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Fantasy Friday! The Roots of My Fantasy Writing

Lots of writers have roots for their writing. Sometimes we know exactly from where our source material springs. However, other pieces from our work may not be so obvious.

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OregontreesI’ve been thinking about the various settings in my upcoming book and realized there are a number of places I’ve visited in the past that serve as the basis for these fictional locations. They seem common for fantasy but they are more specific for me and aren’t based on previous fantasy worlds, familiar though they may seem.

For instance, Auguron Forest is actually based on a place I visited in Oregon as a child where the trees were enormous, some of the largest cedars in the world exist west of the Cascade Mountains (notice #2 on this list). Eagle’s Aerie which appears early in the book is based on an actual rock formation on the coast of Oregon, though not exact in reference. It’s called Haystack Rock and you’ve probably seen it in pictures. Without giving too much away, there are settings that occur underground that remind me of caves I’ve visited.

haystackrockLooking forward to the next book, there are travels in mountains based both on places I’ve been and those about which I’ve read. Another location is The Funnel where pivotal events from the main character’s life occurred. I was rather surprised a few years ago to visit a place very familiar to me and realize that it was the basis for that setting (I don’t want to give that away yet so maybe in about seven month’s time I’ll write about it).

The point is that, especially in fantasy, you may think you are influenced by other fantasy writers who have gone before you. You may think your ideas come from nowhere. You may think you have no experiences from which to draw. However, there may be more to your writing than what you think. Seemingly forgotten, or even mundane, events or trips from you life may be the real roots of scenes, settings, characters and pivotal events.

BOD FinalFantasy is fantasy – it’s filled with places like almost anywhere you may have visited. What I write often references what I’ve seen but it’s not necessarily something from what I’ve read from any other author. What’s more, what a reader associates with a fantasy locale may be entirely different from what I envision – that’s personal, what someone’s read or where they’ve been. The trick is to get the reader into what I’m writing enough so that they envision story from their own experiences.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Interested in more of my writing? Just click one of the retailer banners on the sidebar to see more.

About the Author

P. H. SIMG_4154-Editolomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, ru
nning, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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Fantasy Friday! A Dream & The Forge Pt. 2

Hello everyone! Today’s, post is the second of two shared from The Bow of Destiny. This part involves the excerpt at a forge. Enjoy!


TBOD Pinterest Board ThumbThe blacksmith’s hammer rang distantly through the clamor of conversation.

Ralda touched his arm.

Athson stirred and realized the giant had spoken to him. “What?”

“We go Auguron morning?” The giant crooked two fingers and motioned them over his fist.

Athson recognized the signal as meaning tomorrow. The following gestures stumped him. “Yeah.”

“Eat. We go food.”

“Get food for our trip? Yes.”

The giant waited until Athson finished his meal. Then the two of them gathered supplies and put the cost on Safforn’s supply tab. A gracious offer for Ralda. They returned to the barracks and stowed their goods.

They planned an early start, so they readied themselves for sleep soon after packing. Sleep eluded Athson, but he soon heard Ralda’s steady breathing. They had to find Gweld. A lump rose from his chest into his throat.

More than Gweld’s safety nagged Athson. He rolled over and examined his pack in the darkness again. Why did the inheritance follow him? It was worse than Spark. The unanswered question sat in his pack, unknown to anyone else but him. Could it be real? He doubted it. He had burned it, and it appeared again.

Athson rummaged in his pack. He pulled out the inheritance and stared at it. His life had lurched out of control since the Withling pushed this package on him. Discarding it did him no good.

Ralda stirred and rolled in his sleep.

Athson slipped out of the barracks, the inheritance in his hand. He crossed the yard to the smithy. Heat lingered from the coals along with the smells of ash and worked metal. Athson stared at the remaining glow.

He squeezed the inheritance.

Burying the inheritance had failed – so had fire. If only this heat could sear it and other memories from his mind.

Clang! The hammer rang from his earlier dream. Athson glimpses his father’s sword, the stag’s ten-tined rack etched on the guards flashed red in flames. He groaned. Depenburgh’s fires flamed like a forge. The weapon gleams with angry crimson on one edge and soft blue on the other but silver along the length of the blade.

