BestSelling Reads is proud to announce a new member: Autumn Birt, author of epic fantasies as well as dystopian science-fiction. But we’ll let her introduce herself.
I see stories in my mind.
Even if I didn’t write, I’d be daydreaming snippets of imaginary places and people. I have done so since I was child stuck in the backseat of my parent’s car on epic drives. Actually, we lived in the country (my neighbors were Amish), so anywhere was an epic drive: grocery store, mall, school…
I would look out the window and dream of somewhere else.
At first I tried to draw what I imagined. There was a fifty fifty chanced I’d end up a graphic artist rather than a novelist. But when I discovered that by writing I could explore words so much deeper than a simple passing daydream, that was the point of no return for me. Characters could by my friend for years as I wrote. Worlds I created were real enough I could smell the smoke of campfires and hear the music from celebrations. My artwork is now secondary, but so useful as an author.
And honestly, as a fantasy author and daydreamer, this world is a tragic disappointment. Where are the dragons? Magic spells? Portals to new universes? I have to create my own, so I craft them through books, which have the benefit of allowing readers to leap in as well. In my mind, I was lonely. Through my books, I can share the worlds and characters with so many people!
My first published novel was Born of Water, which was released in 2012 and began my first epic fantasy series The Rise of the Fifth Order. This year marks my sixth as a published author and I just released my thirteenth book which completes my second epic fantasy trilogy and third fully released series. What is crazy is I’m just getting started!
I write fantasy because I was drawn to it from a young age. I remember finding a short story on dragon impression on Pern when I was in Junior High School. Anne McCaffrey’s world changed me from an occasional reader to a book devourer. Mercedes Lackey, Ursula K. Leguin, Margaret Weis, Tracey Hickman, and so many other amazing novelists opened new worlds to me and taught truths that might not have blossomed if handed out in a text book.
I think that is the secret power of fantasy; it can teach very personal lessons while entertaining: friendship, honesty, perseverance, and the drive to change the world. But I don’t like preachy stories written expressly to persuade. No, I want to fall in love with characters, with a world, and be swept up in events that make you rise to your best … or teach you the humbling result if you don’t. Those are the stories I seek out and then ones I write.
All that mental adventure and daydreaming bleeds through to my real life too. I love to travel and experience new cultures and places. If you don’t find me glued to my laptop, you’ll probably find me on my motorcycle on a back road or with my husband and dog in our Landcruiser outfitted for the great unknown. Someday I will convince him to cave raft with me.
Because, secretly, I’m still looking for a portal to another universe. 😉
Learn more about Autumn on her: