Writing fantasy is not only filled with fun, but fraught with danger because there are so many overlapping themes and images. Moreover, there are many coincidences. We take the focus and combination of fantasy characters, original settings, and sink them into a fresh plot, and voila, a new fantasy novel emerges, but it is all a challenge.
Take my Galaxy Trotters, written and produced over a twenty-five year period. I wrote it from 1987-1991, while on family leave from teaching English and Humanities in the Department of Education. I successively revised my novel during the next few years, received countless rejections and finally published with Sid Hartha publisher. My novel was launched at Readings, Carlton, in June 2010 after I refined my galley in 2009 while overseas. Yet the mirrors were in place with another pig fantasy emerging soon afterwards. Technically, Galaxy Trotters was first! Galaxy Trotters is the original, highly-acclaimed-flying-pig-fantasy in Australia, if you don’t count the fairytale, Three Little Pigs, which would have been written overseas and date back centuries. This means my novel was in draft when the preceding flying pig novel was written too. I had already sent my manuscript around to various publishers with a different title. I added Proctor at the end, a year or so prior to publication, so that was another coincidence. Coincidence does my head in!
So, why is Galaxy Trotters relevant today? More than just an exciting, action-packed read, and a romance about finding Sowelu’s lost Romeo, my novel is also educational and listed as a Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge text. Though it appeals to young readers, it has relevancy for all ages, according to critics. In addition, scientists are reputedly studying theories about time spinning backwards in antimatter parallel universes, and have claimed to have arrived at theoretical proof that this is the case. I may well have been the first, or one of the first authors, to embody this theme in my sci-fi fantasy, and most likely the first to represent the theme in an enjoyable manner to children. So Galaxy Trotters is not only humorous, action-packed space pig fantasy, but also educational. Galaxy Trotters is now available as a first edition printed text exclusively from myself, the author. I can throw in bookmarks or a flying pig poster, so if bookshops would like copies for Christmas, please let me know.
I have a book of activities to accompany the text : vocabulary, comprehension etc. My novel is accessible and filled with clever language to enhance literacy skills. Students who read Galaxy Trotters and complete the activities are likely to leap up a few levels, become creative with language and ready to experiment with unfamiliar vocabulary. This is not a happy accident, but my intention as an English expert.
Now, I am writing the Kingdom of Nerada series, which is purely fairytale and fantasy, but also a challenge to write. The first two novels Isabella Airyfairyabelous the Sleepy Dragon and Doughnut Dungeon will take five years to finalise, but they are developing well at present as I forge new links in the series. I published the early drafts on KDP.