"She was here. She was everywhere. She walked with him as she always had along the backcountry trails, over the talus fields, through the swollen streams of spring, and across the frozen lakes of winter..."
Chronicles of the Two Worlds
Naomi Lea Sawyer & Charles Arthur Sale
Naomi Lea Sawyer and I became a writing team on 25 August 2010. She had begun work on The Successor much earlier. We met, held discussions, and soon entertained the strong suspicion that together as writers we would be more than the sum of our parts.
The writing began over the top of Naomi’s earlier work, and the final manuscript, completed nearly six years later, retained the essence of her original work, both in plot and theme. Some elements were added. Others were tossed aside. Some characters proved elusive. Others came forward in a rush, whether we wanted them to or not. We edited, wrote, edited again, rewrote, cut here, added there, rewrote—and on and on in the seemingly endless cycle that novelists must endure.
In the meantime, we discovered we had other interests in common. We climbed mountains in the warm sun and bitter cold, forded streams flooded by spring runoff, and followed uncertain routes to even less certain destinations in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the Superstition Wilderness of Southern Arizona, and the red rocks of Sedona to the north. I re-engaged an old hobby—ham radio—and she took it up with a passion, pushing us both to the highest rating in amateur radio and requiring us to assemble and disassemble many antenna arrays on many summits. She, a humble pianist, and I, a humble cellist, also played music together. And, of course, we were photographers and journalists of everything we experienced.
All of this was plowed into the book, often in most unexpected ways. The Successor is a fantasy novel, but the characters in it and the trials they endure are quite real to us—and we think they will be to you as well. You will search in vain for us in the book because we are not there in any one character or relationship. You may, however, find yourself.
--Charles Arthur Sale
Sometimes it is helpful to stand back and look at your whole life, all of it, all at once. See where you are, where you have been, and where you are headed. That is the beauty of maps. Maps tell us a little about ourselves--where we have travelled and what our goals are. If you can locate yourself on a map you can find where you have been, where you have zigged when you should have zagged, what peaks you have scaled and valleys you have dropped low into. Seeing all this can help you plan for your future. I look back on my life and see how all my experiences brought me to this day, this very moment. They shaped and influenced me in innumerable ways to help me become a better writer, a better person, a better friend. It is a pleasure to share with all of you, through our book, The Successor, a piece of us and our journey through life. Enjoy, and good luck on your own journey.
--Naomi Lea Sawyer