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  • Writer's pictureastrid v.j.

The Apprentice Storyteller - a book about overcoming obstacles and believing in ourselves

More than a decade ago, I was listening to one of my favourite songs and one line struck me, sending me the spark of an idea. From that seed and a series of larger-than-life dreams grew The Apprentice Storyteller and the other books in The Wishmaster Series.

Now I'm ready to share this amazing book that's required I grow so much to be able to create it.

What is The Apprentice Storyteller about?

The Apprentice Storyteller is a fictional exploration of what many of us go through when we decide to go after an "impossible" dream after many years struggling in the vice of fear. Itinerant storyteller, Viola Alerion, reaches for her dream, transforming herself from a grumpy, unhappy individual who believes the world is out to get her, to a person who understands that what lies within her is far more powerful than any situation, circumstance or condition she finds herself in. By learning the principles of spiritual transformation and applying them in her life, she is able to tip the scales. This is a novel that guides the reader through transformational principles while illustrating how they work in practice.

Book description: The Alchemist meets Fantasy with a splash of Space Opera.

Viola Alerion, a renowned storyteller in the Haldrian Empire, wants to be left in peace. For years, she's been hounded by her past, never to find a moment's rest. Then, she meets a boy who wants to become her apprentice. He refuses to take no for an answer and, eventually, Viola relents even though she knows taking him with her could endanger his life.

As their journey progresses, Viola begins to understand she's not the only teacher in the equation. The nameless boy also has something to teach but Viola makes for a reluctant student.

Can she give way to possibility and embrace a future in alignment with what she's always wanted? Can she find the courage to accept the principles that will transform her life? And can she overcome her circumstances and face her past? Or will she keep running with nowhere to hide?

And what of the boy who guards untold secrets and exhibits mysterious powers that defy belief?

Where did the idea for this book come from?

As I mentioned earlier, this story sparked in my mind while I was listening to a song. Wishmaster by Nightwish, to be precise. The final line

The apprentice becoming... Master

Is what triggered the seed for this story and I've honoured this in the titles of the series:

The Apprentice Storyteller

Becoming Spellwright

Master Wordmage

Here is the full song for those of you not familiar with Nightwish and this amazing piece of music!

The Second Piece of the Puzzle:

The idea of writing about an apprentice learning to become a master storyteller was also fuelled by a number of short stories I'd written, that I wanted to bring together into a collection but with a frame narrative, as is used in 1001 Arabian Nights, for example. These stories were based on a series of dreams I'd had. Those dreams stuck with me like they were lived memories and I just knew I had to turn them into stories. They were so vivid!

I tried to write The Apprentice Storyteller several times, but I kept getting stuck. It wasn't so much writer's block as the feeling that something was missing from the frame narrative. I kept going back to it, but that missing piece was a serious issue. I did keep on writing the short stories based on my dreams and that kept the whole project alive for me.

When the final piece came to me, I realised the depth of the shorter stories I was including in the main novel and I realised I couldn't do these dream-stories justice if I kept them as short stories. That is why, I decided to flesh them out and build on the underlying message of each one, giving rise to The Wordmage's Tales series to accompany The Apprentice Storyteller. Many of The Wordmage's Tales are mentioned in The Apprentice Storyteller, and I start each tale from the perspective of the boy and where he is at the moment of telling it. So there is still a direct connection between each of the shorter tales and The Apprentice Storyteller novel.

The first of The Wordmage's Tales is The Companion's Tale and I'm hoping to release it in December, along with The Apprentice Storyteller. Take a look at the cover! It's one of my absolute favourites by my amazing cover designer, Emily's World of Design.

Finding the final piece:

One year and 46 days ago, I had an epiphany. I was sitting in a hotel ballroom in Los Angeles, listening to the amazing Mary Morrissey going over the steps included in her genius life coaching course, the DreamBuilder Programme. That moment was as if time and space converged into a single speck and I was bombarded with information but it aligned itself into a single, smooth and coherent set of thoughts.

What I was missing in The Apprentice Storyteller was Viola Alerion's arc. I'd established that she was on the run from her past, but I wasn't clear on turning that into a part of the story and actually focusing on her development in parallel to the boy's development as a storyteller. That is when the idea was born to let the boy also be a teacher: the teacher of life.

I've incorporated the key principles of transformation and allowed Viola to go through the DreamBuilder process step by step, allowing the reader to experience what the changes look like and how our minds sabotage our attempts to bring about change. This shift in the story also meant I needed to add another book to The Wishmaster Series, one dedicated solely to Viola and what happens to her next. This is why I'm adding Book 1.5:

Finding the Way.

(and yes, this title is also inspired by Nightwish's song!)

At the same time, I realised The Wordmage's Tales were also each linked to one of the principles in the DreamBuilder course and decided to flesh out those details in my shorter stories even more. Hence, The Wordmage's Tales has become a series of novellas, each dedicated to a different principle of transformation and each based on a dream I once had.

Cover reveal:

Well, I think the time has come! I've certainly waited long enough. So, without further ado, I present you with the cover for The Apprentice Storyteller:

If you'd like to join my street team and get a free review copy of this book, then click on the cover image and sign up!

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