THE SHADOW HISTORIES
by A Murti Schofield
The Shadow Histories is a six-volume series of retro-futuristic adventure novels:
THE SHADOW HISTORIES
Volume I – The Empty Land
Volume II – The Severed Twin
Volume III – The New Shadow Wars
Volume IV – Havens Revisited
Volume V – The Earth Codes
Volume VI – A Dark Resolution
This project has been in development since 1999, although some written material dates as far back as the 1980s (or earlier).
The overarching story lines for all six volumes had been plotted in great detail, along with detailed biographies and artwork of all characters, backstories, and extensive material covering the entire post-Event world of Recovering Britain.
There are also cross-referenced indexes, flow charts, and a dictionary of the Aelim language, Caebimhir. Real-life locations have been used to establish this created world and give it a sense of authenticity.
Background to writing The Shadow Histories
Developing and writing The Shadow Histories has taken decades so far and this epic effort has dominated everything in my life. Although there is a monumental amount of work involved, there are distinct benefits to spending so long on a single life’s passion. A prime example is that the ideas have time to mature and evolve. Creating a world that is convincing and coherent demands well-researched foundation material that has both depth and quality.
While creating this world, a vast amount of background material has been generated – detailed biographies of characters, languages, archaic glyphs and symbols, carefully plotted timelines, multi-layered storylines, codes, innovative concepts, and real-world research into unique locations and the world of the mysterious. The entire background history of the world of The Shadow Histories is established and consistent. Both the material and the process continue to evolve.
There is also a huge amount of concept art for characters, locations, and arcane artefacts that is intended to establish a distinctive sense of style and, for those who love invented languages, the Shadow Histories present Caebimhir – with its varied flourishes and embellishments found in its written form, Quenellan.
The time taken on researching and refining the ideas and storylines has been time well spent. Every subsequent volume has been plotted out in great detail. It is clear exactly where the heroine, Cody Conmar, needs to be by the time the final chapter of the final book is reached – which does not mean there won’t be a good many surprises along the way, both for myself and the readers.
Glyphs and Symbols
Glyphs and symbols have been an integral aspect of the creation of The Shadow Histories since the saga began to take form. They were one of the first coherent elements to indicate what the underlying truths of the Shadow World might be, and they best represent the mysteries that underpin Cody Conmar’s world. There are ancient beings guiding the world, fighting to protect or dominate it, and it is through their glyphs and symbols that we glimpse a tiny fraction of the truth.
Caebimhir is the unwritten language of the most ancient of these beings: the Aelim. Its written form, Quenellan, is at best an approximate representation of this ancient Aeld Tunge, scraps of which are sometimes uncovered in ancient manuscripts or carved onto prehistoric stones. Who are the Aelim? Ah, now. That would be telling.
Sigils are symbols of power and contain lines and markings of immense potency. They also contain significant meanings that can be interpretated by those adept in the transcription of such mysteries. Some Tibetan mandalas are examples of sigils.
The series has been planned to maximise multimedia exploitation as printed novels, downloadable books, games, graphic novels, audiobooks, and film.
The aim has always been to appeal to an active-minded, mature teenage readership as well as adults who are literate in film, novels, the Internet, graphic novels, and computer-game references. Hopefully, The Shadow Histories will appeal to all readers appreciative of a slightly more literate style of storytelling, but they are also packed with unique concepts and characters engaged in fast-paced adventure. Good storytelling can have an ageless appeal and does not rely on the superficiality of current trends or lowest-common denominator clichéd writing.