It's probably part of my OCD characteristics that I tend to keep fairly detailed notes about every story I write. When was it written? Where did the idea come from? Did it undergo major changes from the draft form or not? Where was it published?
I usually include this information in books I publish through Razored Zen Press. However, the answers to my standard questions are a little different than normal for the story Mage, Maze, Demon, which was recently published by Beat to a Pulp. I thought I might share them here.
First, the catalyst for writing Mage, Maze, Demon did not come from within but from without. A couple of years back, I got an intriguing email from David Cranmer, the editor at Beat to a Pulp. He was thinking about publishing some stories in honor of Kyle Knapp, his nephew who had died, and was looking for writers who might develop tales based on prompts from Kyle’s dream journal. The prompt he was considering me for was: “I was a barbarian warrior trying to escape a maze.” I liked the idea of developing such a piece and decided to give it a go.
David said there was no particular deadline so I worked on the story off and on during the fall of 2013 and showed it to my writing group in December. I put the finishing touches on it in early January of 2014. Often, stories spring into my head with many of the details already laid out, but that wasn’t the case with Mage, Maze, Demon. The plot underwent several alterations and title changes before I settled on the final version. The name of character also underwent some changes. Since the root of the story came from Kyle Knapp’s journal, I wanted a character name to evoke that, and finally settled on Bryle.
In early 2016, Mage, Maze, Demon was released as an ebook by Beat to a Pulp, and this was followed in April 2016 by a paperback release (Out Now). The print version has two excellent bonus stories included, “The Lizard’s Ardent Uniform” by Chris F. Holm, and “Babylon Heist” by Garnett Elliott.
I was very pleased to take part in this project and am happy with how the story turned out. Bryle became a character that I liked very much, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his adventures don’t continue somewhere down the line.