Message From The Author

Author's Message

The word “light” conjures thoughts of goodness, clarity, energy, and health. It’s a happy word — a word full of bubbles, warmth, and exultation. In Tiger’s Destiny, I create a magical world beneath an ocean volcano that is lit with fire, but in this realm the light is surrounded by darkness, a blackness that threatens to snuff out the flames along with the lives of my heroes.

The idea for Bodha, The City of Light, came when I was researching mythological cities. Since Tiger’s Destiny had a fire theme, I knew I wanted to incorporate lava tubes, volcanoes, and a setting hot enough to melt the pages, just in case my valiant princes didn’t already do that.

I’d wanted to use a myth that came from Indian culture but I just couldn’t find one that fit what I was looking for. Turning to some of my favorite stories, I rediscovered Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth — a fabulous classic science fiction novel from 1864 that has been adapted for film several times over the years.

I’d always been fascinated by the adventures in all of Jules Verne’s books but was doubly interested in the danger encountered by the characters as they descended the ancient volcano. Giant mushrooms, ancient creatures, and an underwater ocean stirred my imagination, and my underground fire realm began to take shape.

As in A Journey to the Center of the Earth, my characters travel via lava tubes. They enter a world of fire trees with leaves that shift colors from white to orange to red, meet fire demons with tattoos that flame to life in the darkness and snuff out when they hunt, and battle the Lords of the Flame, two god-like brothers who rule the fire realm while seeking for their long lost love.

I tried to create a world that was full of both brilliance and darkness, good and evil, the warmth of life and the cold of death — a place that challenged my characters. As she fights real demons, Kelsey is finally able to finally face her inner demons as well, and she emerges from the fire realm cleansed, invigorated, and with a new sense of purpose.

As my readers descend into this island caldera, I hope they feel the brush of a fire tree tendril against their cheeks, smell the warm scent of a fire flower, taste the juice of a fire fruit, and feel the heat of the fire realm. Just remember, readers, if you stay too long, you also risk succumbing to an eternal sleep, becoming the prey of Rakshasa demons, or the concubine of a volcano god.

Enter with caution.

- Colleen Houck

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