Facing Death itself, conducting dark rituals, and using forbidden magic? Being sent to hell is not something that 12-year-old Anji ever expected from a government orphanage program set in a VR fantasy RPG Chrysalis. Betrayed and fueled by homesickness and revenge, he will go through hell to face the things hidden in the darkest corners.
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My childhood can be simply described in one word: rebellious. Every day, my parents would want me to go outside and play with the other kids. But no. I rebelled. Instead of listening to my mom and dad about getting exercise and some fresh air, I stayed inside doing the most rebellious thing I could think of to exasperate my parents: read. Being an inquisitive child, I spent days reading books and encyclopedias.
I called it expanding my horizons.
My parents called it being lazy.
The first computer in my life appeared when I entered university. It brought entirely new worlds to me. After classes, I would search through breathtaking stories describing unseen worlds, their histories, and characters. The most lasting impression for me was the Fallout series.
I remember everything as if it was just yesterday…
At 22, I went through a pre-midlife crisis. I was finding out my place in the world, trying different jobs and directions for life. Restaurants, websites, freelance, ghostwriting — everything I did, I gave it my all. Life was like a game to me: you earn resources and gold and spend them on armor and equipment.
At the end of 2013, I read my first LitRPG book. I read all of the stories from the first LitRPG wave in Russia. It was a revelation! The two things I liked the most, internet gaming and books, were now seamlessly combined to produce heroic stories. Needless to say, I became a fan of the genre. It was like reading and playing at the same time, a game you could only dream of!
I was full of emotions and energy and purely inspired. I had so many things to say and write that eventually I put pen to paper. The story just wrote itself: a world of mystery, elaborate plot twists, and devious characters. No free hugs, no super luck, no powers and definitely no magic for free. That was the book I ended up writing.
If I’m being totally honest, sometimes I cried when I wrote the traumatizing and dramatic life experiences of Anji. I was with him, side by side, and I felt his pain as if it was my own. And I wanted to share our story with the world.
I am in awe of how fast Chrysalis has been read by readers around the world. I’m forever grateful to the people who inspired me to keep writing and for those that said I should just put a cork in it!
I’d like to thank the Litworld team for doing an amazing job at promoting my book. None of this would have been possible without you guys.