The Story Behind The Story
Welcome dear reader,
If you’re here it probably means you’ve read/are currently reading the Chronicles of Galadria and you’d like to know more about their origin and the writing process. Or perhaps you intend to get started but you’d like to know what to expect?
Whatever the case you’ve come to the right place! However before going any further I’d like to mention a blog article I wrote entitled “10 tips to write a novel” which is exclusively based on the experience gathered during the writing of my novel and as such gives a good overview of the backstage behind my work (with several anecdotes), on top of providing (hopefully) useful advice for those interested in writing something.
Anyway, let me now tell you more about the story behind the story of the Chronicles of Galadria…
7 Years in the “Other World”
It took me 7 years to write the novel “Chroniques de Galadria” (Chronicles of Galadria), from 13 to 20 years old. I completed it a couple of months before moving to Sweden; the start of a “new life”…
The story has of course been modified many times during that period and so has the phrasing, as my French evolved. But multiple elements remained the same: the dream, the philosophical dimension, the idea Magg/Protector and other key points I won’t reveal here (it would be a shame to spoil the surprise!).
During those 7 years the “CG”, as we call them, took more or less all of my time. I was focused on adding to the story everything I lived, saw, discovered or experienced. I was living in this world rather than reality, in a way…
The core idea of a “dream” was actually inspired by my own situation. Indeed, during these years I wanted to live in this “Other World”, and the answer to this desire took the shape of a book. And I had to reach the very end of the tale to realize that, in truth, life itself is a dream!
Another interesting element is the disturbing link between what happened to me in my life and the part of the story I was writing at that moment. The most obvious example is definitely the discovery of the book “Le Guerrier Intérieur” (The Inner Warrior) by Thierry Pasquier and the consequences on my life – deeply changed – just as I was starting the end of the tale. Basically while I was discovering how I wanted to live my life from then on, with the departure to Sweden in the background, Glaide was also reaching the end of his adventure, when it’s time to draw conclusions and summarize what has been learned. And this is just an example among others; all of my personal evolution naturally found its place in the story.
The Other Authors
I was not alone in my work, however. I did start when I was 13, motivated by the publishing of the book “La Prophétie des Pierres” (The Stones’ Prophecy) written by the – back then! – very young Flavia Bujor (I wanted to be a very young published author too!), but it’s only when reaching 17 years old and after receiving support from my French teacher Sylviane Bouvier, who loved the first chapters of the first volume (the only part written at the time), that I truly got to work: I wrote a minimum of one page/night, reworked what would become the first volume, etc.
Until that time the book itself had only been a vague idea in the background (I was initially thinking about a short tale, under 100 pages), even though the idea of the “Other World” and my dreams associated with it were always there. But suddenly it became a central part of my life, and while I was moving forward one of my childhood friends slowly became one of the most important persons to me. Indeed, Arthur Clément spent his time discussing with me every single aspect of the CG, discovering each character, giving me ideas when I was stuck, drawing sketches of the world map and, in the end, living the adventure just the way I was living it. He is probably the only person able to understand what this journey means, and he is still by my side, now that we work on translating and spreading that story.
Although I tried to thank him at the end of the 6th volume, along with others who had a key role in the making of this book, I’m afraid there is no way for me to do him justice… Thanks again old friend!
The Place of Music
One of the last elements to mention is certainly music. The general idea of the Chronicles of Galadria came to me after playing Final Fantasy X and also when listening to music; the game’s soundtrack, other soundtracks from movies, animes and other games, and also other kinds of music.
I’ve always loved music and it turned out to be a very important element in the making of this book. So important in fact that I ended up composing my own pieces, related to the CG (the “Chroniques de l’Autre Monde” albums).
In the beginning I simply used this existing story as a base to find inspiration, but now listening to my compositions allows me to experience once more the intensity of this adventure: I see the images, feel the emotions…
So feel free to listen to all that to extend the journey or simply to make it more intense!
Online Publishing and the Beginning of a New Era
I thought initially that I’d be satisfied with keeping the completed novel in a shelf and only share it occasionally with friends and close aquitances. And for 2,5 years that’s exactly what I did (probably also because I needed to leave that phase of my life behind me and build something new in Sweden).
Yet the idea of publishing the story and making it available to the general public never really left me, and while looking for alternatives to traditional publishing (I did give it a try early on but it was just too much trouble and I didn’t like the idea of handing over the rights) I stumbled upon Smashwords, who were busy pioneering e-book self-publishing. The company’s vision, their arguments in favor of e-books (at a time when e-readers started poping up everywhere) and the ability to retain my rights and thus draw back at any time convinced me. They also reminded me of how I had published my music, which I never regreted doing, and so far I’ve never looked back!
What I didn’t know however is that rather than being the final step in the creation of the Chronicles of Galadria, this reawakened my interest in the story. Indeed, I had to read it again several times to correct mistakes and even adjust big chunks that didn’t make much sense (thus improving the book as a whole), and in doing so I realized just how much I wanted to share the messages it contained with the world. In a sense I discovered that this novel wasn’t just a teenager’s way of dealing with teenagehood; there was something in there that could appeal to a broader audience. Both as an adventure or journey to follow, and as a source of reflections over one’s life.
Today the Chronicles of Galadria are being translated into several languages and I’ve put together videos that combine the texts with their soundtrack. Other ideas include creating audiobooks (or even an audio saga!) and the creation of paperback versions. Yet these are very time-consuming tasks that compete with my other activities so for now I’ve put them aside.
What I do focus on however, which represents perhaps the ultimate version of that story (the one that truly tells the tale I wish to tell), is the production of an animation series based on the novel.
Yet the common point behind all projects connected to the Chronicles of Galadria is that I do not see myself as an author; I simply wrote a story very dear to me, which I think was necessary for my development as an individual, but without the aim of becoming a professional. And today I would like the CG to be a source of entertainment but also reflection, inspiration, and maybe even teachings for some. And although I’m sure the background of Galadria is rich enough to give birth to multiple sequels, prequels and other side stories, it will nevertheless not happen; I leave to my audience, may it be readers, listeners or viewers, the responsibility to make this world their own and to create the missing parts. My role ends with the tale of the life I would have liked to have at the time – the life of Glaide, a man whose dream came true…