A Word from Tephra: What Clown Town Actually Represents

I’ve always had quite the active imagination. I still remember seeing Clown Town in a dream a few years ago. That image stuck with me and is still evolving in ways that I never imagined that it would. It’s deeply connected to the world I grew up in as a child and the experiences that I’ve had as an adult. I think that all of us have our own places where we’ve always felt like an outsider or that we are pretending to play a part. All of this is what Clown Town actually represents.

So what is Clown Town? 

Clown Town is the place where you have to play a part in order to fit in. We slap on that costume and smile, smile, smile, but who are we really?


Clown Town has a very capitalistic representation as well. It’s about power and wealth at any cost.


Clown Town represents the things that we want growing up that aren’t really what we think they are on the surface.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to write something that will hopefully influence young people to think about the life that they’re living. Duchess’ journey into a fake world that actually despises her is a powerful one. As the story continues, she will have to choose to be bound by her hatred of the clowns or freed by her new found destiny.

We all have this choice.

Escape to Pearl City Prologue

Written in the words of Duchess of the Faree Clan, Princess of the Fairies

The ringing in my ears won’t stop. I hear a knock on a door. No, it’s a hammer banging on a wall—but now it has stopped. I see something that hurts my eyes. It’s the sun, yet it hurts me now. Didn’t I love the sun when I was a child growing up in the Garden Gate Village? I can’t remember now…the sun…my home…my life…my dreams…

I hear my mother call my name.

“Duchess, where are you sweet child?” she calls.

My eyes still hurt but are open to see the light…

I see the sun, I feel the earth, I feel each flower on my fingertips as I walk through a field of lilies. I shut my eyes to listen to the water’s voice flow through my spirit. My feet feel the earth and the ground, yet I have no stinging pain of sharp rocks, nor do I feel the tiny legs of ants crawl across my toes.

Am I awake? Am I really here? Is this death?

I frantically search for my mother, but I only hear her voice. It’s too much to take, so I shut my eyes to breathe in. When I open them again my world has changed…

I can see my cottage just over the hill of green that I tumbled down as a child. The memory of my village life seems like a dream that I had many years ago.  Now I hear voices and see the dark dances of sorcerers that have harvested the essence of my soul.

I was so unhappy for so long as a child, even though I was surrounded by the beauty of the earth that those on high gave to humanity long ago. I dreamed of a life that was not meant for me. I loved a man that hated me. I lived a lie that will haunt me forever.

Now I head into the unknown without knowing who I am. What I once knew as love I now fear. My world…it changes. It shifts like the eyes of a lion stalking its prey. I close my eyes in fear, hoping to wake up but I can’t. I’m caught in his lair.

I’ve heard his voice many times. I still hear it echoing in my head. He calls to his conjurers, to his soldiers and to all of darkness to come to him and bow before him.

I scream at him, “What am I to do with the world’s dark destiny? Tell me!”

I’ve chased him in my dreams yelling that I am only a village girl. What have I to do with the end of the world!? Please…please…please let me go.

In every dream Epsilon turns to me and says, “The world can be overthrown by an army of ants. Its destiny is in the hands of the abandoned, yet they do not know it nor act upon it.”

I will never be who I once was.

The Fairish War Cry, Kayacum No Ai

Kayacum No Ai | Kai-a-cum No Aye | A fairish war cry that means soon our enemies will be conquered.

One of the most dazzling characters in the Clown Town trilogy is General Sharaya. In book 2 Escape to Pearl City, the General delivers a moving speech to her elite fighting unit in one of the darkest times during the siege of the grand celestial palace of Queen Felanthiam Celenamis and King Augustus.

“Today…right now is what is before us and what we have been freely given. Today we stand together as one to protect all that has made us who we are and has given us light and breath in our bodies. Today we say to the darkness, you will not take us. Today we say to the darkness you will not win. Today we will not run and hide but we will fight, for today we become who we are and we abandon our faults for today is our time to shine in glory!”

“Tears came to my eyes as I wrote this speech. Imagine a women who is a true warrior, stand strong in the face of adversity and death and say no, today you cannot take from us everything that we are. It’s a powerful message for all of us to remember when we’re face to face with our ultimate fear. It’s about becoming who we are called to be in moments of crisis and despair. No matter what we have done wrong or even right in the past. Today…right now we stand.”

-Tephra Miriam

The Art of Character Visualization in Fantasy Fiction Writing

I always enjoy hearing about how great writers design their writing process. I always come away with some great ideas on how to evolve my own process. The writing process is truly a unique art form to each writer. What many aspiring fiction writers may not realize is that there is a significant gap from taking a story idea from concept to drafting each page of your next novel. Character visualization is a tool that I use in my own practice to help me to traverse the creative gap quickly and not get stuck in a rut.

I often find myself having a few different components that I need to take from a high level and integrate into my characters and story such as:

  • Overarching theme(s)
  • Triggers (sights, sounds, smells, feelings, observations, etc.)
  • Storyline Progression

For example, let’s imagine that my overarching theme for my story or book is action, adventure and suspense and my sub-theme for this particular chapter might be building suspense. I have this concept of building suspense but how do I kickoff the chapter? What is or what does my character need to be doing in order to build suspense throughout this portion and progress the storyline? This is where character visualization can be helpful.

