Author has written 5 stories for Warriors, and Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom word glossary and LightningClan allegiances are at the bottom of the page
Hello there :)
I enjoy Warrior Cats, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and a lot of other series.
I dislike anything that's on Disney Channel and basically anything else that's popular (with the exception of book series). On this site, the things that irritate me are Create-A-Cat stories, people who beg for reviews, people who only read stories because it's got lots of reviews, and that rule saying we can't write summaries or author notes. There is a difference between explaining things to a reader and spam. For a good 20-chapter story, sometimes you really do need a bit more than 100 characters or whatever it is to explain the gist.
After finishing my research, I write a storyline. This is a brief summary of what's going to happen in the story. When I say 'brief' I mean really rather brief, like two pages long. Then, I write my character notes, which describes each main character in the story, and then decide which one(s) will be the perspective(s) for the story.
I then write a prologue, the first chapter, and an epilogue. The epilogue in The Wolf and the Warriors was actually written at the same time as the prologue. I find it helps give you a direction to follow when writing your story--a finishing point you want to end up at.
When writing actual chapters, aside from a general idea of what I want to happen, I do no preparation at all. I literally sit down at the keyboard and let the words come to me. I'm sorry I don't have any more information than that.
When you're writing any story, be it a book or a fanfiction, remember that your story is not just a story. It's the doorway into another world, a world that you've created. ((In the case of fanfiction, it is still your own world, it just happens to resemble another world)). You are the master of that world, and anything you want can happen in it. However, it's still a whole world, and just as with the world we're in, strange things can happen without your direct intervention. It's just fate. So if you find that your story is taking new and unexpected turns, unless those turns are in the exact opposite direction from where you want to go, let it happen. When reading back on my stories, especially from my younger days, I'll stumble across a particularly good part of the story and I'm like, wow, did I really write that? The answer: no, you were seized by the power of literary inspiration. The words came from a higher realm in the universe; we are merely its channel. The story wanting to write itself. Deep stuff, I know. But never underestimate the power of a story. It is creation in its purest form.
For instance, I never intended to create Chénmò. He came to me out of nowhere, halfway through the story, but he turned out to be a very vital part of it.
However sometimes you may find it necessary to edit things for the sake of the reader. Saffron was originally going to be called Soledad, from the Spanish word for 'loneliness'. However I knew that some of my readers wouldn't get the reference (you need to have read Of Mice and Men to understand it properly) so I changed his name to match his pelt colour. As an unintended addition, the lyrics to the song "Saffron's Curse" may also provide a bit of an insight into his character. Not for the faint of heart though. You have been warned.
Good writers borrow ideas from other writers; great ones steal them outright. (From the West Wing). Moon's Light's speech in Skychasers, chapter 11, is based on the fictionalized version of Chief Seattle's speech, and Lightning Strike's quote at the beginning of chapter 2 is from Mark Twain, who quipped that upon being told he should have died the previous day. The accents of the rogue cats in The Wolf and the Warriors in chapter 14 is based somewhat loosely upon Redwallian accents while the mangled speech of Cold Night in Skychasers comes from the accents of the Brildane in the Obernewtyn series. Hollyleaf's quote in her epilogue is a quote from Leonardo da Vinci, and the poems at the beginning of each chapter of Skychasers are an assortment of song lyrics, bible quotes, famous poems, and ones I made up on the spot. A few of them are edited to fit into the chapter. The list of sources is in the final chapter of Skychasers.
Writing Skychasers (spoilers)
I wish I could take credit for creating the Kingdoms, but that honor goes to my best friend CrystalKat14 and her cats Northern Wind, Long Fang and White Whiskers, the exiled Prince from the Northern Kingdom and his two loyal guardians. But I came up with all the rankings and everything else :P
When writing the Kingdoms I had to decide the way I would write it. Unlike my War of the Fangs trilogy, which is basically just a history, the Kingdoms' story is written in a more mythical fashion, which is why the origin myth is introduced as the prologue. The Kingdom cats' religion is much like the pagan religions of medieval times, fitting in with their ranks. (The actual time the story is set in, however, is some time after Night and Day is finished.) In those religious, there are one or two central figures of absolute authority, and usually a pantheon of other gods, which I did not include in the Kingdom religion because it would be tiresome to the reader to remember all of them. After that, many religions have a sort of hero linked with the major gods--beings such as Prometheus, Hercules, Beowulf, etc, and Mitternacht is their equivalent. Mitternacht is German for 'midnight'; it seemed apt.
