The story of the Iska is a very personal story. Not just to KD the writer, but KD the person. Here's why.
By the time some of you read this I will either be preparing for surgery or have already had it. It took some time to come to terms with needing the procedure. It wasn't easy to wrap my head around.
I needed an outlet, a way to express the gamut of emotions I was feeling. I needed a catharsis. One day I was driving and glanced up to the sky. A few clouds here and there, all of them wispy in appearance. At that moment I could have sworn I saw one move against the pattern of the wind. As if of its own volition. I was wrong, of course. Still, it seemed real. Real enough for the 'what if' in me to take over.
What if there are these...entities. I'm hesitant to say creatures, because they don't adhere to any rules governing the classification of living beings. But what if there are these entities that live among the clouds. Sentient and long-lived (although not immortal), serving as caretakers (of a sort) of Earth. Very powerful but mostly benign (emphasis on mostly), and only interact with the creatures below on an as-needed basis.
This would become the foundation for my story.
Like the Adrian's Children series, the story of the Iska was only intended to be a short story. But the more I wrote, the more the story evolved, morphed, became more layered and textured. So I decided to keep writing until it reached a natural conclusion.
The first installment of the series tells the story of an Iska name Ma'auni. He's a very young Iska (by Iska standards). Through an act of carelessness, he causes a natural disaster. His mother, Iko, knows the reason behind this. Ma'auni is missing key components in his make-up.
Iska feel a connection to the earth and its creatures in ways we humans do not. It is because of something all Iska have called 'tausayawa'. Humans have it, too, but not on the level of the Iska. All Iska are born with it complete and intact, but Ma'auni was not. Certain aspects of tausayawa were missing, making Ma'auni incomplete. His mother sends him to commune with the humans below.
While on land, Ma'auni meets a human, a man dying of cancer who becomes the narrator of the story. The Iska: Ma'auni tells the story of their meeting and how each came to learn from the other. It explores the bond forged as a result.
I don't want to give too much away, but hopefully as you read, you will find why the story is so personal to me. I hope you enjoy.