I will admit that Tales from the Frontier is not the hottest title I ever dreamed up, but after all, the series was born in such a sideways way, I think it’s sort of OK to go with the flow. If nothing else, the title describes what’s inside the box.
The setting took shape in a test I did to contribute to a roleplaying game sourcebook. I had a limited number of words to provide some color. I imagined a mountain area on the border between almost-Mughal-India and not-exactly-Tang-China, and took it from there.
From that 500-words snippet came the first story of the Frontier, The Demoness with White Hair, that I wrote in English and I shared with my Patrons.
I also did an Italian version for my Italian Patrons.
They liked it – both in Italian and English.
Then I wrote a second story of the frontier, The Last House of the Valley as a one-sitting, online public writing event – I wrote it in Italian, and my friend Hell edited it, and then I translated it in English, and again I shared it with my Five Bucks Brigade Patrons1.
Again they liked it.
So now I had a series in my hands, whether I liked it or not.
I might as well give it a name, and then start doing it seriously…
And here’s the rub – the Tales from the Frontier are quirky and impromptu and the closest thing I do to free jazz improvisation. And I want to keep it like that.
Because it helps keeping it fresh.
I set a time limit – that automatically imposes a word-count – and pick a theme or an idea, and then go from there.
So, OK, seriously, but without taking it seriously.
Keep it like a vacation, an exercise, something special.
And now I have a third story – it is called The Waterfall’s Wife, and I’ll share it with my Patrons… tomorrow, probably.
As I said, a proper series in the making.
I’ve been also told I should work a little on the packaging. Something a little more ‘zine-like.
I’m working on it but remember, I’m graphically helpless.
Anyway – looks like the Frontier has more tales to tell.
And this makes me happy.
Hope it makes my Patrons happy, too.
Being my Patrons is good.
- this is the story that was cancelled by an “anonymous” who abused his privileges as a guest to our event. The classic reaction against creativity on the part of the creatively impaired. Deleting a text is a lot easier than writing or editing it. ↩