It might surprise you to learn that the first and original Skychasers was very different from what it is now. It was to be written in the format of The War of Fangs, with no gods and no Cold Night. The cats decided to up and leave of their own accord, and the story was to be shaped around their various adventures and self-discovery along the way. However, eventually it occurred to me that all tribes, no matter how primitive, have a religion of some sort; even animals such as dolphins and orcas have been observed performing rituals that seem to have no real purpose. I knew then that no story of a group of sentient beings would be accurate without a religion of some sort.
So for the next rewrite I gave the Kingdoms a simple pagan religion, and the sort that is in the final story is largely the same as it was originally, with one major change: Felidae. Felidae was by far the most difficult character for me to design, largely because I had no idea what she should look like. In this second rewrite, her name was simply Fel, and I portrayed her as a beautiful golden tabby with blue eyes who generally appeared alongside Mitternacht in the story. However, a reader of this early draft inquired if I had intended to force Fel into Mitternacht's shadow. I realized that I had made Fel into a religious stereotype, which was not my intention at all. I began to cast around for other ideas to portray her, when it occurred to me how widespread the condescension of female religious figures was. I decided not to include Fel in the story at all, instead putting in a chapter that explained her disappearance from the cats' legends. This led to a tale of male-dominated power and the rise of Cold Night. And he was such a good villain, I couldn't just leave him for one chapter, which prompted a third rewrite.
This version claimed that the West and East were forced to leave by the ambitious power lust of Midnight Snow, who Cold Night had possessed and was slowly driving insane. I am afraid I borrowed his character mercilessly from that of Zant, from the Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess game. But again, the story was not sitting right, and I had to ask myself, why didn't the Kingdom cats just kill Midnight Snow? It was during this rewrite that I also decided to put in Hollyleaf, as a tenuous connection between my two trilogies, and since the souls of Hollyleaf and Laryissa/Matilda are so tightly bound together, if you bring in one, you bring in both. Henceforth Hollyleaf and Laryissa were actively working to guard and guide the Kingdoms in spirit forms. However, at the time, I had also finally decided on the ending of the War of Fangs series, which made a large Laryissa involvement impossible. But I liked the idea of having Hollyleaf teach the Kingdom cats how to be Clans, as it neatly solved an issue I had been struggling to resolve--exactly how the Kingdom cats managed to learn the warrior code and StarClan overnight. I turned back to the issue of Fel. For this rewrite, I described her as shadow-black with green eyes, and intended to sow a rumor among the Kingdoms that she and Hollyleaf were the same. Thankfully I came to my senses in time to realize how silly that sounded, and decided at more or less the same time that the only way to really force the Kingdoms out of their homes, never to return, would be a natural disaster of unprecedented scale.
So for the fourth rewrite I decided to completely overhaul Fel. She became a figure of mystery; the Yin to Mitternacht's Yang. In this same revelation it gave me the opportunity to neatly pair the relationship between Lightning Strike and Drifting Snowflakes. In a sense, those two *are* mortal versions of Mitternacht and Felidae, with Lightning Strike being the bold, brave leader and Drifting Snowflakes being the dreamwalking philosopher. Of course, this would mean they would have to fall in love, and while I've never been a huge fan of character relationships in general, I did try my best. Still stuck on Felidae's description, I originally tied her to be the same as her mate, before realizing that in traditional philosophy, Yin is described as "creator of Earth...standing for confusion and turmoil, conservation, the bringer of shapes, the embodiment of water and the senses." Then it struck me that as the embodiment of Yin, Felidae needed no shape at all. She could be viewed differently depending on the beliefs and personalities of those who saw her, as true Yin does. This was when I decided to name her after one of the two orders of cats, Panthera and Felinae. As I remembered that she was a felin, yet also a panterinae (due to being the daughter of a leopard), I decided to simply name her after the all-encompassing family of cats, Felidae.
The Mountain Wolf and Snow Leopard were originally going to have much greater roles, but after the third rewrite there was no longer much of a place for them and I decided that I would leave most of the heroics to the mortals. After all, being the best you can be despite your religion is one of the themes of the book.
