by Solon Walker, student journalist for Minarets Press
By the Light of Elune is a fantasy novel co-authored by senior Johanna Ziegler and Minarets graduate Joseph Langley. It follows the story of a party of explorers employed by the ruling Imperium, each of whom is running from something in their pasts. They have been sent out the chart the southern reach of the continent Lustria but find themselves further and further embroiled in the politics and intrigues of the natives of the land. The tale is told by an outsider who is stalking the group and brings a flamboyant personality and splash of fourth-wall-breaking comedy.
The two students are both seeking careers in writing and are great fans of Dungeons and Dragons. “We decided to combine our two passions and write a story largely inspired by the D&D campaign we’re playing in,” said Ziegler. “Not only was it a way to pass time during quarantine, but it allowed us to really get serious about our career ambitions. And at the end of the day, it was a way to say thank you to our friends and to Mr. Regonini for helping us get through these hard times as a friend group.”
To write the book, the two authors set a routine of weekly planning sessions to plot out a few chapters before each chose one to write out before communicating again the next week. Once the story was completed, they went through a marathon session of editing the entire manuscript, all while Ziegler designed the book cover and Langley worked on getting it published. Ziegler compared them to ”a well-oiled machine,” pumping out text. She feels that the experience has given her a new sense of discipline and respect for full-time authors. “It’s so easy to get distracted or to be overwhelmed to the point of writing paralysis,” she said. “But if you can get into the rhythm of writing every day, even if it isn’t your best work, you’re far more successful. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t edit a blank page.’”
By the Light of Elune can be purchased here for $21.62. What’s more, the party’s campaign is far from over, and a darker sequel titled By the Blood of the Butchered is planned to be published in the coming months.
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