It's been a long love affair. Fantasy and me go way back. I can't really remember a time when fantasy wasn't a part of my life. Drawing pictures in my room, creating worlds for my GI Joes. I've always prided myself in that I've never "grown up." I'll always love creating stories and reading about different worlds. It's just ingrained in me.
It started at an early age. Probably not as early as most, but early enough. While other kids were playing sports, I was either playing video games or reading. When I was in elementary school, I used to love this book series
called Wizards, Warriors, and You. It was just like the Choose Your Own
Adventure books that were immensely popular, but had a distinctly
fantasy theme to them. I remember being wowed by those books. Just to
be able to make my own story in a way was so cool to me. Greek
mythology was also a big factor in my early geekdom. There was this
massive Greek mythology tome in the library that no one else ever read.
But I'd stick my nose in it every chance I got. Since my mom was a
teacher, I'd stay after school a lot. I spent a lot of time in the
library, just engrossed in the legends of Hercules, Perseus, and
Theseus. Even though I could barely read these names, I loved the
Things would change drastically when I became a teenager though and I fell in love with Legend of Huma by Richard A. Knaak. Ever since, I've been a huge fantasy fan. I owe this mostly to my friend Danny, whose room was covered with fantasy posters. I remember being so jealous of how cool his room looked and how drab and boring mine did. What attracted my eye the most though was a bookshelf crammed full of fantasy novels. Most of them Dragonlance. I grew up with those books, so I'll always praise Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman the most for keeping a book in my hand throughout my childhood.
From Weis and Hickman, I discovered R.A. Salvatore, another writer who had many epics I became engrossed with. I crawled through the caves of the Underdark, and journeyed with Drizzt and company to Icewind Dale. Such great books with memorable characters and lots of action.
Then at some point, I just started buying everything. Seriously. I must have thousands of books in my dad's attic. Just sitting there, collecting dust now. I started getting more into other speculative fiction, including horror. Reading Stephen King and Jack Ketchum really got my blood pumping. I delved into Kafka and Gogol. Some Elmore Leonard dashed in there. Then later came George R.R. Martin, Steven Erikson, Robert E. Howard, Joe Abercrombie, China Mieville, and Andrezj Sapkowski. And the list goes on and on (I'll stop name dropping now.) Each writer's words soaking into my skin, staining my brain, and just making me love the world of fantasy even more.
I get excited every time I "discover" a new author. I get a great recommendation or find an awesome review. A writer I like spreads the word about a writer he likes. That's why I really relate to a community like Mythic Scribes. It's home to lots of burgeoning writers and some already established ones. I hope that word continues to spread and more and more people get involved.
I have a passion for fantasy more than most believe. I want to share the worlds I started creating in my bedroom at a young age. To delve deeper into my mind to find those word weaving through, begging for me to use them.
I hope that will become a reality soon. 62,000 words later into my novel, I'm coming one step closer to completing my first full-length book.
And just think, it started in Arlington Heights Elementary all those years ago. In a perfect world, some kid is sitting in that library right now, picking up that same worn, hard-back Greek mythology book, and losing track of time.