I’ve never really seen the point of Bucket Lists. You know, those imaginary (or not so imaginary) lists people make of things they want to do before they “kick the bucket” but if I did have one, there would only be one thing on it. I want to meet Stephen King. Not so I can ask him the same questions generations of would-be writers have been asking him – “Where do you get your ideas”, “How do I get published”, etc. – but just to have a cup of coffee or something. We could talk about the most mundane things, like the weather or politics or the perks of name-brand over store-brand sliced cheese. As long as we could talk because I think that would be the most amazing conversation ever. Just to get a peek into the mind of one of the most prolific writer’s of the 20th and 21st centuries. I don’t delude myself that I’m ever going to be as popular as Mr. King, because Mr. King’s in a class all by himself. And we write in completely different genres (with the exception of his 1987 classic Eyes of the Dragon). I write fantasy. Why? Because the human imagination is a wild, amazing and fertile place and fantasy allows me to fully tap that without having to deal much with pesky details like years of research. Fantasy is a wonderful genre, simply because it allows the writer so much wiggle room. You can make your world and your characters whatever they want to be in fantasy. If they’re more comfortable as a sword-wielding elven prince or a half-blood dwarf sorcerer, or a two-headed Hell beast, they can be. Writing, and reading, fantasy helps your mind soar and your dreams roam in a way that no other genre does. Fantasy can take you anywhere you want to be, it can put you into the shoes of people facing incredible odds that make your problems look like a hangnail, and take you on adventures you can only dream about. Fantasy opens our eyes and broadens our horizons. So that’s why I write fantasy. I live vicariously through my characters, characters who often write themselves and who, to me, are as real as you or I. So I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my first novel The Path of Memory.
Dona slowly dismounted, a short woman with short brown hair and deep hazel eyes. She had a pair of revolvers strapped to her narrow hips and a light battle sword strapped to her back. The other hundred women dismounted also, standing behind their leader as the wind blew the foul-smelling smoke and road dust into their faces.
Dona walked over to the bodies of the Brigadiers and knelt, using the thumb and pinkie of her right hand to close the eyes of the soldier who was lying closest to her, his throat cut so deeply that he had almost been decapitated and the road stained with his life’s blood. The body was still slightly warm. Dona bowed her head and a tear slid down her cheek and beaded in the dust at her feet. For a moment, she remained that way, paying a silent vigil to the dead, and then she stood and motioned to the others that it was time to get about their grisly work.