This novella is on Amazon now!
What's the story here? In the original series, Chels always wondered about how her mother's connection to the spire singer Derran. There were reasons why I didn't want to get into that question within the series, but I knew it was a story that was much more than just them meeting up on Derran's perch in the city.
So a few years ago I decided, with a friend's urging, to see what more I could write about Chels's mother, Nalariana. From the series it's known that she's Neshini and that she immigrated to Spire City some years before Chels's birth, but not as a child herself.
It's also known that the land of Nesh has been growing steadily colder over the years, that much of the land, by the time of the series, is no longer inhabitable. No doubt that was already beginning to happen when Nalariana decided to leave.
So that's where the story began. As I knew would happen, Nalariana--or Nalra as she sometimes called herself--quickly became a vivid character in her own right. And her journey of self discovery was one I found fascinating.
The story, I want to emphasize, works for people brand new to the setting as well as for those who read all the original episodes. It stands alone and has its own feel, its own arc quite separate from the rest—but of course those who've read the episodes will want this peek into an earlier time period as well.
Is it steampunk?
Well, the industrial revolution is beginning by this time, but it is a generation before the other stories, and the country where it takes place is much more at the periphery than Spire City is. So it feels a little less steampunk while still exploring the ideas of change and development that interest me in steampunk. At the same time there's a definite quest fantasy (where the quest is one of personal discovery) feel to the story as Nalra travels northward.
Whatever you want to call it, give it a read and enjoy!