Long ago in a land far away (Wisconsin), I sat in the dark inside my car, early for a night shift on the oncology unit. Looking out the front window, a vision blotted out the screen—a white temple, a robed woman standing in front of it. The image hounded me at work and in the days to come, until I had to write the story crammed inside my head. It roared to life in an unending stream that meant cutting over a hundred thousand words when it was done. That was the beginning of the fantasy trilogy, Seasons of Time.
Prior to this mental invasion, I’d been writing a western romance. That story needed lots of research about Native Americans. Regency requires even more, but with fantasy, the mind flies to faraway realms, unknown and new, strange and freaky wonderful.
Writing “in the zone” is an amazing experience, a bit like deep meditation, but without the placid floating off into peaceful relaxation. Writing it makes me think of what it must be like to smoke weed or peyote, neither of which I can do because of weird reactions to drugs and a wussy fear of getting caught. In the fantasy zone, protags are fearless. They can fly with the dragon-like fflorin, ride chargers that are part horse and reptile, escape from terrhogs—think blind, gigantic worms. Where did I get all this stuff spewing out of my brain? I have no idea. I’ve been asked and can only reply that they are just there, living inside my head, and causing havoc until I write it down, give it voice.
Fantasy also offers the freedom of the omnipotent power of world creation. What if you could make up your own world and go live there, sort of what Sheldon Cooper does on Sheldor? I’m not an antihero fan, so I can kill off the baddies, hurt them any way I want. Talk about your “heady” stuff. One may ask if that isn’t what every writer does in the writing process. Not exactly. Genre writing requires specific parameters. Fantasy has few, other than what its readership expects, and even then it’s pretty loosely defined.
It’s important to take seriously reader requests, so I’ve tacked on more to the Seasons of Time triology and by starting Seasons of War trilogy based in the same world. Oh, the places where my mind has gone. I’d forgotten what it was like to charge into battle and soar with the fflorin.
The first book of the Seasons of Time trilogy is free now and for the next 3 days. Get it here:
M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)
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