Throughout the challenging and often depressing year that is 2020, I found writing anything truly discouraging.

Why write when a pandemic ravaged the world, Black Americans are being shot down in the streets, and unemployment surged?

I struggled to be creative. Motivation took a nosedive.

In April, I decided I wanted to write something fun–for me. I wanted to write a fantasy, but without the usual cast of characters (no elves, dwarves, etc). I searched around to find something other. Birds. I love birds. I don’t know a great deal about them, but I have always enjoyed watching them, listening to them, and trying to identify them.

Long story short, the Kingdom of Aves was born.

Kill Three Birds introduced readers to Hawk Prentice Tasifa, an investigator for The Order, the ruling body in the kingdom.

On January 20, 2021, the next installment, A Theft Most Fowl, will take readers further into the kingdom. I was inspired by the legendary library at Alexandria. My research proved that rooks were incredibly smart, so of course, those in charge of teaching the kingdom’s elite would be rooks. The entire look of the University of Sulidae derived from the oldest universities in Africa. Much of the feel of the Sulidae Egg are derived from African/Middle Eastern influences. This is on purpose as the “birds” living in the egg, are African birds, like Nightjars and ostriches (which are native to Africa). Readers of the first novella may recall vultures, but the vultures in Sulidae are based on Guineafowl vultures.

A Theft Most Fowl focuses on a major theft. One of the most prized possessions, The Five-Feathered Crown, has been stolen. I was inspired to write this story because I’m a big fan of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons. This was may attempt at a heist/religious artifact mystery in the kingdom. This novella also allowed me to stretch and flesh out the religion that governs Aves. The Goddess was a phoenix, and the pillars she instructed The Order to maintain. Again, I was inspired by Dan Brown’s work of the beauty of art, religion, and the intermix of those two.

I also wanted to introduce another character for Prentice to bounce ideas off of and to support her in such a large and important investigation. One of the five bird clans in The Order, is Condors. They are often paired with Hawks on investigations, and Prentice is paired with Galen Gar. They have a history, and that definitely impacts how effectively Prentice works this case.

This second novella in the series expands the Kingdom of Aves world for readers, but it also pushed me as a writer. I personally invite you to The Kingdom of Aves. It’s a fun, different fantasy with suspense and thrills.

Maybe it’ll inspire you, too.

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