I have occasionally heard from readers under misapprehension that I created the Eschaton Cycle as an expansion of my Gods of the Ragnarok Era series. This led me to want to clear up the genesis of some of these ideas.
I mentioned previously that my parents read Tolkien to me at a young age and, by the time I was a young teen, I was obsessed with mythology as the root of fantasy. I loved all myths, though I found some Hindu myths and philosophy particularly fascinating.
Dad also first exposed me to tabletop RPGs. We didn’t play much with him, but I went on to play with my friends, inventing my own games, and eventually playing a bunch of published ones, including almost every edition of D&D. Around 2001, I ran a D&D (3e) campaign inspired by the idea of reincarnation and people being trapped in cycles of sin based on the nature of their souls and their connections to other souls. Though the game began in Celtic locales, I used various myths as backgrounds for the past lives of characters. They were all intimately connected to their friend / eventual antagonist, who was trying to destroy and recreate a better world.
The game was so popular I ran a sequel campaign set some years later, dealing with the after effects, and the revelation that all of this was a cycle of apocalypses (and what it might mean if this was interrupted). Here, I was looking at the concept of the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as representing necessary cycles of creation, preservation, and destruction within the universe.
After college, I took some of these same ideas and began working on a book series. It wasn’t a direct adaptation of these games, mind. What became the Eschaton Cycle went way deeper into mythology and philosophy, and now pulls from other sources, most directly Gnosticism, Manichaeism, and Buddhism.
I wrote a book, at the time called Time and Tide (since renamed The Sea of Time). I rewrote it. Several times. I even began the sequel. In this series, I began bringing another particular interest front and center (though it appeared a bit in the games): the nature of fate vs. free will, and how prescience and time travel might explore it.
No matter how much I toyed with the book, I never quite got it where I wanted it. I had lots of fantastic scenes and characters, but structurally, it was messy.
Eventually, I decided I wanted to become a more experienced writer. This wasn’t the first book I’d tried to write, but my ambition still outstripped what I felt was my skill. In addition to studying the craft even more, I decided to write a “prequel” series taking place in one of the prior iterations of the world of Eschaton. The first book of this series became Children of Sun and Moon, my actual debut novel. (On why you can’t currently read that, and how it relates to the current Eschaton Cycle.)
Following that series, I was having so much fun detailing these other eras, I actually wrote a sequel series to the prequel, which was my first stab at The Apples of Idunn. (Idunn being a grandchild to some of the characters in CoSaM and Odin the reincarnation of one.)
The above linked article explains why I rebooted my career (and I started with the Ragnarok Era simply because it was my most popular era).
But the Eschaton Cycle consists of 8 eras. Each era has its own main series telling its story. They’re all connected and they’re all forthcoming. I had fairly developed plans for all 8 series before I started the modern Eschaton Cycle. Lately, I’ve gone much deeper into fleshing some things out, which has led to tons of planning.
And, honestly, I can’t wait to share more of what’s coming …