The Making Of The Curse of the Crow

Posted November 28, 2023

The pen paused in its scribbled path across the notebook paper...

and Author #1 tucked her lip between her teeth, re-reading the last line with a satisfied smirk. Perfect. So romantic. “The tips of her long, white hair brushed across his forearm as she leaned past him. Her hair smelled like…”

“Hey guys,” she called, blinking up at the two shapes of Author #2 and Author #3, both busily redesigning the canopy of the lilac bush above her head. Erm, the rigging of the ship, rather. “What does Ressa’s hair smell like?”

A small furrow formed between the eyebrows of the youngest. Then came the decisive answer: “Dirt.”

Yep. Author #1 ducked her head to hide her smile, and the pen scribbled away again. “Her hair smelled like… dirt.”

June fell upon us, as June often does. But this was no ordinary June. It was June 2021, in the midst of school vacation, global pandemic, and the good ol' summer doldrums. And there we were, an author and two budding businessmen, a little short on spending money but with no lack of wild and crazy ideas.

We assessed our options:

We picked 3, of course. 

(It was the only option that had the potential for books, business, and lemonade, all wrapped into one.) 

Necessary supplies in hand, we crawled under the low-hanging branches of the lilac bush and began to clear space inside our adventure ship... the Dawn Horizon. 

We created 3 quirky characters:

Captain "Cap" Gabriel M. James

Ressa Draco, the Defender

Oro, the eponymous Cursed Crow

We plotted.

Our characters needed a plot, and of course a romance. (“They like each other,” said two of us authors about two of them, and the third said, “Oh ho! Leave that to me…”) And so we began to weave elements of story together: plot arcs, descriptions, side quests, world-building, character development, romance, hilarious puns, macguffins, hedgehogs, etc.

We “job-shadowed” each other. 

Authors #2 and #3, then ages 6 and 8, instantly tapped into the firehose of wild imagination and started spewing creativity faster than a pen can fly. Author #1, who’d been writing stories ever since her own days of pens and notebooks in the great outdoors, had the job of catching the creativity in mid-flight and coaxing it into the shape of an engaging story. Both roles were essential to our creative process, and all authors learned from each other as the words tumbled onto the pages.

"What kind of weather makes you smarter? ... A brain storm!" — Elliot the Cook

And together, we made... 

A book that none of us could have written on our own. 

A snapshot of our creative collaboration, preserving a moment of our timeline together. 

A little something for everyone, designed to delight adventurers of all ages. 

And an inspiration for ourselves and our friends to dream and create and publish and share stories with the world, and with each other. 

The Curse of the Crow is out now!
Available in paperback, audiobook, and e-book