Author has written 21 stories for Lloyd Alexander, and Harry Potter.
An English professor at a midwestern university, I introduce students to other people's metaphors. It has been an absolute blast coming up with some of my own. While I love the scholarly writing I usually do, it's exhilarating to tap into other creative energies.
As you can guess from the subject of my fics, I am a big-time, long-time (thirty-five years and counting) fan of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain chronicles, which consist of The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King. (There are also two picture books and a story collection.) If you have not yet read these magnificent books, let me highly recommend them. It is rare to find writing so luminous with wisdom and beauty. Coming from me, that's a real endorsement. Whatever else I've done with my life, I have read a lot of books.
As you can also tell from my fics, my favorite character in the series is Adaon, son of the chief bard Taliesin. (If you'd like to read more about what Adaon means to me, take a peek at the author's note to my fic "The Measure of Our Hearts.") I finally figured out--after more than three decades!--that if I wanted to read more about Adaon I'd better write it myself. I also wanted to flesh out the character of Arianllyn, Adaon's betrothed, whom we hear about in The Black Cauldron but, alas, never meet. As I have explored the history of these two young people, I have found myself, increasingly, going back to the older generation. I've discovered how deeply fond I am of Adaon's dad, so if you read my fics you will frequently encounter Taliesin. I have also grown extremely attached to Cerys, the female bard and wife I invented for Taliesin, and try to visit her whenever possible. My attempts to make the women in my fics as wise and heroic as their menfolk is very much in keeping with, and a tribute to, the groundbreaking representation of strong-minded heroines in Alexander's books.
By the way, if you'd like to join online discussions of Prydain, please drop by the forum CompanionWanderer and I started several years back, "Bards of Prydain," open not only to those who writes Prydain fanfiction but anyone who wants to get into a good conversation about the books and characters. Here's the address: http://www.fanfiction.net/ft/816343/25368/1/. It would be great to generate some more thoughtful discussion of these worthy, and immensely fun, books. Come join us!
An update, 5/22/07: To my great sorrow, I heard last Friday of Lloyd Alexander's death on the day before, Thursday, May 17, 2007. He was 83.
I can think of no better tribute than to adapt his own words about my favorite character in the Prydain chronicles, Adaon: he had the heart of a true bard.
The heart, not just the head. A consummate artist, Alexander wrote feelingly and urgently about the need to replace violence, greed, hatred, and the lust for power with love, compassion, and generosity. He was a truly great man--a great writer, and a marvelous human being. He will be sorely missed.
Please honor his memory by seeking out his writing, not only the magnificent Prydain chronicles but many other books, such as The Iron Ring, The Arkadians, and The Gawgon and the Boy. And don't forget: in addition to being wise, he was a fabulous spinner of tales, one of the finest storytellers of our time. And I will cherish his quirky, gentle, and irreverent sense of humor as long as I myself draw breath.
The quickest of updates, 2/20/2012: Yes, I know. I write Snape stories too. At some point, I'll talk about that a bit.
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