Words inspired by a Genre Circular
A writer’s mind is a provocative vortex into a complex world. I can’t explain the creative seeds that grow within the stories I write, or the character threads that come to me in almost insightful flashes. However, I’d like to believe there is a link between a healthy imagination and the authors who have inspired my handiwork.
As a young girl, I enjoyed the escapism found in the fantasy world of a good book. I developed a fondness for poetry from a young age and especially cherished a Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. The broken spine and worn out pages attest to the fantasy world I once upon a time loved to curl up in and read.
“Sometimes when my day grew sad,
I would reach for my Garden book,
and dream of Foreign Lands.
Every night I’d go abroad,
And journey far into the Land of Nod.
Armies, emperors and kings I would find,
All carrying different kinds of things,
And marching in so grand a way
I could never see the like by day.”
As a teenager I discovered V.C. Andrews and her first book in a series entitled, “Flowers in the Attic.” I have never been confined, as the characters Cathy, Chris, Cory and Carrie found themselves, but as a child I often felt locked in a world I could not escape from, so found understanding in this child abuse story. I couldn’t imagine that a mother would lock her children away, or attempt to poison them, but of course in the real world, humans do much worse, and I know that thanks to the cruelty I experienced from my father’s hands.
I began reading romance novels as a young adult. I had not met my hero yet, but as I read each happily ever after story, I dreamed my prince might find me. A romance novel is special, because no matter the trials or tribulations the hero and heroine face, love always wins, and the story has a happy ending. My favourite romance is, “A Knight in Shining Armour,” by Jude Deveraux. A woman cries beneath the statue of a Knight, who hears her despair from centuries already past. You would think that this love match was impossible, but anything is achievable where there is love! There is no greater gift than love.
There was a period in my life where inspiration mixed with religion, and I read “The Mark of the Lion” series, by Francine Rivers. It’s a powerful story about Hadassah, a young Jewish woman, who is nursed back to health after she faces an attack by Lions. This story helped me during a time in my life when I needed healing after a loss. It reminded me that no matter how deep our scars, we can find a new dawn, if we only have the courage to wait for the morning light. It saddens me to know that some can’t find their way out of the darkness.
My own writing was growing weary with my manuscript pages collecting dust somewhere under the bed, when I began reading George R.R. Martin’s, “A song of Ice and Fire,” series. After watching the Game of Thrones first season on HBO, I had to know what happened next to these historical characters. I valued the style in which the books were written. I loved exploring the battle between Kings and Queens, all vying to win the game of thrones. The realism in the story is as gut wrenching as the satisfying outcomes, in that bad things do happen to good people.
I began to write my own story, and as the words jotted down onto the page, each novel that had ever touched my life, began to weave inspirational words into Scarlett’s Beauty. I found my story not being set in the Land of Nod, but a Medieval Kingdom I called Velez.
I cannot ever change the punishments or losses that I have suffered, but I can find satisfaction when my characters choices, result in appropriate consequences. Like George R.R. Martin, a character or two I have created has met with sad outcomes, and I enjoyed writing their ill fates. Interestingly, the vilest character in my book has been the most satisfying character to explore. I don’t despair in this, because happy endings are possible when love is at the heart, even when the love seeds are not readily apparent yet.
My writing has come full circle thanks to my own personal journeys, and the creative works of Authors who have inspired Scarlett’s story. Fantasy, historical fiction, and inspirational faith are all twisting together in a vortex of words I have termed Gothic Romantasy. The Genres are circular and I have connected the dots.