Saturday 16 December 2023

The Story Behind the Story with S. C. Eston of Fredericton, NB, Canada.


Steve is back.

His most recent publication is generating a lot of excitement amongst his many fans. He’s going to share the SBTS with us this week.

He was a guest a short time ago chatting about his contribution to the popular Spring Path anthology.

If you missed it, please go HERE.

Read on my friends. 



Steve C. Eston is the author of four books: The Burden of the Protector, The Conclave, Deficiency, and The Stranger of Ul Darak (Book 1 of The Lost Tyronian Archives).

He has been a lover of the fantastical and the scientific since he was a young boy. He wrote his first story by hand while still in elementary school — a five-page fantasy action/adventure about a tiger-masked ninja fighting mystical monsters that included his own illustrations.

When not spending time with his family, Steve try to make time for one of his numerous hobbies, which include reading, listening to music, playing video games, watching movies, making puzzles, and playing hockey and tennis. He also love to travel and have developed an obsession with New Zealand after traveling there in 2015 (visiting the set of Hobbiton and hiking alone the slopes of Mount Doom may have something to do with it).

For more information on his current writing projects and for free short stories, visit him at


Title: The Stranger of Ul Darak


In an age long forgotten, nineteen hundred and eighty-three Seals were forged—magical disks placed around the world to repel the cosmic chaos beyond.

In the centuries that followed, the Sentinels were tasked with protecting those Seals. For countless generations, they succeeded.

Until now.

At six years old, Shéana is recruited to the order of the Sentinels. A decade later, she displays powers unlike anything any Sentinel has shown before. When she feels the world stirring in pain, she knows the shield surrounding Tyronia has been breached. The great chain is broken. And the order of the Sentinels lies in discord.

In the isolated village of Valdur, young Arth struggles to belong. Spurned by the other children, he ventures south to the endless mountains, and the strange barrier marking the edge of existence. The Final Horizon. Here he witnesses the impossible: a man emerging from beyond the veil—where nothing can possibly exist. A man Arth knows he must protect.

Now the fate of two worlds rests on a knife’s edge. Only the courage of a village boy and the power of a fledgling Sentinel can save them.

But to save their worlds, they must reject all they’ve been taught, leaving behind everyone and everything they’ve ever known.

Because sometimes saving a world means rebelling against it.



The Story Behind the Story:


All the way back in 2003, my brother Mathieu, my friend Gaetan, and I, created the basis for a new imaginary world where two divinities were caught in an eternal battle against each other; one being the master of frost and ice and living in the west, and the other being the queen of fire and flame and controlling the east. Back then, I was just exploring writing as a hobby, and I remember asking Mathieu and Gaetan if they would be all right with me expanding the world by writing a few stories in it. They both welcomed the idea.

The first draft of the story was about 15,000 words, written in French, and titled “L’étranger” (The Stranger). It introduced the world and some key characters, but left many questions unanswered, teasing the reader’s imagination more than anything else. Still, both Mathieu and Gaetan enjoyed it and I ended up writing two more novellas following this one (also written in French).

When I started writing more seriously about ten years ago, the first story I ended up publishing was The Burden of the Protector, which covers some of the events leading to those taking place in “L’étranger”. Burden was in fact a prequel and although it stands well on its own, its epilogue hints that more is too come.

Exploring the world a second time sparked a series of new ideas, and more importantly, it re-awoke my interest in this world. I wanted to travel there, discover its realms and countries, meet its inhabitants and heroes. I needed to learn what had taken place, why, and more importantly, if the events destroyed the world or if it was, in the end, saved.

The Stranger of Ul Darak expands on what is presented in The Burden of the Protector. It dives into what took place and starts to expose the crisis facing the world, bringing to light a series of new characters. It is the first in an epic high fantasy series, inspired by some of my own favorite series, including The Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman,  The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, and obviously, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. It has many of the classic fantasy elements, including powerful magic, a struggle between good and evil, a world on the cusp of destruction, and the unlikely heroes who will have to save it. It is filled with mystery, intriguing characters, and takes place in a wondrous and unpredictable world.

It took me more than 20 years to bring The Stranger of Ul Darak to the book it is today. Surprisingly, most of the work I did does not even appear in this story (but will eventually come to light in the next installments of the series). It was a new and daunting experience for me to write the first book in a long series. It was also a LOT of fun. After reading so many epic stories, it’s quite special to finally write one of my own.



A question before you go, Steve:


Scribbler: How do you decide on the titles for your novels? Do you have one when you start a new story or later?



Titles, in all shape or form, have been the bane of my existence as a writer. Especially chapter titles! I wish I had a strategy, something, anything, to help make the decision of picking titles easier. But no, it is mostly a struggle.

I like to choose a title early on when writing a story, because I find it acts as a guide, or put another way, it gives me a target to aim for. That said, it happened on a few occasions that I had to change the title once a story is completed because it didn’t fit with the text anymore.

The title for The Stranger of Ul Darak came from the original story. “L’étranger” became “The Stranger”, and the stranger is a key character in the story. I also wanted some consistency with the titles in this series. It was important to me that this title went well with The Burden of the Protector. This is why I added “of Ul Darak” at the end, giving it the same structure.

Now, here is an exclusive that I haven’t shared anywhere else: in the same way, the next book in the series is titled “The Bridge of Carcia”. It picks up right after The Stranger of Ul Darak and it is what I’m working on at the moment.


Thank you Allan, for having me on The South Branch Scribbler once again. You’ll have to let me know what you think of The Stranger of Ul Darak once you get a chance to read it!



My absolute pleasure Steve. Thanks for being my guest this week. And for sharing the news of the next title. 

I’m looking forward to the story with great anticipation.



And a special thank you to our visitors and readers.

If you have an extra minute, why don't you have a look at my popular Shattered Series. Just click here

Thank you once more. 

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