Somewhere at the edge of the Great Being’s dream lies a desert kingdom ruled by four young siblings. One burns with rage like fire. One battles monsters to make his siblings smile. One laughs with ruthless charm. One itches with desperation. All teeter on the edge of madness.
In Remy Apepp’s harrowingly beautiful Sand to Glass, the Kingdom of Ordyuk finds itself faced with destruction. Endlessly attacked by accursed beings, the kingdom relies ever more heavily on the four siblings. Under such a weight, their only choice is to grow into monsters themselves—
Or to shatter like glass.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My latest/first published book is titled “Sand to Glass”. It’s actually the second novel I wrote in this universe, and it started out as the backstory of one of the characters who appears in the first novel I wrote (which will be published as the second book because it needed significantly more editing).
Mostly I just had personalities and a family dynamic I wanted to explore, and this book was simply that. And also playing with matters of monsters and deities and all that fun dark fantasy stuff.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Anything that makes me feel something I’ll turn into a character. Emotions, mindsets, philosophies. For “Sand to Glass”, however, I got the fundamental mindsets of all the characters from MISSIO’s song “Twisted.” I always liked that song a lot, it always felt like story material to me.
In the beginning, before the creation of the World, there was only the Great Being Rujir-Zakurele. Rujir-Zakurele was everything and all there was. But since there was only Rujir-Zakurele, the Great Being was bored and fell asleep. As Rujir-Zakurele fell asleep, the Great Being began to dream.
As Rujir-Zakurele dreamed, the World was created.
Consequently, the World was created on accident and without any manner of plan or purpose. As the Great Being dreamed, the World amassed like a great tree, sprouting off countless branches, which sprouted off further branches, entangling and enmeshing with one another. Branches of the World decayed and fell away, but the branches that had sprouted off from them kept growing and sprouting off further branches, such that the World moved like a great snake chasing after its tail, but continuing to shed its skin and grow at such an expansive rate that it was never able to reach the end of itself.
Within this dreamed World, entities known as humans came to develop complex consciousnesses and societies, and some of their stories came to develop plots—as if they actually had some kind of meaning.
In this way, the World developed, diversified, and expanded in ways entirely out of the control of Rujir-Zakurele, who was very tired of everything and yet could not wake up from it.
Diyomendon Tdroki Madubabakar, first son of King Agamenjiyr and Queen Ythiris, was the Crown Prince of the Desert Kingdom of Ordyuk.
He hated it.
He was the one who would be inheriting the throne, and the expectations for the kingdom’s future were riding on him. He was supposed to be perfect. He was supposed to be the best. He wasn’t allowed to make mistakes. He wasn’t allowed to do anything that could get him injured. His life was too vital. Everyone bowed down to him and did things for him. He wasn’t allowed to do those things for himself.
He was supposed to be happy. He wasn’t supposed to be bitter or angry. He was supposed to glory in being the heir. He was supposed to like having the power to tell everyone what to do and not to have to do anything for himself. He was supposed to feel honored and superior because of it.
He didn’t. All he felt was frustrated, constrained, suffocated, and angry beyond belief.
Diyomendon Tdroki was the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Ordyuk, and he hated the role with a burning, fiery passion.
Naliki Rkalla Madubabakar, second child and only daughter of King Agamenjiyr and Queen Ythiris, was the sole Princess of the Desert Kingdom of Ordyuk.
She loved it.
Everybody waited on her. She got whatever she wanted. She got away with whatever she wanted. She was being groomed to eventually marry an important member of the government or military. The idea was for her to grow up feeling beautiful and to develop an agreeable personality, so everyone was sweet to her. She was spoiled, really. It was great.
Her brothers had it a lot harder. She felt bad for them, sometimes. Other times she enjoyed messing with them, because they couldn’t do anything to her. She did love them, though.
She was very glad, however, that she’d been born a girl and not a boy.
Rezekyrios Tmra Madubabakar, fourth child of King Agamenjiyr and Queen Ythiris, was the Third Prince of the Desert Kingdom of Ordyuk.
He was always thinking about it.
The crown prince, princess, and second prince had been born for strategic purposes, each of them about a year apart. Rezekyrios Tmra had been born seven years after the second prince, nine years after the first. His birth had not been for any strategic purpose. King Agamenjiyr and Queen Ythiris—although their marriage had had its strategic purposes—deeply loved each other, and Rezekyrios Tmra had simply been the product of a night of passion.
His parents and his older siblings loved him, but he felt lost and inadequate. In regard to the kingdom, he did not have a clear role, and he wasn’t particularly good at anything. In academics, he was subpar; and when it came to anything physical, he had two left feet. He was fully capable of tripping on his own toes when he ran and giving himself black eyes with his own hands when he flailed.
He loved his family, but he didn’t know how he fit in it or what worth he had.
Ythiris Rida Madubabakar, Queen of Ordyuk, considered them her Gem Children.
Her dear Tdroki, with his fiery red-orange eyes like carnelians and his hair that stuck up like flame and couldn’t be tamed; her dear Rkalla, with her deep red eyes like garnets and her straight hair that she wore down to her shoulders, with her bangs pulled out of her face and braided around her head like a circlet; her dear Nkidu, with his eyes like gold and his hair that fell down in smooth, effortless waves even though he never brushed it; her dear Tmra, with his eyes of two different colors, his right eye black like obsidian and his left a light yellow-orange like amber, and his hair that fell partially down and stuck partially up in obstinate cowlicks until her daughter one day braided them with metal wire and weighted them down with gold and obsidian beads.
