(The Third Verse Trilogy consists of three novels: The Ten...)
The Third Verse Trilogy consists of three novels: The Tenth Muse: A Modern Myth, The Eleventh Hour: A Modern Myth, and The Twelfth Age. The trilogy is an allegory for one possible auspicious alternative in global future. Each volume, while interconnected, can be read as a stand-alone novel. To read one individually will reveal what came before it in an understandable way.
Since the age of four when Lily Stephen began reading, the world of fiction lit up her life. From the time of birth until the age of twenty-one, she was governed by a restricted Christian sect, one that directed youth away from higher education into missionary work. Prior to her inner wake-up call, when it became clear there was a universe of spiritual realization she'd never been exposed to, she sought relief from austerity and dogma in abundant fictional works.
By the late 1960s Lily Stephen's horizons widened at the same time that unexpected changes entered in. It was suggested that she write to assist in understanding a way through change. She was surprised to find verses of poetry emerge on pages of the journal she began to keep.
At the same time, she also was engaged in other activities. From 1966 till 1968 she worked as a secretary at Schlumberger Well Services. In 1967-1971 she was a freelance photographic model in Houston. In 1969 she joined Cummings Advertising Agency as a secretary and copywriter where she worked till 1971. Years later, besides her writing career, she also worked as a manager of communications at Mercy Medical Center.
Fiction reading continued to be Stephen's source of inspiration, cycled with long periods of investigation of philosophy, mysticism, and spirituality, both through books and personal instruction from teachers. By 1977 she was ready to attempt the next step - to write a book-length fictional work certain to transport readers to higher levels of realization, a story having at its heart the concept presented in one of the most sublime schools of teaching called Dzogchen: that purity of mind is always present and needs only to be recognized. Throughout the twenty years she spent writing and rewriting From Seed to Shining Seed, she was assisted by memories of fiction writers who left their marks.
Even though she ruthlessly pared down the final manuscripts, at 830 pages it was clearly too long for a debut novel. She shelved it, for the time being, wrote poetry for a couple of years, studied writing techniques, and realized that quite a different story waited in the wings. The new story offered an initial obstacle: it hadn't made itself known to her yet. The twentieth century was winding down to its final days; that was when she invited the story in and resolved to be patient at a time when the world and collective future had become infused with a sense of urgency in the form of a now-overused term, millennial madness.
By the end of January 2002, the story came through with the same urgency that was in the air and provided a multi-layered, complex underpinning superbly suited to convey those uplifting, expansive wisdom-concepts she aspires to weave throughout her work. As a result, her The Third Verse Trilogy was published in 2008. In the trilogy, readers encounter a fresh view of the world that uplifts those conditioned by delusion and mired in personal suffering; that the vehicle of visionary fiction will help them to remember the wisdom they already know but have become disconnected from; that they will regain their cognizance of seamless unity with all beings and with the universe.
Stephens also contributed to The Well Versed Anthology under the pseudonym Lily Vallerey. Her work From Seed to Shining Seed remains unpublished.
Quotations: "My writing process isn't according to formula or method. Forcing out dutiful daily pages doesn't work for me and isn't harmonious with the demands of my life. There are times when we digest, assimilate, and practically ferment experience and concept until what results is better for the passage of time. On the other hand, if a novel is in the works, there are times when there's no way around it - either the writing flows and all else takes a back seat, or else it may just be plain hard work to bridge those high spots."
Lily Stephen is a member of the Small Publishers Association of North America and Publishers Marketing Association.
Lily Stephen married James Clinton Allison in December 1961. But the couple divorced in August 1970. In 1977 she married Thomas Ray Hardman. The marriage produced one son, Derrick Ray. The couple split up in 1983. She married Robert L. Stephen in September 1996.