News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (; author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

The Story of Jan and Julianna

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When JC and I first began tossing around the idea for the Tales from the World of the Noble Dead Saga, I was thinking mainly of filling in some gaps of curiosity on the part of our readers.

So . . . I started off with Loni (the lone elf in Miiska), as he had been a source of questions from our readers over the years.  I moved to filling in some "holes" in the Rashed/Teesha story and then onto Ratboy.

I soon realized that creating something new but based in the core of the world might even more interesting.

When I wrote "The Keepers," I found myself really, really enjoying writing for Jan.  He's a fun, fascinating, unpredictable soul.  In that piece, I ended up including a teenaged orphan girl named Julianna, and something about her grabbed my interest as well.

The next story, "The Reluctant Guardian" is about Aunt Beija's harrowing journey to Miiska, but I included a scene with Julianna in the beginning.  This piece is set a little over four years after "The Keepers," and Julianna is now a young woman.  She relates to Beija that Jan has been conscripted and taken away from his home--and she is wondering how to help him.

Around this point . . . I knew that Jan and Julianna had an important story that was waiting to be written, and I wondered if I could do a serial of stories to tell their tale.  So, as soon as I finished "The Reluctant Guardian," I sat down and began to consider the adventures and romance of Jan and Julianna.

I wrote "Captives" next, picking up right where "The Reluctant Guardian" left off with their plight.

Then I wrote the novella "Claws," in which they travel off together with the gypsies:

I'm working on their next adventure now, tentatively titled, "The Sleeping Curse," and then I have one more outlined.  Before JC and I began the Tales project, it had been years since I'd written any stories or novellas (he and I just wrote novels), and I must say, I'm having a blast.  I hope this particular little series finds an audience.

For now, if you want to read these in order: "The Keepers," "The Reluctant Guardian," "Captives," and "Claws."  I'm hoping to have "The Sleeping Curse" out sometime in July. 

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