Athson’s arm shook and he squeezed the package. The inheritance and his past were linked. This truth tracked him like a troll. The day his father taught him to use a bow proved it.

They finish and collect their gear. His father stops and takes a knee, staring intently at Athson. “There’s something you must know, son.”

“What, father?”

“I can’t tell you everything but you are old enough to know some of it.”

Athson stands attentive, waiting.

“Our family comes from far away, the land of Hart. We were one of the great houses that fell into evil under Rok’s sway, under Magdronu. Withlings helped an ancestor break this hold. Since then we’ve been hiding ourselves and an item the old dragon and his wizard, Corgren, want.”

Athson swallows and nods.

His father ruffles his hair. “I’m telling you since you’re old enough to learn the bow. But you must swear not to reveal any of this to anyone – ever. Trust no one beyond our family with this.”

Athson’s voice is hoarse in answer. “I swear, father. I won’t tell anyone.”

“I swear I haven’t told anyone – and I won’t.” Athson’s jaw clenched and he squeezed the inheritance. It opened old wounds and left new ones, but it also answered old questions. The bow was what his father guarded.

Athson gazed at winking stars. “I need my father’s – my sword so I can keep these secrets safe, or they will kill me. I need – no, not that…” He whirled and walked away from the smithy but stopped. “If only I could pry that sword away from Sarneth.”


bow of destinyThanks for stopping by to read today.

I’ve got an ongoing sale for The Bow of Destiny for the next several days. You can find it at one of the buy links below.

Also, I’ll get the following tidbits posted soon on the News page but I’ll make an appearance on 8/13 in RRBC’s Back to School Blog Tour. Then I’ll be on The Lost Bow Blog Tour from 8/14-20. I’ll post more news about these as it becomes available.

And one final tidbit – for those who might have seen it on my Twitter feed, I’ve been contacted by a teacher about including The Bow of Destiny in her curriculum. I don’t know much at this time other than it’s being considered. If it is, I’ll share more information ASAP. It’s interesting news at this point and another great reason to write!

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

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IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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Fantasy Friday! 5 Additions to The Bow of Hart Saga Over the Years

It goes without saying that a fiction project morphs in many ways as it is written. However, The Bow of Hart Saga was a project that lasted several decades so the changes in it have been ongoing throughout that time. Here are 5 additions to the series:

1. Spark – this character was added very late in the writing process of The Bow of Destiny and then into the following two books, An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow. Spark began as a suggestion from my daughter so the character would not have been in the series at all without her input. Interesting since I didn’t even know my wife when I started the series just out of high school, let alone have a daughter!

  1. A larger cadre of villainous characters – one of the characters added was Paugren, Corgren’s brother. He arrived before The Bow of Destiny was completed, but mainly in Trading Knives which is a prequel story that reveals Corgren’s past along with his brother who is an integral part. Paugren takes on a larger role as the series moves forward.

  1. A different writing style – in 2014, at the suggestion of several other people, I changed the essence of the writing style for The Bow of Destiny (and the series) to that of deep point-of-view. It’s a different technique that I had to learn but I think it helped the series tremendously because of the nature of Athson’s story.
  2. More back-story about Withlings – as I prepared The Bow of Destiny, I knew there would be lots of questions about Withlings and the mystery surrounding them. Sometimes wonder-workers, sometimes mystics, these characters are quite different in nature so their story needed to be developed. For that, I turned to a short story entitled, What Is Needed, which refers to the common saying among Withlings.

  1. Ralda’s deeper characterization – this giant of a character had a makeover – again at my daughter’s suggestion. Before her suggestions, I had added that Ralda used a supplemental sign-language common among his people. Also, Ralda’s back-story about his brother took on a deeper meaning as something which motivates him. But at my daughter’s suggestion some appearance changes were added. Ralda (and giants) use a set of tattoos on their hands and fingers to augment their signing was one of the main details that came from the make-over.

There are many other details that I added along with some that were removed. Check back next week to find out what I removed.

Thanks for reading today, please leave your thoughts in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can. If you want to know more about The Bow of Hart Saga, please see the series page.