This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Destiny. I have always been fascinated by it. The driving inspiration in my debut novel, Nicholas: The Fantastic Origin of Santa Claus, was the intrigue of a normal boy who would inspire the ageless legends of Santa Claus. There was no way a young orphan would ever think his life would eventually bless and enrich the lives of children for over a millennium after his time on Earth. Another element of literature I find captivating is the idea that there’s more to every story—elements that never found their way to the page because it didn’t serve the overall arc of the author’s story, but in themselves can tell a whole other story.
When I was in third grade, we read in class the book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, and my imagination danced in delight with the notion that there can be so much more to a story than simply what appears at face value. While this has captivated my interest in books like Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Geoffrey McGuire, it has pushed me to try and see if there is more to every tale told, even stories we are entirely familiar with. One day, I do believe I will find an iconic villain and interpret their motivations into an original story that will build sympathy for a character that audiences have historically hated. Disney reinvented Maleficent, the villain from Sleeping Beauty, and did that exact same thing.
This novel, however, is not the interpretation of a villain. This is seeing a fable and seeking the story behind it. This is finding a historical figure and finding the destiny on his shoulders. Most people, typically, when I told them I was working on a screenplay about Good King Wenceslas made a perplexed expression. “Why does that name sound so familiar?” they’d ask. I’d remind them of the carol, and most would instantly recognize the tune of the song. Very, very few would ever know the lyrics. Somehow, Good King Wenceslas has found a way into our ethos, but has faded from contemporary relevance. I think that’s lamentable and having examined the historical man behind the classic carol, it has become my mission to share his story and revive him back to social relevance. Is this fictional? Yes. Is it factual? Yes. Is it fable? A bit. If my story was not a culmination of all those, well, I would feel it wasn’t a story worth telling.
I took the Wenceslas story as I interpreted the historical documents and legends about the man and wrote a screenplay, which placed as a finalist in competition. As of the writing of this manuscript, the screenplay remains available for purchase and production by Hollywood. The screenwriting award became fuel for my motivational gas tank, and so I felt the inner desire to embark on letting my fingers dance upon the keyboard again to lay out the life and times of the first king of Bohemia, one remembered in legend and song as Wenceslas the Good.
Good King Wenceslas
Good King Wenceslas looked out
on the feast of Stephen,
when the snow lay round about,
deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night,
though the frost was cruel,
when a poor man came in sight,
gathering winter fuel.
Hither, page, and stand by me.
If thou know it telling:
yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?
Sire, he lives a good league hence,
underneath the mountain,
right against the forest fence
by Saint Agnes fountain.
Bring me flesh, and bring me wine.
Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine
when we bear the thither.
Page and monarch, forth they went,
forth they went together
through the rude wind’s wild lament
and the bitter weather.
Sire, the night is darker now,
and the wind blows stronger.
Fails my heart, I know not how.
I can go no longer.
Mark my footsteps my good page,
tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
freeze thy blood less coldly.
In his master’s step he trod,
where the snow lay dented.
Heat was in the very sod
which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor
shall yourselves find blessing.
Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...
rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...
themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...