How the Karakesh Chronicles Began

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The Green Man, from Growing Magic, Book V

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my fantasy-adventure series.

Tangled in Magic, the first book of the Karakesh Chronicles, began as a handmade gift for my twin godchildren, then 12 years old.  It was titled The Three Seductions.  I printed out two copies, folded and sewed the pages, and glued fancy paper to the book board covers.

I even drew some illustrations.

The main characters are the twins Agatha and Malcolm, who live in the dangerous, magical kingdom of Karakesh.  Agatha, age fifteen, embarks on a quest to find Malcolm, who is held prisoner by an evil warlock.

During the next five years, I wrote stories for magazines.  One of my short stories was published in Stinkwaves.  The editors of Stinkwaves, Nicole and Tevin Hansen, sent out a call for submissions to their authors.  I offered the first chapters of The Three Seductions.  They wrote back: Send the whole book.

Handersen Publishing is a small independent press that carries the work of the editors as well as a widespread group of authors.  As a team, the Hansens are both accessible and talented. 

We ended up merging two short novels together: Agatha’s search for Malcolm, and their harrowing journey back to Hawk Hill to repossess their home from the greedy warlock, Santer.  In order to keep track of their wanderings across Karakesh, I made a map.

Tangled in Magic appeared in print in 2017, with illustrations by Alison Gagne Hansen.

Carl III by Alison Gagne Hansen

But I couldn’t stop writing about the kingdom of Karakesh.  I had so many questions: Who was the little girl Agatha found staked out to die in the forest?  What happened to her?  The answers came in Book II, Guided by Magic (2018).  In that book, two sisters are kidnapped and put to work in the dwarves’ mines.  Such practices surely caused trouble in Karakesh.  My wonderings about Karakesh’s royal government merged with a selkie legend to inspire Book III, Awakening Magic (2019).  What if a girl is half selkie and half human?  Does she belong on land or in the sea? Demara faced that problem in Book IV, Ripples of Magic (2019).

The final published book of the Karakesh Chronicles follows Bimi Lightfoot, the adopted brother of Demara from Book IV.  Bimi Lightfoot’s faerie mother gave him away when he was a baby.  But who is his father?  Someday, Bimi promises himself, he’ll seek out both his parents.

That day comes sooner than Bimi expects, when his faerie cousin, Liri Flare, sweeps him into the sky on a mission to steal a horse.  Once away from his adoptive family, Bimi sets out to find his mother and learn the truth about his father.  He gets help from some of the magical folk of Karakesh, but other encounters are downright life-threatening. 

What started out as a present for two children in the family expanded into the realization of a lifelong dream: to have my stories (and illustrations) published.  It’s been a great gift.

Find the Karakesh Chronicles on Amazon at

https://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Magic-Karakesh-Chronicles-Ellis

or from www.handersenpublishing.com