This is an excerpt from my post on Fiction Frolic for All Hallow’s Read. Check it out to see how ten authors are banding together to raise 1000 books for literacy!
Reading has always been an irreplaceable part of my life. I’ve my grandmother to thank for this, for it was she who picked up The Chronicles of Narnia and read them, paraphrased, to her five-year-old grandchild. Looking back, it seems like all the books in those early childhood years were full of magic and exploration—from The Arabian Nights to Swiss Family Robinson—and they opened my nascent eyes to new realms of possibility. Books in my teenage years became an effective escape from childhood bullies and difficult algebra problems, while the literature I read in high school inspired a tradition of lifelong learning.
There were three books, however, that set me on a fantasy writer’s path. First, as already mentioned, came The Chronicles of Narnia. You cannot read these stories as a child and not come away expecting to see nymphs flirting among the trees and talking animals peering shyly at you from around every corner. This series solidified my love of fantasy from the earliest possible age.
Next, and quite unexpectedly, came Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. This influential novel made a profound impression on my fifteen-year-old psyche. Though the story is more of a social commentary on the ideologies of nations, it’s also something of a fantasy in its presentation of John Galt’s utopian gulch, where everyone carries his or her own weight, and all contribute to the motion of progress. It’s the fantasy of socialism married to capitalism in harmonious confederation.
Read the rest of this post on Fiction Frolic for All Hallow’s Read.