Excerpt from “Side Project” — Derek Barton – 2019



For a couple weeks now, I have been working with my colleague,  Adam Mitchell, on a fantasy story side project.  This is geared toward a younger reader than most of you, my typical fans, but it’s been a lot of fun and sparked some fond nostalgia.

Do you remember these back in the early 80s?

There’s a growing niche market for a revival or new version of these beloved child/young adult stories.

Writer James Schannep, for instance, is like a few other writers who have already had success with his own modern tales in his series, Click Your Poison.

Our series, Drive Your Destiny (working title), the introductory book will contain three separate stories (a bonus story if you complete certain missions correctly) with some common links to each other. It takes place in the world called Aturnor mainly controlled by man and elves. Few in the world has little lore of magic. In fact, only scattered magical artifacts and treasures have been left behind by a race known as the Daenovians. 

To add a twist to our series, we have fashioned three heroes with unique skills that you use to survive and surpass tests within the adventures.

Here is a small sample of what we’ve been working on from the first story, Shrine of the Shadow’s Tooth:

ROOM 31#

As you reach the top of the stairway, you come across a massive granite door broken in two by a massive crack which blocks your path. 

Squeezing through the crack, you find on the other side a troll that is feeding on the remains of a goblin corpse. Next to the troll are several stacks of cages which hold skeletal remains of various animals. Amongst the cages and debris of remains sits a chest covered in flayed, decaying flesh and half-chewed organs. Next to it is what looks like the only other way out of this chamber of the Shadow’s Tooth.

As you listen and watch in disgust the Troll’s eating habits, you notice a cage suspended from the ceiling. Inside, a young woman is trapped and terrified. You suspect that she’s more than likely the troll’s upcoming meal. Behind where the troll is eating, you see a wooden winch mechanism which lowers the cage.

You open the troll’s chest. Turn to — 79

You decide to rescue the women in the troll cage. Turn to — 65



ROOM 41#

After some time, you find yourself in an odd-looking, but ornate chamber. In front of you looms a 30-foot-tall demonic idol which dominates this room of ebony stone. The statue is made of contrasting red quartz. Its grinning face appears to have two large rubies in place of eyes. A fire burns wildly in a wide brazier built into the chest of the demon. This is the source of the strong smell of sulphur in the area.

At the base of the idol are three chests made from the same black stone. Skulls are set into each chest, their eyes compelling you forward.

You choose to investigate the idol. Turn to — 8

You decide to check the chests and carry on past the idol. Turn to — 30


What are your thoughts and first impressions on this idea?  Is this something you’d buy for your child/teenager? What was your favorite adventure from the Choose Your Adventure series?

Please feel free to share and comment.

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