Writing is a deeply personal endeavor. Authors bring much of themselves to their work, and J and K are no different. Equally personal is a reader’s experience of a story. Everyone leaves with something different. Today, J & K talk about what they hope readers of Trials of the Innermost will take from the story.

J My favorite stories spirit me away to places where impossibilities become realities, to realms where my imagination grazes on fields of dreams. And yet, beneath the glittering landscape lies a shining nugget of realization that but awaits my discovery. When I find it, I know myself better. And in the very best of stories, I understand the world better. My hope is to replicate this journey of self-discovery and -actualization for our readers. The world of Etherea brims with magic and the surreal, but its people and their relationships mirror the complexities of our reality. Our characters struggle to find common ground while battling their own insecurities. Simple though it may be, our story carries a message espoused by the inimitable RuPaul: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” In a time when hatred and division plague our reality, I hope visitors to Etherea leave with a little more love for who they are, and for everyone else.

K I write any of my tales so that others can take part in an adventure and escape reality. Specifically for Trials of the Innermost, we have created a complex world that reflects the diverse landscape of the real world we inhabit. Through the struggles of our characters, I hope to show how people can grow and learn to look past old prejudices and differences and work together. How people can use their own strength and the strength of those around them to tackle their own trials, their trials of their innermost selves. And how what others think of you doesn’t define you. I want to transport our readers into a vivid landscape of all the senses – where they arrive back in the real world changed, even the smallest bit, for the better.

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