Twilightpaw the ameslari became Twilightpaw the borderline crazy with a whole lot of sass and sarcasm rolled in. I'm sure that there's not a character in Warriors fanfiction quite like her, and I'm equally sure that the original Twilightstar would have a stroke if she saw her reformed version. Her straitjackets and medication are her two best friends, Longpaw and Valiantpaw. Both appeared alongside Twilightstar on the original RPG--Longpaw being CKat's character--and they aren't much different to what they are now, though the original Longnose (which will NOT be Longpaw's warrior name!) was shorter, and way less cool, then he is now. Valiantpaw was perfect from the moment he popped out of my head all those years ago, so he hasn't changed at all, though he was originally grey. Silvertail, Moonpelt and Stormheart also came from that site, spit-shined and reformed, as do Burningfur, Ambershade, Dreamcloud, and Phantomfall, but they are much more awesome now (with the possible exception of Ambershade, who has lost his trademark gothic angst and has suffered some gender confusion. Sorry, Pretty_Kitty, but it was such a cool name I couldn't NOT use it).
While you're reading the book you may notice that there are some things in there that don't quite fit into Erin Hunter's Clans--the stigma surrounding mutations, and the lack thereof when it comes to Clan-crossing. This is fully intentional. Namely, it is my own imagining of the warrior cats' world, with some of the rose-tinted layers removed. These new Clans are descended from cruel, bloodthirsty warmongers and that desire to kill remains within them. They were also only exposed to the customs and traditions of "old" Clans for an extremely brief time, and it is expected that they would adapt and change the warrior code to suit their situations. I even provided an example of this in Skychasers--Hollyleaf does not mention the code involving kittypets, so the New Clans have formed an entirely different attitude towards them and Twolegs in general. They live in a national park, set some years into our future, so in general the Twolegs they see are constantly trying to kill them.
Overall, my Clans are much more cynical than the Hunters and more human. For instance, read The Honour of Warriors to get an idea of their politics. This particular debate somewhat resembles the meeting Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had at the end of World War Two, where they were carving up Germany and starting the Cold War. Unlike the Erin Clans, who tend to see the warrior code as utterly straightforward and unchangeable, my Clans view their code the way Americans do their Constitution. It's something that should be followed, but it can be changed to fit in with the times. The law stating that no cat should have mates outside their Clan was regarded as set in stone in the Hunter Clans, but my Clans quickly realized the problems associated with this: namely, the fact that a narrowing gene pool would do everyone more harm than good, and that you can make laws about it all you want, but you can't stop someone falling in love.
I know a lot of readers out there will throw their hands up in shock at some of the things that I have written into the book. However, it is an M-rated story, and as such it will have M-themes. There will be murder. Little kits will die. There will be blood and gore and general unhappiness.
Quick Kingdom Glossary
Please note that most Kingdom words have no direct translation into English, and some mean different things depending on this situation. There are no plurals in Kingdom language. One wolf is one canaver, many wolves are many canaver.
'the value/worth of a life'
While most Kingdom battles are decided by who dies first, in some cases it may be more appropriate to spare the enemy's life. The cat who has defeated the other has the right to ask something of the loser that the victor considers worthwhile repayment for their mercy. The loser must grant this if it is within their power to do so. However, for the next two moons those two cats cannot engage each other in battle again, and mercy itself can only be given once (you only have one life to spend).
Zhertva is the term used when a cat has died following the order of another. When Lightning Strike sent Moon's Light and Eagle Wings into the ravine to spring the enemy's trap, he was sentencing them to death by zhertva.
The closest thing a Kingdom has to a medicine cat, the name is given to cats who have a connection with either the Mountain Wolf or the Snow Leopard, or dream of the future. Such cats are exceedingly rare to the point of legend.
Interestingly, the suffix ver also means a cat that is not part of a Kingdom.
Ame means 'one', but not in the sense of a number. It refers to a specific being. I might call you amechete, or 'one who sees' (the Kingdoms have no word for reading).
Used as a minor admonishment when speaking to a younger cat.
Vervloek hulle, vervloek hulle almal:
The Kingdom cats believe that depression is caused when a demon begins to eat away at your spirit. Cyth has no translation into human language, though we are aware of what it is--cyth means "that which makes one cat different from all others".
Used when referring to eagles, hawks or falcons. Cats hold owls in a different esteem to other birds of prey, hence the different name.
"Canada lynx" literally "gentle one"
Other cats of note