"KINGS HAVE TREMBLED BEFORE ME," HE SAYS. "THE STRONGEST OF THEIR SOLDIERS HAVE RUN IN FEAR. YET YOU STAND."
The writing of the Beast of Ten began on a November evening. There was a bathtub involved—as there often is—and I was asking myself a question: If I were to retell a story, which would it be? This was not intended to be a serious question. I had too many unwritten characters sitting outside the door already. But I asked it just to see what would happen. When I thought of the much loved and oft repeated story of a beauty and a beast, I knew that would be it. It's a redemption tale, and a favorite. But, I told myself, if I were to do it, it would be set in high contrast—one who had chosen great darkness, and a one who could only confront him with great light. It would be a battle consisting of both inner and outer struggle, the stakes high for many.
In that moment, it was as if a door was opened, and I stepped into the snow bound forest surrounding the Pyre. It was already there, the book, waiting. A world of light and dark and stained-glass windows. I had found my way in, and I could write the story, but it already had a voice, a particular feel, that must be honored. It would also require listening—not just to what was said, but to the pulse at the heart of the matter.
The Beast of Ten, in essence, explores the depth of redemption. And how far redemption will reach to try and reclaim a soul. It explores how many chances one is given to dispel darkness. It confronts the weight of a task too great for us, yet a task we are asked to face anyway. It touches on the battles that take place inside the heart and soul, and how that manifests itself in the world around us. And it welcomes you into the Pyre, to stay awhile and see what will come of it all.
(Note: This was first posted in January 2018, just after The Beast of Ten was released.)