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The Crown's Overall Premise
(NOTE: This is intended to mirror the kind of short summary you'd read on the back of a paperback, with the secondary premises added as a third paragraph for each uber-story)
In the old days, people of the world believed that lineage should be traced from the female line. There could always be questions about who fathered a child, but rarely questions about who the mother was. Transfer of lands and titles also came to be done this way -- the king wielded power, but the queen was the source of it -- until the advent of the "modern world."
Sometime around 6,500 BC a very special woman was born, one who stopped aging at twenty-two and has been alive ever since. Possessing the strength of seven men and senses far more perceptive than average man, she also possessed a love that was more than that of anyone else in the world. Anyone she fell in love with became a god among men -- his voice would be able to sway people's wills, his fist like a thunderbolt, gravity a mere intellectual conceit he could ignore. This love was The Crown, a token of her devotion in the form of power, and these days she calls herself Tonya Fitzgerald.
The Premise for Book One
Fearing the consequences of this love, Tonya spent most of her millennia in solitude, sublimating her desires in learning and secrecy. One night, a man whose face echoed an ancient flame in her heart snuck past the guards and captured her attention. For the first time in four centuries, Tonya fell under the spell of romance, discarding her carefully crafted isolation, consequences be damned. She discovers happiness in the evanescent arms of a mortal named James Edwards, even as the shadow that's haunted her for centuries seeks to darken her life again.
The Premise for Book Two
Jetting around the globe, doing the archaeology of the impossible, was tons of fun until the Manos family got involved. James and Tonya filled their days with hunts for the most dangerous artifacts of the old world and their nights with each others sensual pleasure. Little did they know that the Five, carrying the mandate of the Byzantine Empire and a dedication to rid the world of the same treasures that James and Tonya seek to secure, were lying in their path, ready to rid the world of immortality in the name of God and Man. After ten centuries, Tonya is forced to face the legacy which killed more than a dozen immortals.
Well, what I meant was ...
(NOTE: This is just me talking about the story in vague terms)
When I got the idea for The Crown, I originally thought of it as a comic book -- the first scene of Book Two is a close up, slowly panning up the body of the protagonist. Most of the ideas I have these days are comic book ideas -- it's what I really, really wanna do, write stories with sequential art. Unfortunately, my "other people are bad" philosophy comes to mind, as I find artists have lives that don't conform to my schedules. Waiting is bad.
So, I decided to kind of work out my prose (since I won't work out at a gym, heh), and started writing the damned thing in prose, a series of chapters with no specific end in mind (well, an overall end to the initial story, but an open-ended premise ... sorry, content geek mode there) that will do what I want it to do, no need for compromises. That was Book One, and I hope it worked.
At it's heart, this whole exercise is a love story -- yes, there's fighting and explosions and dramatic pronouncements, but that's just part of it -- and the story of an eight thousand year old woman. I'm often fascinated by the concept of immortality, because it seems like it would get terribly boring after a while. My spiritual path teaches that your spirit must learn lessons, and will keep coming back no matter how long it takes to get it (your identity may not come back, an important note, as you could use a lot of that experience -- no such luck), until you can finally become one with spirit. Our protagonist, Tonya Fitzgerald, not only has nothing to learn, but has a number of other fascinating things going on, which the story will hopefully interest you with.
It also touches on the idea of matrilineage -- power passing through the female line. You're not king because of who you are, but because of who you married -- she owns the land, you administer and protect it. It's a very prevalent concept in the ancient world, and one I resonate with because it often made some scarily intelligent women.
In that vein, Book One introduces the romance between James and Tonya, as well as setting up the presence of Damian Dare, possibly the world's most dangerous man. Book Two (high concept: The X-Files meets Immortal Hunters) clarifies some continuity points from Book One while giving a rousing adventure yarn and examining the pressures of a relationship. Book Three is a long ways off (as of writing this in summer of 2003), so let's dynamite that bridge when we come to it. The more I look at it, it's an arc -- relationship rises, relationship is put under pressure, relationship struggles.
Enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think.