I’m taking a momentary pause in the chapter by chapter posting for King (there’s a reason for that – click on the book cover on the left and you’ll see why!)…to bring you another awesome writer of the fantastic. Greg James has some interesting inspirations for his latest, The Sword of Sighs, an Epic Fantasy Adventure that has just been published. The book is getting rave reviews, and while I’m only a couple chapters in, I’m hooked. If you like Guardians of the Word, this is a good book to sink into next.
Here’s James to tell you how this book came about.
We’re off to see the Wizard!
Where does a book come from? When are its seeds planted? How far back do we have to go to find its roots?
For me, Fantasy is a genre that I was introduced to at an early age and it’s always been there in everything that I have read and written. But what particular Fantasy classic was it that started me on the road as a reader and a writer?
Here’s a hint – it’s a yellow brick road.
L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is where it all began for me; the books, the movie and other adaptations fascinated me as a child. I think Judy Garland’s rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which is a melancholy song in its own way, suggested some of the darkness that would come to attract me as a reader and shape my work as a writer. Also, the field of poisonous flowers, the shadowy woods and the dualistic nature of the Great Oz – as much a god as a wizard – all made a powerful impression upon my imagination. As did Dorothy’s enemies in Oz such as the Witch of the West and the Gnome King. The Wheelers. The Flying Monkeys. Imagination has always been the key to the stories that I have most enjoyed and L. Frank Baum had plenty of it and more to spare.
Though Oz is not the sole influence on my latest novel, The Sword of Sighs, it is a story about a young American girl who is whisked away to a strange land where she meets an old wizard who sends her on a perilous quest. There is wicked witch. There is a magical object of power. There is even a scruffy dog that she loves dearly. It’s all the same but I like to think it is also completely different, thanks the filter of years of reading and other influences and inspirations crowding in. But the root is there and so is the seed and I think as writers and readers we always return to where we began because, as the book says – there’s no place like home.
Greg James’ Website: http://www.gryeates.co.uk
Greg James’ Twitter: https://twitter.com/_gregjames_
Greg James’ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gregjames1980
Sarah Bean lives a quiet life in Okeechobee, Florida until the day when she is transported from our world to the fantastic realm of Seythe. She meets a wayfaring wizard called Ossen who saves her from the dreaded black riders, servants of a being known only as the Fallen One. Together, they will have to undertake a treacherous journey to the far-away Fellhorn mountain where Sarah must find the one weapon that can save them from the black riders pursuing them – The Sword of Sighs.