In high school, I was on the school newspaper, writing —what else?— book reviews, and in college, my beat was the theater and drama department. It wasn’t until I was a true adult, with a family of my own that I seriously contemplated writing a novel. Even then, I had no desire to submit the manuscript anywhere. They were written mostly for my own edification—and the entertainment of friends—and also to get the story out of my head so I could go on to something else.
My submitting a novel anywhere only happened because a coworker dared me to send the manuscript of the story becoming Book 2 of the GodChosen series to a publisher. I went to a local bookstore and asked a clerk to look up the address for a certain publisher in their catalogue. I sent the story to the address she gave me. It was rejected, because the publisher’s genre was for children’s novels. The clerk wasn’t very alert; she gave me the address of the wrong publisher. They asked if I had such a story. I replied I did. They asked to see it. I sat down and wrote the story becoming Spacedogs’ Best Friend, later released as Hot Diggity Spacedogs.
More about that another day. Right now, back to the GodChosen...
The Twilight of the GodChosen has an unusual history in that, as mentioned above, it’s Part 2 of an earlier series. GodChosen, Part 1, is the story of a man told by the gods he’s to be the father of a dynasty that will rule the planet Arcanis for 3000 years. Twilight is about the man who brings about the end of that dynasty.
Part 1 is a sword and sorcery saga; Part 2 has been classified as Science Fiction, space opera, and futuristic romance. It’s all those to be sure, but it’s something more. It’s the story of a friendship between two men … a bromance if you will, the “Buddy Story” of a haughty Arcanian prince who’s recently bitten the dust and the upstart Terran youngster who becomes his best friend, as well as the extent to which each will go in the name of that friendship.
In each of the seven stories in the series, this is pointed out, even in the novels in which either doesn’t figure prominently.
For example, in the first novel, Noble Sinner, Miles Sheffield is five-years-old and is mentioned as a mere footnote. Twenty years later, in A Span of Longing, after two decades of being exiled and learning how the lowest of the low live, Aric finally meets his lover Elizabeth’s younger brother, and it isn’t so much a meeting as a collision. Within two minutes of their introduction, they’re duking it out, exchanging fisticuff, and beating each other into unconsciousness.
It takes a near-death experience to end their animosity, though along the way, they mellow a little toward each other. Aric remembers his long-ago relief at knowing he wouldn’t have to babysit a five-year-old during his parents’ visit to his planet, but realizes he’s now fulfilling that same position as he mentors the young Terran, and he wonders if this is how it feels to have a younger brother. When tragedy strikes, he’s there for Miles. When he decides to return to Arcanis and try to regain his citizenship, facing possible death in doing so, Miles is by his side, confident in his ability to prevent the latter from happening.
Aric and Miles are always there for each other. They may bicker and have their little flare-ups but—hey, don’t all couples?
The two might be called the Starsky and Hutch of the SF world. Their story spans almost 40 years…of fights, marriages, births, and deaths, laughter, despair, and sarcasm…plenty of sarcasm. Wives and kingdoms may come and go, but Miles is always there for Aric and vice versa. As the old song says, Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’re gonna go through it together. (Thank you, Stephen Sondheim!)
In A Fistful of Redemption, the two are going on one last adventure. It may not be the one they expect but it’s definitely appropriate. Friends to the End and all that. This time, it’s about forgiveness and regaining one’s mental equilibrium after a devastating tragedy, a tragedy each man believes he might have prevented if he’d been more caring and considerate of his wife and children. Now, Aric has to learn to forgive himself before he can accept the happiness being offered to him while Miles’ redemption has to come through the Terran courts.
After this, I insist Aric kan Ingan and Miles Sheffield will settle down. After all, they’re both grandfathers now, but being the friends they are, when one finally rides off into the sunset, undoubtedly the other will be running to catch up.
A Fistful of Redemption, Book 7 of The Twilight of the GodChosen, is published by Aethon Books. It is available in Kindle and paperback through amazon.com
FInd out more about Toni:
Amazon Author’s Page:
Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romance/paranormal/adventures under the pseudonyms Tony-Paul de Vissage, Icy Snow Blackstone, and TS Snow. She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books, is an amazon reviewer, and is in the 1% of reviewers for Goodreads. In 2016, she was named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com.
Currently, Toni has written 85 novels, with 79 of them having been published. This includes several series.