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Get Your Motor Running, head out on the highway…

by on September 9, 2012

Being a fantasy author can be strange some times.  Well, a lot of times really.  You see, it is a prerequisite that you have not just an active imagination, but an over-active imagination.  A fantasy author is always seeing visions, well I am anyway.  Hallucinations, weird images – and not all of them induced by alcohol or other assorted substances.  It goes with the territory, because if you want to write these things, you need to see them as well, at least in the privacy of your own head.

What else do you see inside the privacy of your own head?  Anyone? Surely we all have a self image or a picture of ourselves.  What’s yours?  Some of you guys I could guess.  Who wants to own up to the image of a girl in white, riding her horse across a long down, hair flowing in the wind?  Or of a white coated scientist in an underground laboratory, chuckling wildly.  Running along a wild-sea’d beach, with the sa foam blowing, and a pack of friendly wolves by your side?  Or sat in a most comfortable chair, near a roaring fire, or beside a wide open garden window, a cheerful glass at your side and your favourite book in your hand whilst the shadows flicker on the bookcases that rise to the ceiling and beyond?

I have a mixed vision, which I expect amazes no one.  In one image, I see a tall, cloaked figure walking down a long road, with a pile of books, in another version, there’s a similar character, again on a long road, but this time on a motorbike with Born To Be Wild playing loudly…I’m sure some psychologist could have a lot of fun with that.  But then, I’d have a lot of fun with his character later, with my keyboard.  What goes around comes around.

Writing and selling books these days is a strange old activity, isn’t it?  Lots of authors get terribly excited when someone loves their book, and then get terribly upset when someone else doesn’t.  Richard Bach once wrote that we know a writer from the words, they write and I suspect that’s very true.  The writer and their personality, and their internal picture of themselves, pour out in the way they write, the phrases they chose, the employ.  Reading their books, some make you sad for the author, some make you laugh and fall in love with the image they create of themselves.  Others might make you run away… but if you read carefully, that author’s self image will float across your imagination too.

So the next time you turn on your computer, the next time you pick up your notepad, the next time you open a novel or turn on your kindle, pay attention: you are meeting the author as well as his characters.  Fancy a drink, anyone? (Sorry about the exhaust fumes…)

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  1. Oh, yeah. Lots of images in my head. Some like me, hiking for weeks on the John Muir trail (and off it, since trails are overrated). And when I sit down to write, I sometimes can see myself being interviewed on NPR (I also see myself stammering and stumbling and being unable to say a single intelligent thing. Imagination can be a two-edged sword).

    Like your dual image of yourself.

  2. I spent the afternoon at an airshow and saw exactly the kind of thing I’ve been trying to imagine for the ships in Space Dustmen. It was great. I just wish I knew what the hell it’s called. Something for spotting Uboats in WW2. I spent the rest of the time fantasising about snurds. Actually I spend most of my time fantasising about snurds but going to an airshow seems to really bring it on.

    I’m not sure I’ve said this in the public domain but basically, I reckon a fantasy author is someone who quite likes the Real World but I wouldn’t want to live here full time.



  3. Sooo glad I’m not the only crazy one around here. 😀

  4. Hi Will,
    I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award, for your lovely blog! Congratulations!! 😀

  5. Reblogged this on NewsLetter.

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