I'm StarFields, the author of In Serein.
In general life, I'm also known as Silvia Hartmann.
I have had a life long fascination with creativity, "fantasy", mind, language and metaphor and I love writing - poems, hypnotic inductions, meditations, how to books, essays, articles, fairy tales, lyrics, trainings, web copy, you name it, I've written it.
It was in 2000 that I became aware in the course of personal development that in all that writing, novels were missing. Novels like a great big black hole of nothing in my otherwise prolific timeline as an author. As soon as this had been realised, I knew exactly why that was. When I was 15 I wrote my first fantasy fiction novel, Diado, typed it on an old fashioned mechanical type writer and foolishly gave it to my mother to read for nervous feedback of a shit scared first timer.
My mother didn't actually read it, never opened it, it lay untouched on a cupboard in her room until the dust on it was about a finger's width thick, then I quietly took it away, mentioned it never again, and "somehow" didn't seem to think of writing novels anymore ...
N'duh, as we say in the trade ... ;->
So with that established, of course I wanted to write a novel. Something a bit special. Something that didn't look over its shoulder to try and not frighten the children, "write to a market", please unknown editors and literary agents.
All that is crap and sure it pays the bills in the Hard but it's not the art of writing.
Rather than "trying to think" of a story, I passed the job over to my energy mind and instructed it to sock it to me. Whatever it wanted. Whatever the words were, I would not argue but just go with it, take it down as it came, absolute artistic licence and no fear of having to try and flog it round a bunch of publishing houses afterwards.
I remember well sitting in front of my then desktop computer screen with the white document staring back at me and making these promises with my hand on my heart.
Then I heard loudly in my mind,
"As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a Serein."
And the rest was frantic typing without cease, rest or respite for about a year.
What an awesome experience that was.
I *lived* every single second of all those things that happen In Serein. I laughed, I cried, I freaked out whilst typing. If anyone ever tells you there's a better job than being a fantasy fiction author, you have my permission to laugh at them. They just don't know what they're talking about ...
And what completely blew me away that after 500,000 words, all these times, spaces and places, metaphors within metaphors and the kingdoms travelled back and forth so many times, after all those sunrises and sunsets as Lucian might say, this turns up in the very last chapter:
A scribe came sometime later, a nice young, very young man, pale he was, his hair unusual and nearly white and his fingers long and fine, stained with ink. He was very reverend and not a little scared of me and I told him that it wasn’t so important that his spelling should be accurate nor his letters in perfection, but that he should try and keep up and take down my words as I would speak them, try and keep them as I would speak them even if they didn’t always make sense, and not to get in the way or guess what it was that I might have meant.
He was an earnest thing and he promised me with his hand on his heart that he would do his best.
Wow. I was in awe of my energy mind to do all that and then tie it up like that.
And here's another thing about In Serein.
It wasn't edited. What you read is what I got. Minus one chapter which got lost during a techno-meltdown and I still mourn its passing ... the second time around, things are never the same, it's the live writing of the action as its happening that makes for the life of In Serein.
The version on the web here is still exactly as I typed it. No grammar corrections, no spelling corrections. Definitely no messing around with the structure, the chapters, the "characters" - what you read is what I saw, heard, felt, sensed, tasted, scented, lived, full stop.
I think that's important, why I do not know, but I feel it is, and it's right.
We have an anniversary ebook version which was edited by me - lightly, spell checked a bit, and sort of editorialised in what's italic and what isn't.
But the web version remains the real deal for me.
I told him that it wasn’t so important that his spelling should be accurate nor his letters in perfection, but that he should try and keep up and take down my words as I would speak them, try and keep them as I would speak them even if they didn’t always make sense, and not to get in the way or guess what it was that I might have meant.
Well, I did the best I could with that.
Awesome, awesome adventure for a writer, so glad I did this. I can only encourage anyone who has thought of writing their story to get on with it, do some EmoTrance, Project Sanctuary or Events Psychology (or all of them!) to get over their blockages and reversals, because this is an experience unlike any other.
Ok, so that's my ten cent's worth in 2011.
Thanks for being here and reading!
Author, In Serein
StarFields Diary: http://starfields.ws
Author's Bio: http://dragonrising.com/authors/Silvia_Hartmann/
Fantasy Fiction by StarFields