Dan Eavenson is joining us today to talk about his short story in the anthology, The World of Juno. Here’s the publisher’s description:
Explore the birth of a new world!
Journey through time and space to the intricate biosphere of Juno, where three species have been birthed by the gods.
First the Kuhifadi, inheritors of sun magic, able to do great deeds with magic stored in their bodies.
Second the fearsome Uchafumlaji, technological savants who live in the depths of the ground.
Third the weird Ngisikaa, a species uplifted from animals through communal memories.
Small decisions and single individuals will affect the tide of history. Learn of the first Ngisikaa to meet death, whether a Kuhifadi will make the sacrifice to become a mage, and if an Uchafumlaji can build a bridge to the past. These stories and more will create The World of Juno!
With content by: Nick Bright and Brent Lambert, C.J. Hosack, Nate Battalion, Daniel Eavenson, Malcolm F. Cross, Katie Cordy, William C. Tracy, N.L. Bates, Reese Hogan, Cedan Bourne, Robin C.M. Duncan, and X.M. Moon
What’s Dan’s favorite bit?
Creation is a wonderful thing. But often it can be lonely. In my experience, the desire to write came from wanting to share the things I had in my head. But often the inspiration I had came from worlds created by some of my favorite authors. The very first thing that I wrote which was more then a few hundred words was a massive sequel to the movie “Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?” I corrected the obvious problem in the original which was that it followed humans around instead of just being about Disney and Warner Brothers characters hanging out and solving mysteries. At the age of ten, I was told by my folks that it was funny and great and no I should not send it off to Disney for approval. Reality crashed in around me as I found that not only were the worlds of Disney and Warner not actually compatible, but neither of these companies were terribly interested in what I might offer to their characters.
A reality that has thrown many an author into the realms of fan fiction, me included. Writing thousands of words on projects that were fun to read but weren’t really going to be embraced by the world at large. It was an important part of my life as a writer. Finding the space to explore and tweak and fix things in a world that was already built up, was a foundation for creating my own worlds to fill with stories. And there’s such a huge community of people that all have found the same love and inspiration in those popular properties, so it was easy to find people to read and critique and collaborate.
But once I was in a world of my own creation it was a solitary process. Many offers are even somewhat jealous of their creations. Just like the owners of Mickey and Bugs wouldn’t share with me, my own worlds were spaces I wanted to protect and keep to myself, like any author would. There were still authors willing to help me, but I found that the atmosphere of even professional writing groups was always filled with a kind of paranoia that there was someone out there waiting to snatch up your idea and make all the money before you could.
It wasn’t until I met my wife, Julie Leahy, that I got back some sense of the camaraderie that I was always looking for. We met in a writing group at our local library and many of our first dates, that I didn’t realize at the time were dates, were sitting in the library or a coffee shop and writing next to each other and sharing the creative process. Eventually we even started writing a novel together with her writing back from the end and me the beginning and hoping we’d find the middle somewhere.
But before that could happen, she passed away in June of 2021. For nearly a year after, I couldn’t manage to write a single word.
When I found I was ready to create again, I realized that I needed help to do it. But all my experience told me that creating was a solitary process that resulted in a walled garden just for me. I decided to break from that and open myself and my creations up to anyone and everyone that was willing to help. And at the same time provide a space for authors to come together and share in an open world that anyone could write in. My Julie was a teacher, and sharing in creation was a big lesson that she taught me.
From all of that came The World of JUNO. I started pulling in friends and acquaintances and built the world from the ground up. From the tectonic growth of continents to the eventual birth of an entire history of three distinct sentient species the World of JUNO came together over the next year. Eventually we opened the world up to contributions from anyone who was following along with us at http://www.worldofjuno.com We built cities and grew magic plants and found the gods and demons of the world. And finally, we had enough stories that we found enough to make a whole anthology of short stories. Thanks to some very generous people we even managed to pay everyone involved for all the work and creativity they brought to the project. We were even lucky enough to partner with our friends at Space Wizard Publishing to bring the anthology to life. We even have an audiobook version which is launching today! It’s been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what we can do with this space next. I invite all of you that want to join us to come over to http://www.worldofjuno.com and let us know your ideas. If you got a great one, we’ll pay you for your words about it either in blog post or as a short story depending on the concept. But anyone and everyone is encouraged to use the world we have made for your own stories as you like. The entire world exists for authors to play in and create their own things. We claim no ownership of anything other than the words we put to page. The idea and concept of JUNO is open to everyone. Let’s build worlds together!
Dan Eavenson is a preacher’s kid who migrated to Chicago from the deepest south of Mississippi. A smoke alarm engineer by day, he spends his nights dreaming up new frontiers with his cat Hermione. You can find his first book Dave Woke Up at Amazon and keep track of whatever he’s up to at http://DanielEavenson.com . His podcast Fantasy Book of the Month can be found at FBOM.rocks or http://TooManyThoughtsMedia.com