In spring 2002, Robert Stanek's first books, Keeper Martin's Tale and Elf Queen's Quest, appeared on bookshelves and become instant bestsellers, spending a combined 26 weeks on the Amazon.com Sci-Fi/Fantasy Top 50 list. These stories introduced readers to the fantasy world of Ruin Mist. The name "Ruin Mist" is the common language translation of an elvish word, which means "the lost ages". The stories of Ruin Mist are set in a fictional past of our world.
The popularity of the Ruin Mist books built up through the release of the subsequent books. Readers were taken with the magical realms, the grand adventures, and the combination of classic fantasy elements with a fresh, highly imaginative approach. In spring 2005, Robert Stanek's books were first published in audio and became instant audio bestsellers, spending more than 52 weeks on Audible.com's bestseller lists. In 2005, his book, The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches, eventually became one of the Top 100 all-time fiction bestsellers on Audible.com. The book was so popular, it was featured on the Audible.com home page throughout July and August 2005.
It's been a fairly open secret that Robert Stanek is the name of the more familiar bestselling author William Stanek. The main reason for using Robert Stanek for fiction and William Stanek for nonfiction was the astounding pace at which William Stanek produces books. With nearly 50 published books to his credit by 2002, he had many upcoming books waiting to be released by his current publishers, and was creating more and more fiction as a creative outlet to balance his work in nonfiction.
"I wanted to find audiences for both my nonfiction and my fiction. I love writing nonfiction works that help people learn how to do new things, but I also love writing fiction works that open new doorways to the imagination," explains Mr. Stanek. "The Ruin Mist books have been a part of who I am since I started them in the 1980s and they allowed me to create a magical realm with many levels of reality. I was overjoyed that I finally could share the realm and the books with others."
The Ruin Mist books have afforded Mr. Stanek an opportunity to explore relationships, family stories, epic sagas, myths, legends, and more. His books have been popular with fans both young and old.