I’d been listening to the authors Walter Mosley and Kareem Abdul Jabbar speaking with each other during a book interview for nearly an hour. Separately they both exuded interesting tales of lives that obviously were thick with rich experiences. During the Q&A someone asked Mosley who or what influenced him as a writer. As was typical for most of the discussion he quipped a sardonic, funny answer that stayed with me for days after the chat. He suggested that most writers name other, successful or iconic writers, when they are talking about their influences but in fact that wasn’t usually true. He said while, as an example, he loved MacDonald’s work he considered his first real influences to be comic books. I laughed.
See I’d immediately thought of my own first story telling influences and it definitely included comic books. It also included folk lore, fairy tales, myths, and Nancy Drew. Once in the small back room of my Grandmother’s apartment (that room was the equivalent of an attic), filled with reading material from her five children and a dozen grandchildren, I found my first comic books. There were old Superman comics mostly, but my favorite was a comic book version of the Old Testament. That rendering of the Bible left me speechless and in awe. I read it until the pages literally began to disintegrate in my hands. Gram loved watching old historical movies from the days before and during early Christianity. “…real men in leather and metal or tights and skirts” as we used to say. I’d become a fan too.
As for the myths, fairy tales, and folk lore, I was always very attracted to stories that included interesting creatures, magic, but most of all men and women who lived in a time so very, very different than my own. In front of my grandmother’s large mirror I would regale myself with made up stories about my being a young sorceress who’d been spirited away on a Viking ship and who learned to fight with a sword from my captors. Consequently my favorite books until I was in school full time were 1001 Arabian Nights, East with the Sun & West with the Moon (Norwegian Fairy Tales), and an anthology of Greek & Roman Mythology.
Surprisingly no one ever suggested I read about Narnia or The Lord of the Rings until I met my husband years later and by that time I felt almost completely over my crush for all things fantastical. Yet, when I started writing regularly a few years ago one of the first things I wrote was a story completely out of my comfort zone and imagination. The story would be a fantasy but it would be in a different world and with a multi-colored hue than most I’d read before.
World building is a daunting task. Actually world building is an AWESOMELY daunting task. When I started my story two years ago I envisioned it as a series of little stories that would eventually give us an epic insight into this world. The characters came easily so I wrote several chapters and the first paragraphs to several more, but then as often happens in life, I got sidetracked. I started to think of other stories and never came back to the one I literally built from scratch.
Lately I’ve been thinking of that world and been wanting to revisit it. One of the many challenges is considering whether there is an audience who would enjoy this tale. So for my first entry into the Wattpad community I would like to present part one of the story called, Walled City of Divaros: Lucien’s Folly here. And I’ll make you a deal, I’ll send you another chapter to read every week for 10 chapters and you’ll tell me if it’s a world you or others would like to know more about. Enjoy!