, , , , , , ,

I figured to celebrate the release of my husband’s book, The Sword and the Flame, I would let him take over for the day. Watch out, guys…. he’s a bit of a trouble-maker. Seriously, though, he can be a nice guy. He’s even giving the book away for free today and tomorrow 🙂

Cover Art by Audrey Haney

One of the things I‘ve been thinking about over the last couple of months when I had time to come up for breaths between editing, crying, more editing, and yes, even more crying, was what inspired me to write an epic fantasy novel.

I guess one of the things that I like about fantasy stories and books are the fact they take part in a fictional world. The rules of our reality don’t apply. In those worlds magic exists without being laughed at or treated like a myth. (Anyone else love watching a magician work?) Of course, you can’t forget about the wonderful creatures and people populating those worlds. No other genre give you the flexibility to do something entirely with your imagination. Even sci-fi, another personal favorite, has certain rules and limitations to some of the things you can do. It makes sense as most of those stories took place in our universe under some form or another.

As a kid I loved the stories about knights, dragons, and enchanted worlds. Some of my favorite books include The Once and Future King by T.H. White, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Dragonlance series created by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weiss. To me, each of those works added to their predecessor whether in scope, mythology, or quests. Who doesn’t know Arthur’s knights questing for the Holy Grail? Or Bilbo Baggins matching wits with a dragon? Frodo Baggins’ quest to destroy the one ring, and the story of a group of friends brought together to save their world?

Out of all of those I have to say the Dragonlance books are among my all time favorites with the character of Raistlin Majere being in the same vein as Star Wars’ Darth Vader. Reading about a small, fragile boy becoming the greatest mage in the world and challenging the Gods and winning before sacrificing himself to save his brother.

One of the things I was never able to play was Dungeons and Dragons. My parents were dead set against it and to this day I want to play but finding others willing to open up and allow a newbie my age into their world is tough but I’m still looking. As strange as that sounds just wait, it gets a little stranger.

As I said, my parents didn’t want me playing D&D, but they allowed me to watch the Saturday morning cartoon and other sword and sorcery movies like Conan the Barbarian and the Beastmaster. My dad even gave me several Conan comics he had from when he was in the military. As funny as they were about the pen and paper game, they allowed me to entertain that portion of me that wanted to be a barbarian or wizard.

I guess what I’ve been trying to say is everything, every piece of material about fantasy has inspired me to write my addition to the wonderful works of the genre. With some luck I’ll be mentioned in the same breath with those I talked about and if I’m not, I’m fine with that. The Sword and the Flame: The Forging is my contribution and I hope somewhere, somehow I inspire someone to pick up their pen and try their hand at world building. There’s always room for more.