While I was writing the Edge of the Known series...
I drew upon some of my own experiences as a songwriter and performer. Brandon Chane - poet, singer, guitarist and narrator of the story cycle - taught me that some of the things that our hearts urge us to seek are worth risking everything for.
Whether a reader sees my protagonist as reckless or courageous will depend a lot upon whether he or she shares the longings that Brandon would throw his fate to the wind to follow.
Musicians face the relentless message that their chances of “making it” are a million to one. But similar things are often said of the writer’s vocation as well. Both paths require uncounted hours of devotion to developing a craft that may never pay off.
And yet you often hear it said, from the ones who have persevered and succeeded, that they couldn’t really have done anything else. When you come into this world with something to say then you must say it or else never really know peace inside yourself.
For my imagined band, Edge of the Known, though, any breakthrough only really counts if they achieve it on their own terms. Attaining fame or monetary reward while betraying their Muse would be no better than resigning themselves to their day jobs. They have to be true to their vision at all costs, and trust that it will see them through.
My own definition of success changed profoundly as I wrote Brandon’s story.
It’s sometimes worthwhile to turn away from a path that offers possible material rewards in order to pursue a course that fulfills one’s soul. But that also doesn’t mean that I, much like Brandon, don’t still long to grab ahold of the one so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of the other.