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While I never attempted to write one before, I am a big fan of the fantasy genre and I relied heavily on my experience as a “world re-creator” to build the alternate universe in my new fantasy adventure series. In my historical novels, I strive for believable settings, details, and mores to play a major role that adds believability and boundaries for the characters to act out their lives. For me this is one of the most challenging and enjoyable parts of the writing process, and I will add that for this book, it was more fun than I ever imagined.
Starting out, I wanted to avoid some of the common genre archetypes found in a lot of fantasy fiction these days (elves, orcs, dwarves, and “dark lords,” to name but a few). So I drew on my knowledge—and lots of research—of actual peoples and cultures and endowed them with other qualities.
In creating the characters that populate The Return of Tachlanad, I combined elements of our world and its historical past with those from my imagination. For example, one of the secondary characters, Ulunc, is a very young member of a species of known as Skaddock. These creatures somewhat resemble primitive hominids that roamed the earth in prehistory, but with a Stone Age skill set. Milith people, while having many traits common to elven types (without pointy ears), share certain “aboriginal” cultural attributes with many indigenous people from around the world, among them a matrilineal social structure and coming of age rituals. Nortlunders (mostly bad guys) are a mosaic of ancient Roman and Viking cultures, with their violence and lust for conquest. Lothrians are a mishmash of Celtic and ancient Britons, including some of their myths, legends, and druidic hierarchy. All with a bit of a twist.
Magic, is a strange power, and nearly always a component of fantasy fiction. While it exists in the universe in which my book is set, I tried to anchor it in a physical world, where Nirmanath, “the current of life,” is a tangible force, and things like the casting of auras, astral projection, potions that can cause amnesia (or death), and the ability to invoke one's own invisibility are possible. In this world the rumble of thunder is the roar of an angry god, and an old man with a living crystal can harness the power of the elements.
As with every author, the primary goal in writing any book is to create an entertaining story about likeable (and unlikeable) people dealing with adversity, love and hate, people the reader wants to cheer on—or boo and hiss at—people who undergo physical and emotional changes. A story about the human condition.
Kathy Fischer Brown is a BWL author of historical novels, and The Return of Tachlanad, her newly released epic fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers. Check out her The Books We Love Author page or visit her website. All of her books are available in a variety of e-book formats from Books We Love, and from Amazon and other online retailers retailers.