What in the world would possess a sci-fi / fantasy nerd to write an entire historical fiction series?

By Judge Rodriguez

So, while I was sitting at my computer, working on transcribing what I had recently written for “The Forgotten Doctor”, I came to the realization that there’s a story to be told about the books themselves, not just the storyline contained within.

I’ve often had people ask me, “Why do I choose to write what I do?” Why indeed?

Growing up, I always felt the calling to pick up a pencil and lay down a manuscript. I’ve had several people in my life that have given me encouragement in developing the talent, though there have been those who have given me discouragement as well.

Given my history in working on computers, in call centers and in the field, I have been told numerous times that I have a penchant for communicating on a level that laymen can understand. If you’ve ever had to speak to someone who is more than a little versed in technology, you know how difficult it can be trying to get a straight answer out of them.

One of the last times I tried to pick up a pen and write out a storyline before I concentrated on helping my wife write her books, was back in 2006, and that ended in disaster. My at-the-time wife read what was supposed to be an outline as a short story and was harshly critical of it. So much so, I doubted I would ever attempt to pick up a pen again.

The last time I tried to, before starting on the Legends of the Landrun series, was about two years after Alanna and I got married. That attempt ended in me feeling resentful towards one of my wife’s friends. Though, not for her being critical of what I had written, but because she had the audacity to start making changes to what I had written (without my permission) and then just acted like nothing had happened. I was so furious at my wife’s friend, I stopped talking to her for several months.

Enough about that. This is about how my wife and I started working on the Legends of the Landrun series, after all.

Back in 2018, Alanna was part of a local Christian authors group that was working on a collaboration book that covered a single fictional address over a period of time. As she tends to do, before starting a large project like that, my wife came to me and asked my opinion about brainstorming ideas for her submission to it.

We threw around an idea or two for a week and came up with what would eventually become Staking Claims (Book 4 Legends of the Landrun series). Only after she made the bid, did she find out that one of her favorite Christian fiction authors had made a bid for the exact time-frame and had her bid accepted already. We were disappointed to say the least, though Alanna’s disappointment was lessened by the fact that she was able to take part in writing a book with one of her favorite authors.

So, one night about a week later, we discussed it and my wife came to the conclusion that though the group had given her the story seed, she could bloody well write whatever book she wanted to on her own. So, thus begins the saga of The Legends of the Landrun series.

It was about three weeks later, while I was at work, I started scribbling down a quick scene between who were going to be expected to be a couple of ancillary characters to Staking Claims and I discovered there was a lot more to the history between the two characters I had come up with, than I had originally envisioned.

Alanna tried coaxing, wheedling, then finally just straight up telling me to do it, before I started working on a different storyline, trying to flesh out these characters.

I had originally planned on there just being two books, maybe three at most. There was originally going to be “The Marshal” and “The Hotel”. “The Marshal” was going to be my book and “The Hotel” was going to be Alanna’s.

Once I had gotten about five thousand words into the storyline for The Marshal, I decided to go ahead and fill in the backstory of one of the characters. Mind you, this was still supposed to be just one book. I figured it was going to be a two-part story: the first part being the backstory, the second takes place some time later.

At the one hundred thousand word mark for The Marshal, when I hadn’t even gotten to where I could use the original beginning of the story, I decided I was going to have to split “The Marshal” into two books. So, I expanded some of the characterizations, then added a few twists and turns to give it a little more meat to the storyline.

After I wrote the end on “The Marshal of Denver”, I started on book 2: “Deputy At Large”, using the original introduction I started more than a year earlier. I wrote on that book for about four months, just having a grand ole time throwing in twists and turns every chance I got, before I realized that I had close to three dozen different branches to the storyline I had to wrap up by the end of the book. Once again, this was around the hundred thousand word mark and I had absolutely no idea how to work that part of it out.

So, I made the call to make “The Marshal” into a trilogy. After we released “The Marshal’s Choice”, I decided to put away writing for a little bit and helped Alanna with “The Hotel”. As the books are the same storyline, but told from different perspectives, it was decided to take “The Hotel” and turn it into its own trilogy. So, now we have “Staking Claims” (book 4), “Vengeance Claimed” (book 5), “Reclaimed” (Book 6). Books 5 and 6 are yet to be released.

So, during the extended re-write process for Staking Claims, I got bit by the bug again and put pen to paper. (I know, big mistake.) We now have another book in the editing process and I have gotten the better part of halfway through one more book.

When does this seem to stop, you ask? Well, after much prayer and discussion, Alanna and I have come up with a plan for (currently) seventeen books to the Legends of the Landrun series. For the most part, they are a collection of different trilogies and a couple of stand-alone books thrown in for good measure. If things work out well enough however, that number can easily go up to a full twenty.

So, at the beginning of this artistic endeavor, Alanna and I prayed long and hard about what we’re doing and how we’re writing these stories. It was decided that we go ahead and write a story that has more grit to it than most Christian fiction does. This is for the story to appeal to those that wouldn’t normally read Christian fiction. That being said, it still ministers to the reader, but in a way that is a bit more subtle than many of the other books I have read on much the same subject.

If interested in the series, you can find our books here: (or if you’re unable to click the link you can use this: https://www.amazon.com/Legends-of-the-Landrun/dp/B08N5CL25D.)

Legends of the Landrun Series

Judge and Alanna Rodriguez

Judge Rodriguez was born and raised in Little Axe, Oklahoma. The son of U.S. Air Force Veterans, he followed the military legacy of his family and served his own tenure in the U.S.A.F. 

Alanna Radle Rodriguez was born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma. The great-great granddaughter of one of the first pioneers to settle in Indian Territory/Oklahoma, her roots run deep.

Judge and Alanna met in a reenactment group and have a combined forty-nine years of reenactment and living history experience. They both love the history of their home state, thoroughly enjoy doing research and relish working at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse in Edmond. They currently live near Edmond.

The Marshal of Denver is the first installment of a long line of co-authored books written together in the Legends of the Landrun Series.

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