading them all to their deaths. Even the Watcher is afraid. He knows that listening to this voice risks everything he has obtained up until this point, but he can’t help but continue to follow it, driven forward by curiosity and an instinctive need.
Beyond volcanoes, rock people, and deserts of nothing but crystal, lies the City at the End of the World. And there, the Wandering God awaits…
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“Joshua Pantalleresco paints a stunning and vivid world through poetry and takes the reader on an adventure that is well worth a read.” ~Christine Steendam, award-winning author of the Ocean series and Foremost chronicles
Meet the Author and the Illustrator of The Wandering God:
Joshua Pantalleresco writes stuff…and podcasts too. He writes poetry, prose, comics and other mediums as well as hosts his own podcast show Just Joshing available on Itunes. He lives in his own head most of the time, and likes ice cream and baileys.
The Wandering God is his third book through Mirror World Publishing. He lives in Calgary. His webpage is http://jpantalleresco.wordpress.com and his twitter is @jpantalleresco.
Florence Chan is an illustrator, designer and 3D modeller from Calgary, Alberta, now living in Toronto, Canada. She is the illustrator of Marilyn Marsh Noll’s ‘Jonathan and the Magical Broomstick’ and Joshua Pantalleresco’s ‘The Watcher’ and ‘Stormdancer’ and has contributed to Jason Mehmel’s comic anthology ‘Fight Comics’ as well as Damian Willcox’s ‘Dorkboy: 1995-2015 Two Dorkades and Counting’.
Her work can be found at www.florencechan.ca
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