Start by visualizing the character that needs to be in that specific scene either mentally or even on paper and utilize the following prompts.

Character Visualization Prompts

  • What is your character doing physically?
    • Sitting
    • Standing
    • Lying Down
    • Listening
    • Squatting
    • Crying
    • Heaving
    • Breathing
    • Not Breathing
    • Laughing
    • Staring
  • What is their facial expression?
    • Grimacing
    • Smiling
    • Squinting
    • Happy
    • Sad
    • Mad
    • Indifferent
  • What are they wearing?
    • Shoes
    • No Shoes
    • Clothes
    • A Belt
  • What is the setting?
    • Forest
    • Table
    • Tower
    • Castle
    • Outdoors
    • Indoors
    • Dungeon
    • Courtyard
  • What will they interact with?
    • Nature
    • Themselves
    • A Group
    • One Other Person
    • An Object
  • How will they express what they feel?
    • Action
    • Conversation
    • Observation
    • Thinking
  • What are some other factors that impact them?
    • Are they itchy?
    • In pain?
    • Weather issues?
    • Do they step on a sharp rock?
    • Do they have a sprained ankle?
    • Are they rubbing a sore spot on their arm?
    • Do they have a back ache?
    • Are they tired?

Now it’s time to put it all together and visualize. Let’s imagine an interaction between a Princess that is meeting with her father who is a King. Let’s decide that they are familiar at this point in the story and not estranged and of course include all of the other components in their character profiles. In returning to our example of building suspense, you could open up the chapter with a bang.

“There’s my beautiful girl.”


The King’s voice carried over the echoey courtyard and his enthusiasm brought a smile to Duchess’ face. Duchess turned and embraced her father warmly.


“You look tired papa. Is everything alright?”


“The war rages on my love but as for today we are lucky to live in safety with our people.”


“What about tomorrow papa? Will we not be safe then?”


“Who knows what tomorrow may hold my love. All we have is today so let us give thanks. Today is a grand day, for today you will be given your wand and learn to use your wings.”


-Excerpt from Escape to Pearl City by Tephra Miriam

This passage does a few things.

  1. It honors the overarching and sub themes.
  2. It has emotional triggers.
  3. It progresses the storyline.

Make sure to keep tabs on your characters. Know what they are doing, how they are feeling and map out anything and everything that impacts the way they shift to different settings, experiences, situations and so on. Happy writing!

The Last Song of Aurora Borealis

In chapter 6 of Escape to Pearl City, Duchess and her family attend the funeral of Queen Chalay of the royal Faree clan, who is Duchess’ mother. Here Aurora Borealis sings the song that is sung at the time of death known as, the last song.

Enjoy listening to The Last Song of Aurora Borealis from the Escape to Pearl City soundtrack.

E may a o


E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o

For one to fall, leaves one to rise.

May starlight never leave your eyes.

The way unknown, the journey deep.

You held my heart and led my feet.


E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o

These words are mine, and mine to give.

Even though my last, with you I live.

Love never dies, love always lives.

In our lives, our hearts, our minds, our lips.


E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o, E-may-a-o

The sun will rise, the stars will shine.

I’ll see your face and you’ll see mine.

Forever ends, it’s not for long.

And we’ll be there with the stars at home.


Written, produced and performed by Tephra Miriam.

The Legend Of The Star Scrolls

The legend of the star scrolls starts to unfold in Escape to Clown Town and will be told in full in book three, The Legend of the Star Scrolls. We first learn of them in chapter 4 of  Escape to Clown Town.

“Ah, dear brother, I am bored. I long to dance…sing…or hear an earth story. Did you hear the stories that the old teacher told when we went to the starlight celebration?”

Orion, who is one of the many Grand Lords of the constellations, jumped to his feet.

“Such tales make me shine brighter than I ever have before. I grow weary of shining in the night sky. I wish to be a writer and tell tales of all of the sights and sounds that I have seen in my travels.”

Orion sat down exhausted from jumping and shouting. Breathing heavily Orion continued his rant.

“I long…I long to write of all of the magic that the universe contains. From the magic of Earth to Mars and all of the secrets that I have learned from the conjurers of Saturn, Arokaya and beyond. Brother, I shall get the teacher to write of these things. Yes! We shall write of all that we know. We will make the parchment from the trees of the Eucrachian forest and make ink from the tar pits of Saturn.”

You see the very word of the celestials has the power to change space and time. Orion not only poured his knowledge into the scrolls that the teacher wrote but the very power of the universe. The teacher took stories from Arev, Felanthiam and Rigil. The combination of each of their powers was captured in the star scrolls, creating a force like none other. When the fairies discovered the power of the scrolls they knew that the star scrolls were not safe on Earth.

4 Things You Must Know About the Star Scrolls…

  1. There is a magical form unique to each scroll that link them together.
  2. The power of the scroll is unlocked through movement and incantations.
  3. There are 13 scrolls in all that are scattered in different galaxies in the lower and upper heavens.
  4. The 13th scroll is the most powerful and the key to unleashing the full power of all the scrolls.

