Story Behind the Story: Jessica Johnson

Jessica and I at the OCW Conference



I am currently writing a fantasy trilogy, called The Cascadian Chronicles. In it, an American college graduate travels through a portal to the mythological world of Auberon.

Miriam Aguilar was brought to her foster family as an infant by her mysterious godparents. Her fiancée calls off the wedding during a camping trip with friends, and suddenly her godfather reappears after all these years. Feeling that she no longer has a home anywhere, Miri chooses to follow her godfather to the land of her birth. But the land of her birth is a magical world seemingly stuck in the Dark Ages. She happens to be the heir to the throne of a kingdom in turmoil, Cascadia. To discover her destiny and identity, Miriam must rediscover her faith in the God who created Auberon as well as Earth.

I started this story my senior year of high school, in 1994-5. The story started with a drawing. When I was younger, I loved to draw, mainly cartoon people and paper dolls. I’d drawn a girl with long, brown hair, dressed in medieval traveling clothes, but wearing modern hiking boots. I wondered: what if this girl was living normal American life when she discovered she was a princess from a little-known island kingdom? What would happen? I really did think this up years before the Princess Diaries novels came out…

It started out very much as a romance, with a handsome goat herder and an evil duke to defeat, of course. As I began reading modern fantasy novels in college, the story and the world evolved. The island kingdom in modern-day Earth became a magical world reached by a portal. My heroine’s name underwent a few changes. The goat herder and evil duke are still there, but layers of plot and theme as well as three-dimensional characters have taken it deeper. The world of Auberon and Miri herself are now much more diverse ethnically. The last few years have changed the most, as I have studied writing more seriously.

In terms of the stages of publishing, I am very much still a beginner. The story has been started and restarted many times. Each time has been a vast improvement, though. I have now restarted for hopefully the last time, except for the rewrite, of course. Someday, the story of Miriam and the world of Auberon will be complete.

— Thanks for stopping by, Jessica! Visit her blog here.

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Thanks, Nicole, for believing in me! Someday I will finish my book, and join the ranks of real authors like you!

  • Love the concept! Can’t wait to find it on a shelf 🙂