What they shared was their warm bronze skin-tone, partway between her slightly lighter tone and her husband’s slightly darker one. Both Tdroki and Nkidu shared their father’s deep, multi-toned brown hair that shifted shades in the light, while Rkalla and Tmra shared Ythiris’s darker, more single-toned shade.
Their particular idiosyncrasies suited them, Ythiris thought. Tdroki with his fiery personality, Rkalla with her passionate one, Nkidu with his effortless talent, and Tmra with his alternating boldness and timidity.
They were all different; they were all beautiful; and Ythiris loved them all to pieces.
Agamenjiyr Nji Madubabakar,King of Ordyuk, cared deeply both about his children and about his kingdom.
If asked, he would have considered those two cares one and the same: if his children flourished, his kingdom would as well; if his kingdom flourished, so would his children.
He had great faith in his children. His eldest, although the boy was recalcitrant and had a considerable temper, had already proven himself as being more than worthy of inheriting the throne; his daughter would become an excellent queen that any king would be blessed and fortunate to have by his side; his second son would become a legendary warrior; his youngest, while still a small child, was keenly perceptive and uncannily intuitive and would make a valuable adviser.
King Agamenjiyr had great faith in the future of Ordyuk.
Diyomendon hated everyone. His parents, his siblings, the citizens of Ordyuk, the people outside of Ordyuk—everyone in the entire world.
He hated his father for trying to make him become him. He hated his mother for always misunderstanding his anger and trying to reassure him that he’d make a great king. He hated his sister Naliki for following him around and not being bothered by his hatred. He hated his brother Luxanthus for always accepting things as they were and not hating him in return. He hated his brother Rezekyrios for being afraid of him.
He hated his academic instructors for being hard on him. He hated his fighting instructors for going easy on him. He hated the people of Ordyuk for being so stupid and sheeplike that they needed a king to lead them. He hated that it had to be him. He hated the people outside of Ordyuk for making the existence of the kingdom necessary. He hated the deities for making the world the way it was and for forcing him to be the way he was.
He hadn’t asked to be born the Crown Prince of Ordyuk. He didn’t care about being the Crown Prince of Ordyuk. He didn’t want to be the Crown Prince of Ordyuk. It was, all of it, absolutely unfair,and it made him so angry.
Naliki loved all her brothers, but she was closest with her elder brother. He was endlessly entertaining, and he made her feel special because she was the only one aside from their mother he allowed to call him Tdroki, while everyone else had to call him Diyomendon. Even if he told her not to and didn’t call her Rkalla in return, he still let her get away with it.
He told her that he hated her, and she laughed at him because he didn’t mean it and she knew it. So it didn’t bother her any. She honestly preferred Tdroki’s fiery and unforgiving temper to Nkidu’s unflappable placidity or Tmra’s fluctuating skittishness. Nkidu was unfailingly considerate, but he was boring as sand. It was easy to get rises out of young Tmra, but he was so sensitive that Naliki always felt bad for messing with him.
She could mess with Tdroki all she wanted, though, and he’d always get amusingly angry at her, and she didn’t have to feel bad about it at all because that was just how he was.
Luxanthus wasn’t particularly close with either of his older siblings. He didn’t dislike either of them, but he also didn’t and couldn’t connect with them.
They completely baffled him, honestly. It seemed that no matter what he did, Diyomendon was always angry with him for something. Luxanthus could never figure out what he’d done wrong. And as far as his sister Naliki was concerned, Luxanthus had no idea how to interact with her. He couldn’t tell what she expected from him. She seemed always disappointed with him for some reason.
Outside of royal and social obligations, Luxanthus therefore mostly kept to himself. That only changed once Tmra learned to walk and started following him around everywhere. Luxanthus was almost never alone, after that; Tmra tripped over himself to keep up with him no matter where he went.
The younger boy looked up to him; and when Tmra smiled at him like he was the sun, it made Luxanthus feel like he could do anything.
Rezekyrios was more than a little frightened of his oldest brother, and his sister intimidated him. Being around them made him anxious. It was the way Diyomendon looked at him like he wanted to set him on fire and watch him burn alive, and the way Naliki smiled at him like she wanted to suck his blood.
Diyomendon would never have allowed Rezekyrios to call him Tdroki. Naliki insisted that Rezekyrios call her Rkalla, but it always felt weird to do so.
Rezekyrios adored his older brother Nkidu, though. Nkidu was kind, and he was strong, and he was good at everything. Rezekyrios felt completely safe whenever he was with him.
Nkidu was the best, and Rezekyrios wanted to be just like him.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy Sand to Glass Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Sand to Glass On Amazon
Remy is fond of understatements. Some of Remy's favorite understatements include the following:
Remy likes writing.
If stories were stars, Remy would want to write an entire night sky full.
Remy writes stories for the same reason explorers adventure into and chart unknown territories—and also for the same reason people treat headaches by drinking water, eating snacks, taking pain meds, going for light walks, and getting rest.
All Remy wants from life is to write stories that touch you in the same place music does; that make you think differently than before; and that linger in your mind as if they'd been written into clay tablets rather than printed on paper or typed on screens.
Also, Remy can write a novel in a month but can't write an author bio in a year.