This is something that I should have gotten to a while ago, it’s time I talked about the project I’ve been working on for the last decade: The Traveler Series. That feels weird to say, but it’s true, I have been working on this series and its universe since high school, sometime before 2010.
For those first few years, I was just writing whatever I wanted to and not really focusing on any one book. If I wanted to write a particular scene, I did without regard to where it fell in the overall story. This slowed the process down but helped me establish the world, though universe would be a better term, more and more so by the time I sat down and started focusing on the first book, I had a decent grasp of my settings and characters.
The next hurdle was learning to write and do it well, thus the decade of work.
The Traveler series follows a young boy, Kyle, and his friends as they learn about magic and the existence of other worlds. Together, they go on adventures across the universe exploring worlds and learning about what it means to be a family.
Book one is titled The Dead World and should be out this June.
Who Is the Traveler?
In the world of Tehrahey, it is common knowledge that their world was created by someone called a Traveler. This mystical person created the world with powers he’d acquired from a book known as the Book of Time. These powers allowed the Traveler to perform feats of magic, manipulate elements, master any weapon, and even Travel from one world to another in the blink of an eye, thus his title of Traveler.
The Traveler took care of Tehrahey as best as he could while he was alive, but eventually, problems arose. Every day, Tehrahey fell further and further into disrepair despite his best efforts to keep the world going. On top of that, greedy individuals started hunting him, intent on laying their hands on the Book of Time and getting powers for themselves.
Eventually, the Traveler hid the book away, leaving behind clues in the form of three tablets guarded by trials for someone to eventually claim it. Then he disappeared from Tehrahey, never to be seen again.
Thousands of years passed the jungles that once covered Tehrahey were slowly consumed by the Erima, a massive sand dune desert until there was more sand than plant life. That’s when a second Traveler arrived. This Traveler promised to help Tehraheyians restore their world to its more habitable past, but he didn’t know how to do so without finding the Book of Time.
Along with a team of Tehraheyians, this second Traveler set out to collect the Tablets, but then things went wrong. According to the stories, the Traveler attacked his companions before fleeing Tehrahey. He never came back.
There hasn't been a Traveler on Tehrahey since then.
Welcome to Tehrahey
By the time the first book in the series begins, Tehrahey isn’t doing well. The world is dying, and every inhabitant knows it. The Erima is consuming the continent as the oceans recede faster and faster with each passing day. Needless to say, water and food are in short supply and the people out there are often barbaric as they fight over any resource they can lay their hands on. They’ll fight over anything and everything if it means they can survive another day.
On Tehrahey, only the best survive.
In the years since the second Traveler’s disappearance, a Maker has ruled over Tehrahey. On top of ruling over Tehrahey, the Maker is responsible for taking objects and ideas left behind by the second Traveler and learning how to make them for Tehraheyians. This is how the world figured out some of its more modern inventions, such as steamships, clocks, and schools.
Class Is in Session at the CTS
Tehrahey’s school system, called the Child Teaching System or CTS for short, is essentially a boarding school, except the kids and their parents get no say in when or if they attend. Children are abducted into the system at the age of three and remain within its underground halls until they are eighteen when they are released into the world. Theoretically, they are ready for the outside, but more often than not, they are deeply unprepared for the harsh world that awaits them.
During all of those years within the CTS, the kids are raised by strangers who, usually couldn’t care less about the children. Some go as far as to hit the kids for the slightest step out of line. One of the worst adults being Ms. Hess. She loves making kids cry, and keeps a rock in her pocket for special occasions. You can catch a glimpse of her in my short story A Monster Arrives.
Unsurprisingly, Kyle and his friends don’t enjoy their time in the CTS. They spend their time going to class, dealing with bullies-both in adult and kid form-and just generally trying to get through the day as quickly as possible.
Kyle and his friends have managed to form a tight bond with one another. The friends may drive each other nuts from time to time, but they have one another’s backs.
Kyle is an inquisitive young boy, thirteen, who is doing his best to survive the CTS. For the most part that means keeping his head down and avoiding the wrath of the adults. However, everyone once in a while he finds himself needing to teach a bully some manners. He’s not the smartest, strongest, or fastest amongst his friends, but he doesn’t let that stop him from doing his best. Unlike his friends, Kyle doesn’t remember anything about his parents. All he knows is the CTS.
Andy is twelve years old and has been Kyle’s best friend since they were both little. When they first met, a bully by the name of Max was picking on her for having red hair, a very rare trait on Tehrahey. When Kyle came to her defense that day, she knew she’d found a friend. Since then, she’s stuck by his side and tried to get him to study and pay attention in their classes. She is easily the smartest of her friends, a fact she takes great pride in and works hard to continue to hold that title, not that any of the boys are really trying to take it from her. Andy remembers her parents were smart, and she tries to be like them.
Jason is fourteen and new to the CTS, which is odd. He managed to avoid getting inducted into the CTS until he was thirteen. In one night, he lost his father and found himself trapped within the underground halls of the awful school system. There, he met Andy and Kyle, and took a liking to them, especially their distaste for bullies. He soon made a name for himself as one of the strongest kids around, using all of the fights as a way to vent his anger over everything that has happened to him, though he’d never admit that.
Lastly, there’s Max, also twelve, and Andy’s childhood bully. Though he, Kyle, and Andy didn’t get along very well in their early years, he has since seen the error of his old ways, largely due to his meeting Jason. Kyle was skeptical of the bully at first but after the boy had apologized for his past misdeeds, Kyle had to admit that Max could be a lot of fun when he wasn’t being a jerk. Max and Andy still struggle to get along, but their relationship has improved in leaps and bounds since their first meeting, though neither will ever admit it. He believes that if he’d been fast enough, he wouldn’t have been taken from his mother.
Time to Return to Your Dimension (For Now)
And that’s the basics. I’ve spent a lot of time building up this universe, and I’m excited to start sharing it with everyone.
Admittedly, I already have started sharing this universe with my readers. All of my short stories on the site are connected and within the same universe. Maybe I should make a timeline for everything on here. Could be fun…
The Dead World is just the beginning for the Traveler Series. I plan on writing many more adventures across several different worlds, and I hope you will join Kyle and his friends for the ride.
Honestly, this little post has been one of the harder things to write recently. I simultaneously had too much to say and not enough to say about my book. I recently got the cover and I absolutely love it—wait, Cat!?
What are you doing hiding on the cover? You aren’t one of the main characters, you’re not even in that scene!
I thought I noticed you slipping into some of my other images. Did you have anything you wanted to say to the people?
Aaannnnddd he’s gone… Well, that was rude of him. Sadly, you get used to it.
You can learn more about him, and the rest of the gang—you know, the people who the story is actually about—in The Traveler: The Dead World, available on Amazon this June!