The Legend of the Star Scrolls is told by Orion who starts his long and epic tale with a letter to all who gaze upon the star scrolls.

“To all whose eyes meet the star scrolls collected from the vast reaches of this universe and the worlds beyond space and time, BEWARE and heed my warning! In my naivety I thought that I could bring together the darkness and the light by unifying the souls of the darkest beings in the universe and beyond with the celestials. Each scroll was affirmed by the ancient council of Crepusculum and given power over all in the universe, even space and time. 

These scrolls are a collection of the powers of both darkness and light and the power of each scroll is wielded by the virtue of our mouths and the movement of our bodies and souls. The stories and written word in each scroll are the inner yearnings and darkest desires of the most powerful beings in the universe, who have poured forth a piece of their very mind into parchment so that their existence may live on forevermore.”

The 13 star scrolls consist of 6 scrolls of dark magic and 6 celestial scrolls. The 13th scroll is the scroll of the 13 kingdoms of heaven. This scroll bears the seal of all of the writers of the 13 scrolls. The ancient supreme sorceress Vangemtra, stole the scroll during the old wars and locked it by shedding her own blood.

“The one that sheds blood to seal the 13th star scroll is the only one who can open it…” 

The 13 Scrolls

  1. The Arokayan Scroll of the Centauri’s. FACT: Arokayan magic is the oldest form of magic in the universe.
  2. The Scroll of Felanthiam and the Celestial Dragons
  3. The Scroll of High Celestial King Augustus Celenamis
  4. The Scroll of the Burning Suns
  5. The Scroll of Rigil 
  6. The Scroll of Orion
  7. The Scroll of the Trolls of Alniyah
  8. The Scroll of Meggido
  9. The Martian Scroll of Eoba
  10. The Scroll of Ranis and the Dark Souls of Lyanthra
  11. Vangemtra and the Scroll of the Kingdom of Witches
  12. The Scroll of Ash and Shadow
  13. The Scroll of the 13 Realms of Heaven

Tephra Miriam Hosts #AuthorAMA Discussion On Writing With Intensity

Tephra Miriam hosted an AMAFeed discussion on what it means to write with intensity. Tephra interacted with over 40 different people that asked questions about her writing, publishing and creative process.

Writing with intensity means to write with purposeful strength, power, potency and force. It’s what lies beneath the basic intention and grammatical construct of writing and turns writing into a tool for change. 

-Tephra Miriam

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 11.50.11 AM.png

AMAFeed has reinvented interviews. An Ask MAnything (AMA) Event is an authentic way to raise awareness to the things and causes that matter to you most.

Whatever your story is – there is always someone who can benefit from it and learn from your ups and downs. And you – you get a great feedback and insight into what sparks people’s interest and get to connect with like minded folks from around the globe.


Tephra Miriam Partners with Junior Achievement for Volta Elementary School Career Day

DVcTn4EX0AA7HH-Tephra Miriam partnered with Junior Achievement of Chicago for Volta Elementary School’s Career Day earlier this year. Over 100 middle-grade students were exposed to learning about being an entrepreneur and what it takes to bring a story to life. Tephra discussed every component of authorship from concept and design to editing, publishing and communications.

Junior Achievement’s Career Days provide students with exposure to diverse college and career paths. Mentors have the opportunity to share words of wisdom on how to navigate college and careers.

I tried to leave every student with one big takeaway. I told them that you often don’t have to look too hard to find what you’re good at. Tap into what you are passionate about now and weave it into your future. 

– Tephra Miriam


The New Lord of the Rings: “Escape to Clown Town” Hits the Market With Heavy Anticipation

The old storytelling styles of Tolkien and Lewis have been re-born and pumped with steroids. The wildly creative work, “Escape to Clown Town” has finally launched. The magical tale is the first in its 6 book series and is predicted to make waves.

CHICAGO – Jan. 13, 2018 – PRLog — “Escape to Clown Town” is a new breed of writing that embraces innocence and fearlessly tackles the true meaning of evil. Inspired by the old works of Tolkien, Lewis and Jane Austin, it throws itself into an exquisitely crafted universe that successfully marries the whimsicality of fantasy with an in depth look at good versus evil.

“It’s not just a story. It lives and breathes and fearlessly (yet age appropriately) tells a coming of age tale of a young girl that is swept up in a journey that is bigger than she ever imagines. It inspires those who read it to dream big and overcome adversity. It has a diverse melting pot of characters that mirrors the world we live in, which forces us to reflect on society.” – Tephra Miriam, Author of “Escape to Clown Town

This older middle-grade/young adult hybrid novel is sure to capture and wow audiences young and old.

TEPHRAMIRIAM Films Launches New Book Trailer for ‘Escape to Clown Town’

CHICAGO – Jan. 27, 2018 – TEPHRAMIRIAM Films took the lead in producing the new book trailer for ‘Escape to Clown Town’. This exciting feature provides a colorful and profound view of the work. The voiceover was completed by none other than the books author, Tephra Miriam. Miriam reads portions of the book throughout the work.

BookReels.com  featured the ‘breathlessly cool’ trailer on the landing page of their website.