I began writing The Dragondain eight years ago, which may seem like a strangely long time ago for a second book in series that debuted as an ebook last year. But I can explain. You see, I write the books in the Moon Realm series two at a time. After I get the barest framework into my mind, I write just a sentence or two for what will become each chapter on a piece of paper. I really like when the books are this small. It’s very easy for me to hold it all in my little brain, and see how everything is connected. As soon as it feels like there’s some solidity to it all, I expand the sentences to one or two paragraphs. I spend the most time here, playing with things: trying things on, throwing things out, adding characters, cutting characters. It’s daunting, knowing that whatever I write during this time will shape everything that happens for the next two books, so I stay with it until I’m insanely happy. The instant I reach that state of happy madness, I expand those paragraphs into two-page chapter treatments (that all happens on my laptop).

And just like that: I knew EXACTLY how the first two books would go.

After I’d drafted the first two books, I didn’t touch them again for six months. But then life stepped in and stretched that out a little longer. When I finally got back to it, I made many passes on both books before ever showing them to my first editor. Getting back that first big edit from my editor is always a study in red pen. We hand the thing back and forth until it’s ready for a read-aloud. It took us about a year to get to the point where I started sending out chapters to my second editor.

Now, I’d been thinking about going through the traditional agent/publisher route at this point, meaning I figured a third editor would be assigned to me before it reached print. But after I decided to form Gibbering Gnome Press, I knew that wouldn’t happen. So my first editor and I went through a third series of passes, just on The Moon Coin, followed by my second editor, followed by one very final pass. Imagine, write, repeat.

About Richard Due

Richard Due (pronounced “Dewey”) first imagined the Moon Realm while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in Southern Maryland, where he and his wife have owned and operated Second Looks Books since 1991. The Moon Coin is the first novel in the Moon Realm series. Visit TheMoonRealm.com for more information.

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