By Audra Middleton
I’m thrilled to be a part of the Worlds of the Imagination team of fantasy writers. I’ll be posting here at least once a month with fantasy discussion and tidbits. Since this is my first post, today I thought I would introduce myself.
My love of fantasy began as a child, with the Children of Green Knowe series by Lucy M. Boston. Each book offered new, unique magical adventures including a haunted house, an escaped gorilla, and an ant-size adventure in the garden. After I completed that series, I went to Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, Ursula Le Guin, and Piers Anthony.
I admit my interest in fantasy began to wane as an adult; to me, the newer books in the genre tended to focus more on their complex world-building than the characters. Remember 90s fantasy? When everybody and their sword had two or three names? Unpronounceable names, like Tüfurluikluik – known in the north as Shamænar, who carried the sword Estenbäal, (or Smaiguykêl in the old language). I did not have enough brain cells to keep all of that straight. And honestly, if I have to read a fifty page prologue of the history of their world before I ever get to their plot and characters, what follows had better be Shakespeare, or college credit.
Then I read The Gift, by Patrick O’Leary. It was a little dark, with depth, very unique, but not tedious. Inspiring. Well, kind of. I was so impressed by O’Leary’s work, I set my little story of a transforming girl and a mind-reading warrior aside because I figured I could never write anything as well as he did.
Thankfully, at the encouragement of friends, I did eventually write my novel. I focused on my characters and their journey, and built my imaginary world of Anthelion around them. My goal was to write a story with characters the reader cares about, who live in a world worth escaping to. I hope you’ll give Watcher a read and let me know if I succeeded!
For more about me & my projects, visit my website