Dreams of Caladria
The Story Behind the Story
Dreams of Caladria has a long, strange history. In 1995 another publisher, Thomas Nelson, published Joseph Bentz's first book, a fantasy novel called Song of Fire.
It was well-reviewed, but right as it came out, Nelson changed publishing strategies and moved away from fantasy for that period. The novel faded from view and went out of print.
Twenty years after its original publication, Enclave Publishing released the book with a new title, new cover, and with a new ending (the one the author had originally wanted the book to have).
The original novel took Bentz 10 years to write. The first draft was 1,200 pages long. It was clearly unpublishable at that length, so he started over, using those 1,200 pages as raw material for the next draft. He kept revising until the book was about 600 pages long and then began sending it out to publishers. Once it was accepted for publication, Nelson had him cut it even further, to its current length of about 400 pages. Some of the material that was cut from the material novel appears below.
When the original manuscript of Song of Fire (now Dreams of Caladria) was completed in 1994, it had a much longer and much different opening chapter than the current version of either book. In the original version, the main character, Jeremy, "dies" and is led through a series of scenes from his life. He not only views the fragmented memories but also lives them. He is led by an angel named Abdiel, who is "teaching him to see."
By the time Jeremy is finished with this tour of his past, he is ready for what is to come. In the second chapter, he finds himself arriving in Persus Am in a swirl of light and music.
The original opening chapter of the novel is available here: Original Chapter One
Purchase copies of Dreams of Caladria.