Read below to learn about the incredible origins of these two amazing fantasy adventure!
A Tale of Two (Timeless) Stories
The better part of 20 years ago, an idea for a series of books was envisioned by two friends, K.G. McAbee and J.A. Johnson. It was an ambitious project intended to be ten volumes long.
Ideas were brainstormed, plot lines were laid like train tracks and, to top it off, the books would be fully illustrated. The basic operating procedure went like this. K.G. and J.A. would develop the stories together, then, K.G. would sit down and write the manuscript while J.A. would slip away to draw the illustrations.
Ten volumes. It was an ambitious plan and it worked like a charm for about one and half to two books. And then the very weight of its ambitiousness seemed to crush the momentum and ultimately the project ground to a halt.
Yet, there was story enough for two volumes and illustrations to boot. But what to do with it? The work was too good to be filed away and forgotten, relegated to the graveyard of books-that-might-have-been. In the end, it was decided that K.G. would keep the manuscripts to do with as she pleased. And J.A. would keep the illustrations and perhaps develop a new story line to fit them.
The manuscripts for volumes one and two would find temporary homes with a small publisher; book one, then titled ‘The Dark Legacy’ would go on to win the prestigious Dream Realm Award! Not bad for a project that almost didn’t get its chance, huh?
As for the illustrations, well, they sat around for something like five or six years. Try as he might, J.A. could not fit them to a new story idea. Eventually he gave up and passed the illustrations on to another friend to see if someone who knew nothing of the original idea could see them from a fresh perspective and help come up with a new story idea.
And then a weird thing happened. It seemed that the minute he quit trying to think of an idea for the story, he had one. And so “Legends of the Coast” was written. And it turns out that he had to redraw nearly every picture for the new book.
That was about seven years ago.
Time passed, other projects came and went for both J.A. and K. G. Eventually they collaborated on a new project, unrelated to “Legends of the Coast” and “Gilbert and the Clockwork Pirates”. During that collaboration, their thoughts returned their semi-abandoned books for a younger audience.
Which brings us to the present.
Readers will now have the chance to read two exciting fantasy novels. And while neither book is part of the world of the other, the books share a common genesis and retain some similarities, such as kids transported back in time to an alternate, magical version of South Carolina, a world full of talking animals and other, stranger things, they are also distinctly different in many more and exciting ways.
We are confident that if you read one book, you will be equally enchanted with the other.
The Evanation Studios Team