Years ago, I wanted to play sincerely with some standard fantasy tropes–quests and prophecies and such–while giving a nudge-wink to the expectations. It was intended to be a short story, but like most other of my intended short stories, it ended up much longer.
The Key earned first place in the quarterly Writers of the Future Contest, and originally appeared in the contest anthology. The prize for winning included an incredible week in Los Angeles where we writers attended a workshop taught by Tim Powers and KD Wentworth. While there, I had to write a short story that included the green lighter Tim gave me for “inspiration,” and I learned from KD that short stories had to “mutilate the cows on the first page.”
Now The Key is available as an ebook–and it includes a preview to the upcoming novel, Sword and Chant.
“For Benjas, a mercenary mage, finding the next Key is an important contract with great consequences. For Cassandra, a fanatical warrior, it’s the quest of a zealot. Secrets and fears pile up between them until success becomes more dangerous than failure, and only the Key can separate victors from victims.”