The premise of my book, and indeed much of the world, plot, and characterization, was first imagined when I was maybe 12 years old.
At the time, I was an avid reader of fantasy novels. The Lord of Rings series was an absolute favorite. So was the DeathGate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Piers Anthony’s creativity was inspiring. Terry Brooks’ stories consumed a healthy chunk of my childhood.
As I grew up, I stopped reading fantasy. I still read fiction, but my tastes changed. I turned to Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, and Stephen King.
Yet when I started writing, I found fantasy to be the genre that called to me. The story of Wings of the Sathakos bubbled up from my childhood and I put it to paper, as they say.
I attribute much of my success in completing a full-length fantasy novel to the natural sense of admiration I had for the genre. Sure, it became work at times. I had to force myself to write. But the genre made it easier. It was a world I truly enjoyed delving into, and I still do.
I suppose that could be useful advice for struggling writers. They say, write what you know. Write what you love. What I love is being creative, and fantasy gives me endless opportunities to do that. Find what you love, even if you have to go digging back into your childhood in your hunt.