How Darkwater came to be
Now I could come right out and say, that I had been developing the world of Xenkur for decades. Toiled over the characters and had an epiphany about writing the book. Puff up my chest so I sound grandiose, “Hey I wrote a novel, look at me!” But the truth is only a small portion of that would be true and I loathe to the core of my soul “hype” for the single purpose of career advancement. That means I would never make it in Hollywood :( The real truth to how Darkwater came to be is so much more ordinary and so much more extraordinary.
I started playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was twelve or thirteen. That’s about the same time I started reading fantasy fiction. I was an unhappy teen (aren’t most?) Found home life boring and annoying, my friends were hell-raisers and druggies and school was a joke. So I turned inward and D&D was a way for me to have a ‘life’ that was thrilling. I mean how much more exciting can life get than using magic and fighting dragons?
Fast-forward to an early 2017. I was at a crossroads, financially and emotionally. I was praying and asking God (sorry if you’re not religious, I am) “What do you (God) want me to do to make a living.” I asked many times a day for a few weeks. I never ‘heard’ an answer in my ear. Yet, clearly God did answer me. I woke up one day and started typing. It had not even occurred to me to writing a novel. Two and half months later, Darkwater was written. A couple more months of editing, etc. and done!
Originally I set out to write three books. The Xenkur trilogy. While I wrote the first book, Darkwater, I had a few ideas for other books. So I thought, yeah, I can write half a dozen books. That would be a solid side income. That’s when God opened the floodgates. I now have fifty-nine (yes 59!) book ideas. That should keep me writing for the next 15 years.
And that’s how Darkwater came to into existence.
Q: Why did you want to become of Knight of the Rose?
A: I felt it my duty. Something inside me, since I was a child, told me to help those who cannot help themselves. I felt I could do this best as a sword arm for Duros.
Q: Can you tell us what happened. Why you are not a Knight of the Rose?
A: I am sorry that is a subject I do not wish to discuss.
Q: If you could live anywhere in Xenkur, where would it be?
A: Hmm... I’ve always been partial to the mountains. They bring out a peace in me I have not found anywhere else. Though I have not seen them, I have heard the Violet Mountains are beautiful.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
A: No. My parents were killed when I was a young child. I was raised by my paternal grandfather.
Q: Is there a woman in your life?
A: Umm... (Rollin fell silent and refused to answer this question)
Q: Do you believe having women in the knighthood is a positive experience?
A: Absolutely. Women have an innate internal strength you won’t find in their male counterparts. They are excellent problem solvers and in my experience have a much better grasp on their emotions then men.
Q: Tell us what is a Black Paladin?
A: A Knight of the Rose that, for whatever reason, is removed from knighthood is cast out of the organization. From the day forward his name in the rosters of the Knights is crossed out in black ink. He is branded a Black paladin and the red rose on his shield is re-painted in black.
Q: How did you get the title, The Winter Dragon?
A: (Rollin laughed) Someone else will have to tell you that story.
Q: What is next for Rollin Ayymon?
A: Difficult to say. I have plans, though Duros may change them at a moment’s notice. For now I will do what I can to help others. Stay close to my friends and do right by those who need me.
DW is an author and an artist. He has been creating paintings and photographs for over 40 years. He lives in Eastern Kansas with his daughter, a large epileptic dog, two cats, and a barnyard of chickens and ducks.