The very first inspiration I had for Dominion of Darkness came during a Medieval Fair held at Santa Clara University.
I was on top of a building hanging a banner over the side when I looked down at the colors and pageantry. Music and bustling people created such a stunning scene, I knew I needed to write a story that would contain that moment.
That moment became the chapter "Market Day" in the novel.
On that day, I was a tour guide for a haunted house. One of the other actors played a wizard with a stunningly detailed workshop. That workshop became the inspiration for Nian's work room, although I replaced the disembodied head with a dead chicken in the book.
I can not even remember the wizard's name, but we played off each other's banter and each moment of the tour in his workroom became a delight. You'll catch glimpses of him in Elainya and Nian's verbal sparring.
There were other inspirations. I took part in a version of Romeo and Juliet. No, I didn't play the romantic heroine. I was the nurse. I required fat padding back then.
Everyone knows the tragedy. If Romeo had gotten the message...if he'd only arrived a few minutes later! Being a hopeless romantic and an optimist, I came up with many alternative endings to the story. The original story is timeless, stunning, unforgettable.
One of my twisted endings gave birth to Dominion. Our lovers both agree to take the potion that will make them appear dead. But in this world of magic, the potion creates a state of suspended animation.
When Drenil awakes, he finds his lover still asleep, and thus begins his nightmare existence, never knowing when she might wake. The story led me to explore what love means. If love is true and timeless, will it transcend time? Age?
Dominion is at heart an exploration of love. Love between two people and also the love of God. It is a story of magic, betrayal, and forgiveness.
It took me over 20 years to finish the novel. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the story!