The true story behind the creation

of the Journey Eternal Series

To my beloved readers, wherever – and whenever – you may be,

I am sure many people become an author organically. They likely enjoy reading, or storytelling, or imagine grammar is the one constant which holds this universe together. As for me, I experienced none of that. I spend my life as an overweight nobody who enjoyed movies and video games, and nearly flunked English class for nothing other than a lack of motivation. I found little reason to even touch a book and, without doubt, would have laughed at you had you even hinted at the notion that I should set my sights on authorship. In fact, I was so set against reading, every single one of my book reports turned out to be well-crafted forgeries (I apologize, Miss Daniels), each one carefully distilled from a scan through the first chapter, the last chapter, and a mishmash of reviews. Even now, as I write this, I can hardly comprehend the level of ignorance I maintained through that one habit alone, yet it is the truth, however sorry it might be.

“So what changed?” you might ask after reading that abysmal first paragraph. Well, for most of my life, practically nothing. Up until the day I realized I had become an author, I had only read one singular book: The Hobbit. Its reading had been when I was fourteen years old, and we had been given a list to choose from before the start of our first high school year. Finding myself intimidated by not only high school itself, but by the concept of reading before school began, I acquiesced to their demands. Nonetheless, I chose the least “school-like” book from the list, and maintained that it had been a one-time occurrence, a dalliance into a forbidden activity that, while I might not have disliked it, would never participate in again. Or so I thought.

Fast forward approximately fifteen years, and it was 2012. I had gone to college for graphic design, and had started my own company. It did well, too, attracting more clientele than I could keep up with, and earning more money than I have yet to see again. Truthfully, a lot more money, as I currently hold nothing in regard to wealth. Yet, even through that success, something pulled at my heart, my mind.

Every morning, I would wake up, craft one-of-a-kind designs for people and their companies, and send them on their way, trading my abilities for income. Most adored what I created, some didn’t, but in the end, I came home with a check, and died a little bit more inside. No matter how much money I made, I couldn’t shake the fact that everything I did was false, that everything the world had been built upon meant nothing at all. It felt like humanity had forgotten something it had once held dear. And it made me unhappy – incredibly unhappy. Eventually it made me so unhappy that I shut down my business altogether in favor of nothing at all, and walked away with no direction, no idea of what to do next.

I’ll save you the misery that followed, as it was seriously unpleasant, but suffice it to say that, in short order, I found myself going through a divorce, had nowhere to live, and had lost everything. I ended up sleeping in a tent through the winter, praying the snow wouldn’t collapse it. I started a regimen of antidepressants and alcohol. I donated plasma over six hundred times for income. I spoke about weight loss at the YMCA so they would gift me a free membership, which I used to get out of the cold. I lived for nothing. I became no one.

And that was a truth that other people seldom discovered. If nothing else, I had always been observant. I was excellent at maintaining social cues, and hid my pain well. I knew how to appear successful, popular. I said the right things, and reacted the right way. I knew what advice to give, and when to listen. In me, many people felt they had found an impressive ally to invest their precious time with. And in some ways, I lived up to that, at least for a time. But they never learned the truth – that I wished I was dead.

Then one day, when starting up on a new antidepressant, I made the mistake of drinking again. It was the first drug I had used which explicitly prohibited the use of alcohol. Or perhaps the first that actually affected me in that way – it’s hard to remember. One night, while spending time with some friends, I awoke on the floor, confused, only to find myself covered in blood, with EMT’s lifting me up onto a stretcher. The medication, when combined with alcohol, had given me a seizure, and I had fallen, hitting my head on the edge of a brick escarpment. Unfortunately for me, there would be no second chances. Serious damage had been done. An MRI revealed a number of black spots on my brain (lesions from both the impact and the seizure). I was told my brain would, for lack of a better term, need to reprogram itself. They warned that I might lose some senses, abilities, and even memories.

I thought the doctor’s warnings were complete nonsense at first, but soon after realized just how real her predictions were. I had indeed suffered permanent memory loss, and still struggle to remember details, both past and current, on a daily basis. Changes in my personality almost immediately followed after, and I became withdrawn, reclusive, and developed serious social anxiety. Many of my interests died, and people insisted I acted like someone they hadn’t met before. It was confusing and painful, but that one-night mistake would ultimately alter the course of my entire life.

You see, after the accident, I began to have a reoccurring dream – that of standing on an unfamiliar road, next to two people I had never met. I had the distinct impression I had traveled with them, as the road stretched on in both directions, but had no memory of where I had come from or why I had chosen to accompany them in the first place. Disastrously, I also learned soon after that I could recall the scene far more vividly if I was drunk – a habit that thankfully did not cause me any additional seizures, but didn’t do me any favors, either.

The dream itself I experienced a half dozen times, and I began to obsess over it, as reoccurring dreams are rarity in my life. Embarrassingly, I also continued to raise my daily alcohol allowance, hoping I’d be able to remain on the road with those two strangers just a little bit longer. But it wasn’t until I chose to transcribe my experience, due to my aforementioned memory loss, that I had a feeling of euphoria, a sense of absolute purpose, and I found myself without the ability to refrain from doing so. The message began to pour from my mind, and I would lose myself for hours at a time while I documented everything I had witnessed.

I soon purchased an old eReader at a Goodwill, and began to type on it everywhere I went. What started out at less than two thousand poorly constructed words grew and grew until I attempted to self-publish its first part, which did not go well at all. That being said, it did introduce me to Kristen, who, for some unknown reason, thought I was worthy of her time, and helped me to not only edit what I had created and continue on constructively, but also rebuild my life into something a human might actually enjoy. She also convinced me to begin reading, and is the reason I consume several dozen books a year. As I write this, we are just now about to publish parts one through three of the story, held within a massive first volume, topping out at over 430k words, and will be releasing the next volume soon. Its completion is the first event in my life of which I am proud.

The book you have just read, or are about to read, was not written by a person who excelled at grammar, or wrote for a living, or has any accolades whatsoever. But it is honest, and it is genuine. It has been written in a snow-covered tent. It has been written on a treadmill at the YMCA. It has been written on a bus, sitting next to a guy with a hairy nose. It has been written, one-handed, while donating plasma. It has been written while ingesting dubious pills during medical trials. It has been written through sorrow and happiness, good times and bad, and it contains the entire soul of the person who shared it with you.

Success or failure, this has become my entire world. It is all I can bring myself to do. I love it. I feel an overwhelming desire to share it with everyone I can, and that is the true reason I am not focused on profiting from its distribution. It will be offered up to anyone who will take the journey with me, and it is my greatest wish that it will enhance your life, as it has mine.

Forever your most humble and devoted servant,

Viktor H. Strangewayes