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The Burning of Legends of Perilisc

On Saturday the 10th of December, there was a public book burning of two of my books. Someone I thought was my friend attacked me in this way and took videos. I made myself watch the videos. I couldn't make out what she was saying. Of course it was outside and the audio quality was terrible. From the post, she was calling me a terrible person, laying out all these horrible things I had done over 25 years ago. 

I wrote a post on Facebook and talked about one of the books, Liefdom. I want to talk about the second book today. It's called Legends of Perilisc. I released three Legends books. It's all short fiction. It's all over the map topic-wise, but each book has a central theme, and Legends of Perilisc is introducing the reader to my world, creating characters and themes that carry out through all the books I've written. It's a starting place. Legends of Perilisc is a short book, but it's the cornerstone of everything. And as I watched it being torn apart and burned, it was like watching my life's work, the world I had created, burn in somebody's backyard in a small fire. 

Every world needs a creation myth. Not all writers know that, but it does. Maybe not even for the reader, but for the writer. They need a creation myth. They need to know how their world was put together and why it was built the way it was. They need to know how the races were crafted and they need to know the events that opened it all up and made it all possible. And that's what Legends of Perilisc does. But it's more than that. When I talk about the creation of my world, I'm not only talking about how the planet was created by the gods and why. I'm harkening back to one night, one night in particular. 

I was going through a lot of therapy to deal with an abusive past and a broken mind. I usually had people around me all the time, but on this particular night I didn't. I had been alone all day, evening, and into the night. A friend of mine had given me an extremely nice journal. I sat down and wrote out how the world was created. The gods' names, where the material stuff came from that was used to create the world. I wasn't writing fantasy at the time. I wasn't writing at the time. I was playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, but this work here wouldn't be used in that game. This was the starting of something, something I really wouldn't get a handle on until two or three years later, when I started writing my first fantasy novel. 

I almost always had company over, so I had to be dressed. Well, this particular night I stripped down to my boxers. When I picture this night in my head, for some reason, the coffee table is not in the living room, the coffee table is in the kitchen and I'm writing on it. I don't know how to explain that, because I know it's not true. The only explanation that I have for thinking the table was in the kitchen is that maybe in my mind I was cooking something up. I wrote in that journal and I created the entire world. I explained why the gods made it, which one of them actually shaped it with their hands. I explained how everything went wrong. And that was the night I created my world. That story is captured in two of the short stories in Legends of Perilisc, but the night, the actual night the world was built, in that journal, is a night that will live in infamy for me. I had built a world in my mind and on paper. And it broke my sanity. I slowly degraded from a man writing in a journal into a lunatic building an altar in his living room and defecating in the shower. I was a raving lunatic for at least two days, I think three. My mind had been broken in the creating of my world when mixed with the isolation and the hunger and the creation and trauma and broken mind, when all of it combined to form something real, something that would be a catalyst for the rest of my life, when that happened, I paid for those stories. Those stories in Legends of Perilisc, I paid for them with my sanity. 

They say that when you buy a book you're buying a person's life. You're buying years of the author's thoughts, struggles and tears. When you buy a book you're buying two worlds, the world in the book itself and the world in the mind of the author. Every author gives up something, some part of themselves, when they create something, when they write a book they chip off a piece of their mind, soul, body, their emotions, their past. And they leave it in the words of that book. The reason Legends of Perilisc hurt so much when it burned is because Legends had for two or three days cost me everything. I gained most of it back. On December 10th, I watched it burn. I don't think I'll ever be the same. 

I asked myself why people burn books. And every time, I come back with hate of some kind. Hate of what was written. Hate of the author. Hate of the themes. When a government burns a book, it's because they fear the topic spoken in it, and they hate it. It's the killing of information. Burning a book is the destruction of thought. And this time, it was the destruction of my peace. Because I've been howling ever since. 

The Silent War of the Sour Eye

Here's your access to The Silent War of the Sour Eye. The recently expanded short story collection includes: 

The Banshee
The Slave
The Gilded Mares
Son of the Demontser
The Forge of Souls
The Master of the Hoodsmen

Jesse Teller

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Jesse Teller, 2443 S. Ventura Ave., Springfield, MO  65804 USA

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