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November 22, 2013

Sam Whitehouse: What Inspires Me?

I grew up immersed in the fantasy worlds of Tolkien and Rowling and all kinds of ancient myths and folklore. I knew I wanted to be a writer from a very early age. After reading about these cool and fantastical worlds it felt natural to write my own stories, and to make up my own worlds and characters. Being a kid of the Potter generation I grew up with the books and each one I read made me want to create my own world more and more. And so, eventually I decided to go for it. Already being a big fan of Arthurian legend I thought it would be a cool idea to bring it into the modern day and explore the myth surrounding Merlin, Excalibur and Camelot. From that, The Prophecy of Three Quartet was born. So J K Rowling was directly responsible for inspiring me to write this series. I had lived in the Wizarding World for so long that I wanted to create my own world, one that I could control and create.

Reading is also a big source of inspiration for me. When I read books by Stephen King, JK Rowling, Philip Pullman, Rick Riordan and many others its feeds my imagination a little more every day. Books are like fuel, keeping the fire of ideas and stories burning in my head. If I had to pick a person who inspires me, then it would have to be my Grandad. He was the one who used to read me stories, many of which he made up, that kept my imagination firing and urged me to write down all the ideas I had in my head.

If it were not for the authors I mentioned and my Grandad I don’t know if the Prophecy of Three would have ever seen the light… But I’m glad it did because it’s cool to be in charge of my own world and being able to live in one that I created and that I can control.


Prophecy of Three
Chapter One – A Letter from the Past

Everything changed for Simon Falke the first time he fell through the fire.

Hot wind forced his clamped eyelids open and he recoiled as flames grew up like desperate fingers from the darkness. Through stinging tears Simon saw that he was standing in thin air. The growing fire rose, swirling high and closing in on him. Then, with no more warning than a lurching sensation in his stomach, Simon was pitched backwards, and the space that had once felt solid beneath his feet, gave way.

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A yell escaped him, muffled by the roaring wind. The flames stretched away, flickering back into the gloom, taking the heat with them. An excruciating chill took its place, thickening in the air and erupting Simon’s entire body in goosebumps. He grappled desperately as he fell, but his scrabbling fingers met only cold air and darkness. He was turning and rolling, eyes shut again for fear of what he might see. Then all of a sudden the gushing wind ended. Had he stopped? Daring only now to open his eyes, he found himself floating inches above a rough stone floor that had appeared out of the nothingness beneath him. The musty smell of earth filled his nostrils as he hovered for a moment, quite unable to move. Then voices, rendered into echoes, sounded somewhere behind him and in his distraction Simon hardly noticed as he dropped to a gentle rest on the ground.

“Are the rumours true? She has vanished?” The voice trembled with the onset of panic.  

"I am afraid so.” The second voice was hoarse, as if the speaker was suffering from some illness.

“How did she manage to evade capture? Surely the Elders have power enough to contain her.”

Laughter, devoid of any humour, was the reply before the second voice spoke again. “I think you underestimate her, my friend. The Elders did, and it was their undoing.”

“And what of her book?”

“We need not worry about that.”

Simon rose from his spread eagled position, dusting off the grit coating his sweaty palms. Nausea struck him and he clamped his eyes shut until it passed. As he blinked away the dancing spots of white light from his vision, he glanced around. He could see no people, no sign of the speakers he’d heard. From what he could make out, he was in a long tunnel that stretched away from him on both sides. A dim light was gradually vanishing in the distance to his left, as though coming from a candle or lantern being carried away. But whoever was bearing the light was too far into the darkness to see.

Despite the trembling in his legs and the threat of another pang of nausea, Simon relented to his curiosity and broke into a run. He wanted to catch up with the figures who were taking the last tendrils of light with them, before he was left in darkness. He couldn’t explain his curiosity. He just knew that whatever the speakers were discussing was important.

The air grew chillier with every step he took, so Simon pulled the hood of his jumper up and shoved his hands into his jean’s pockets. As he moved further along the tunnel, the light grew brighter again, revealing more of the tunnel. The place looked to once have been grand. High stone walls veered up on either side of him, cracked and crumbling in places and leading up to an elegant, vaulted ceiling. The floor beneath his feet looked to have once been paved, but dust and dirt obscured all but a few of the cracked and broken slabs. Unlit torches rested in rusted brackets on the walls. Overhead, cobweb-engulfed candelabras hung from the ceiling on ancient chains, creaking in the cold breeze gusting down the tunnel.

That unexplainable curiosity still urged him to keep up with the figures and another burst of speed later he smiled as the light ahead became much brighter. The sound of the voices drifted out of the soft whining of the wind. Simon slowed down as he approached a branch in the tunnel.

“Master, what do you wish me to do?” Simon heard the younger voice say.

“I ask of you only one thing... you know that my passing is imminent,” the old voice said, “and that with every minute I grow weaker, she grows stronger. I ask you to find them. There will be three... yes three I am sure. Find them and train them. They are our only hope.”

“But surely you-”

“Please, my friend, you must do this. It will require a great deal of patience and I am afraid this burden must fall to your son when you pass and his son when he, too, passes. I cannot say exactly when they will present themselves. But they will come and when they do they will be our best hope of defeating her. This is my final request of you, my friend… my final and most important request.”

Simon stepped tentatively forward, being as quiet as he could, and peered round the bend in the tunnel.

Standing several yards away, splashed into relief by the golden light of a floating ball of flames, were two men. One was tall, a fact his hunched stance did little to disguise. His skin was as wrinkled and sallow as dried out old parchment. His eyes were a piercing blue and a long silver beard, gilded by the fire light, grew in thick waves from his chin. The other figure, whose hand was raised beneath the ball of flames, seemingly in control of it, was much younger. But his black hair was speckled with grey and his face lined with premature wrinkles.

“As you wish,” the younger man said, sad eyes looking to the ground. The flames shrank as his hand dropped and the gloom grew quickly back.

~About the Author~

Ever since I realized that books did not spring from thin air and that people wrote them, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. Growing up on diet of fantasy and folklore and living in the fantasy worlds of Tolkien and Rowling it felt natural for me to write. The Prophecy of Three Quartet was born from my fascination with Arthurian legend and a love of stories that combine two worlds. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing and if I’m not thinking about writing I’m reading. I am also a huge fan of Marvel and movies (particularly anything directed by Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan and JJ Abrams).
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