Requiem began one morning with some Mozart, a sleepy city, and strong coffee.
One early Sunday morning four years ago, I left my downtown Toronto apartment, walked to the nearby bookshop, and entered the coffee shop on the second floor. Toronto apartments are often too small for desks; they force a writer to become something of a hipster, writing in coffee shops. I sat by the window with a hot drink, watching the city wake up outside. The coffee was steaming, and Mozart's entire Requiem was playing on my MP3 player. I had a notebook but forgot my pen; I had to borrow one from the barista (oh god, I said "barista"... this city really does force you to become a hipster). I didn't know what I'd write that day. I listened to the music, hearing old Latin words like Benedictus, Lacrimosa, Kyrie Eleison, Dies Irae, Agnus Dei... and I just wrote what I imagined while listening. The story took form as I scribbled away--a story about people in a mythical world who could become dragons. Benedictus became the exiled king, Lacrimosa the wise queen, Kyrie the hot-headed youth, Dies Irae a wrathful villain, Agnus Dei a fiery maiden . . . all fighting for a kingdom called Requiem.
Four years later, there are ten Requiem novels and more to come.
The music that started it all: