Header / Cover Image for 'The Saga of Life'
Header / Cover Image for 'The Saga of Life'

The Saga of Life

A series of short stories within the same universe. It tells modern fairy tales that—with more magic, tension and fun characters—explain how life on earth came to be.

There’s no need to read everything, or in order, because it’s a “frame story”! All stories are standalone, but they reference and follow up on each other. If you read everything, though, you will find a great world full of … life.

Visit the website for all information, which includes a completely Dutch version of the project!

Visit the website!

This is an ongoing project. This means it has its own active website(s) with all updates, content, and purchase links.


I often keep a diary while working on a project. It explains what I did, how I solved certain issues, and other interesting lessons or anecdotes.

Remarks & More

More information

The stories are for “all ages” in the sense that the prose is kept simple, and the themes and storylines are universal. Life is full of wonderful parts that anyone can enjoy—but it is, unfortunately, also full of terrible parts.

The Saga of Life tells it all. Most stories are directly based on (important) historic events or scientific ideas (mostly from biology).

I consult with many people before publishing new stories. To make sure they never become too heavy for kids to read, or too childish for adults. This way, I can guarantee that the stories can be read autonomously starting at roughly 7 years old (and up, of course).

Nevertheless, if you have any feedback or suggestions, you can always contact me. That’s the beauty of stories as a website: easy to update at a moment’s notice.

Read the About page for more information. It also contains links to many articles I wrote about the creation of this project, although many of those are only available in Dutch.

The online experiment

This project does something very special: the stories are a website.

This website is completely public and freely accessible. No account, no hidden functionality. The website is exactly what I use (behind the scenes) to write and maintain the Saga of Life.

Why do you do this? Several reasons.

  • Easy for me ( = the author). The website automatically functions as a sort of Wikipedia. It can easily refer to other stories, research what some character did in an earlier story, etcetera.
  • Easy for the reader. A website, usable on any device, completely designed to read like the best ereader out there. What more could you want? Besides, I don’t want to force readers to buy everything to keep up with the many stories. If old stories are online, for free, a reader can easily catch up or fill in the gaps.
  • It’s an experiment with storytelling in the digital age. Especially now that kids sit behind a screen more than ever.
  • The stories are short and universal, but they also reference each other a lot. That makes the project perfect for linking the webpages, and providing buttons to easily visit other chapters or stories.
  • I designed the system in such a way that I can easily convert it to PDF/EBOOK

My main goal, I guess, was accessibility. Tell a complex and educational story … using only short and simple stories. That makes it for “all ages”. That increases the chance that books are able to pull people away from films or series.

It is my hope that the website attracts and entertains more and more people. People who, if they can support me, buy the paid versions and keep the Saga of Life … alive!

There’s only one rule: the newest stories will not be on the website. Those can only be purchased, until the next stories come out.

For now, the stories can’t be purchased yet. I am still building this system, building the saga, and finding the best ways to do this.

How are the stories sold?

The official versions of the Saga of Life are bundles of two stories at a time. This usually means 100+ pages per bundle.

The Saga of Life is divided into 10 time periods. A bundle will always have two subsequent stories, for example from time period 1 and time period 2. As such, after 5 bundles, you’ll have seen all the time periods once.

They’re available both physically (paperback) and digitally (ebook).


Humble beginnings

Long ago, at the start of high school, I started writing short stories. To practice. To finally finish something in the little free time I had. (School consumes a lot of your time, but I am also chronically ill and hopped between many unrelated interests.)

It seemed fun to have all the short stories be part of the same universe. Once I had 20, 30, maybe 50 short stories, you’d have an amazing picture of a very special world in which you had many adventures.

All these “fairy tales” or “folktales” would explain parts of our history. The most important steps in the birth of life on earth. But in a way that’s obviously more magical and dramatic, with talking animals, funny situations, and simplified explanations.

I wrote a strong plan (with different time periods, rules for the world, possible stories) and went ahead.

The setbacks

But … this was my first serious project. When I asked feedback on the first finished stories, I immediately learnt there was a lot yet to learn ;)

My sentences were way too long. Stories were not only inconsistent with each other, but even with themselves! The typical beginner’s mistakes of a writer.

So I left the project alone for many years. Until I’d written multiple complete books and had raised my confidence. I edited all the original stories to a higher standard and prepared query letters to send out to publishers.

And then I realized the true situation: this project was near impossible to sell.

At the time, I had eight time periods. And if I bundled all of them … I’d get a book with nearly 500 pages! An absolute tomb that even 99% of the adults wouldn’t dare buy.

The stories were a unique mix between different styles and purposes. Fun action with educational content. Light-hearted scenes mixed with heavy scenes about some of history’s most terrible events.

Uncertain, I left it alone again for several years.

At the time, I still studied at university, so I didn’t really have the mental space to think long and hard about such issues. During that time … if something was too hard, I cast it aside. Though I did always keep a clean list of “unfinished projects” …

The breakthrough

A few years later, I’m done with university and have been a freelance artist for a few years. I’m slowly working through my list of “unfinished projects”, striking elements off and shortening the massive list.

Until only about 10 or 20 projects are left. Most are very small and categorized as “very optional”. (For example, I once spent a weekend creating a simple game. That’s not some big project that I want to finish, obviously, but it is unfinished. So I do keep it on the list.)

I look at my writing projects and suddenly realize: “wait, didn’t I write way more than this? Where are all my books?”

You guessed it. I actually forgot to add the Saga of Life to this list. which is especially silly, because I had 8 fully finished and edited stories just sitting on my hard drive.

I immediately knew this was my next project. I was still excited about the idea and thought it had a lot of potential.

For several weeks, I made tough decision after tough decision.

  • The number of time periods was upped to 10.
  • I’d write them as “cycles”. (One story in each time period, creating a cycle of 10 stories, all sharing a common theme.)
  • I’d release stories as bundles of 2. (Which is nice, because then 5 bundles means you’ve seen a whole cycle.)
  • I’d self-publish and create the project as a website.
  • I binned most of the old stories and completely rewrote large parts of the plan.
  • I’d keep writing the first version in Dutch, but translate them all to English as well. (This might reverse at some point.)
  • And so forth.
Here’s a challenge. If you’ve read the first cycle, try to guess which stories are leftovers from my days at high school and which were written recently!

The plan is to write one cycle each year. Ten new short stories, one for each time period. So far, this has been doable and a nice pace. Additionally, I need at least 10 cycles to tell most of the major storylines I prepared. That’s what I dare promise, although my plan goes far beyond that …

I hope many readers around the world will enjoy these stories, now and far into the future :)