After a sweeping introduction to the land of Empyrean, we finally meet the two main characters:
Zandria and Olena
Two sisters born four years apart. They spent their early childhood in the beach side village of Banookanook. My own girls are only eighteen months apart, but the older one definitely acts older and the younger is my baby.
I wrote this story for them, really for all four of my children, but especially for the two girls. Life's hard enough and being a parent makes it that much tougher. Here I had a chance to teach my girls some values, show them how important it is to be strong and independent. I could sneak a lesson into a make believe world of fairies and unicorns. That way, when they reach the age when they know more than me (probably twelve), it will be ingrained and my job will be done.
So yes, Zandria and Olena are my daughters. It's almost like having two sets of daughters. At least with one of the sets, I will have complete control over where they go, who they date, etc. Unfortunately, life is not as easy as coming up with an outline and writing a chapter.
I took some of the best traits of my girls and gave them to Zandria and Olena. I even stole some of their behaviors and idiosyncrasies. That click that Olena does when she has something important to say is real. Then I had to give them some things to make them different and allow them room to grow. My oldest is not nearly as self-centered as Zandria starts out...at least not yet, she's not a teenager.
I gave them a beautiful home and a happy life. Then I took it all away and threw them into a huge adventure. Even with two young girls as the main characters, I needed the story to have a broader appeal. The girls couldn't sit around building sand castles and playing dress-up.
So I sent my girls out into the world of Empyrean and I am going to do my best to keep them safe.