In 1985 I discovered Dragons of Autumn Twilight in the school library, I didn’t know anything about Dragonlance or DnD at the time, I had never heard of Tolkien or Feist or Eddings or Brooks. I saw this book, and it was a story about dragons and magic! I had to read it. Up until then, I had never known/realised that books could be the window into another world, a world that I had only glimpsed in TV shows and Saturday morning cartoons. Dragons of Autumn Twilight fired my imagination. Then and there, I knew I wanted be a writer. And I wanted to read more epic fantasy novels now that I knew it was a thing.
I searched through all the books in my school library, and the local bookshops. The secondhand bookshop in Dee Why became my favorite place to search trough piles of old paperbacks and discover books from the US that were not in the Aussie bookshops.
I wanted to read epic fantasy with a single minded passion. And I wanted to write. I wanted to rewrite every book I read. I wanted to create something made other people feel the way these books made me feel and I wanted to play in the sandbox of my imagination and world build.
Then in 1990 found ‘The Eye of the World’ in the local library and my life changed completely. The desire to write became a passion that is still with me to this day, even when I became so lost in other writers works that I lost sight of my own. You see, I wanted to write but I didn’t have a story.
So I kept making notes, drawing maps, crafting ideas and reading other peoples work. Then one day I saw a piece of fantasy art by Larry Elmore – an artist employed by Wizards of Coast, whose work I admire greatly – of two men fighting in a snow covered landscape. One wearing the trappings of a warrior or knight, and the other the robes of a magic-user (okay, the headdress makes me think shaman, but I transposed magic-user over it). I was captivated by the image and it made me wonder who the two men were, and why were they fighting?
From these musings the back story of my two half-brothers grew, and the why of ‘why they were fighting’ gave me my story!
Of course nothing is a easy as it seems. I had no experience writing, I had not gone on to university after high-school, I did a six month Tafe course and then jumped into the retail work force full-time. I wanted to write and you need a job to support you until you are a international bestselling author, right?
Well, it took me many years until I had a first draft done. And it has taken more years to get the manuscript to the state it is at now (although the last six drafts have happened much faster then the 20-ish years it took to get a first draft ‘done’). And this is still not the end, but it’s getting closer to it.
Who knows if The Blood of the Spear will get published or not? But I will always be reading, looking at art for inspiration for my own world building and writing regardless of what happens next.