my longing to escape to a different world. The greatest literary influence
in my life was C.S. Lewis. The Chronicles of Narnia were one of the first
series I read. The characters were compelling. You had the
wide-eyed, trusting Lucy, her easily seduced brother Edmond, the hard core fact
person in Susan and the eldest, Peter, who had to keep them all together and
going in the same direction. The stories were imaginative and fun.
Heroes were heroes and villains were villains. Occasionally there was a
misleading character but you generally knew who was on which side. It made
it easy as a reader to identify with characters. As for the great lion,
Aslan, transcended the protagonist role and took on a god-like persona.
Rather than him being an Old Testament fire and brimstone god, he was a New
Testament powerful but approachable god. Aslan was kind and wise. He
always knew what to do and he never panicked. I tried to learn from the
stories and incorporate elements into my own book. My heroes are clear,
although the twins in the book do make you wonder sometimes whose side they are
on. The voice of reason is Anvar. To be clear, he is no Aslan or
even a shadow of Aslan. What he is to Linvin is the voice of reason.
Anvar actually possesses a good deal of power. He does not use it for many
reasons. He wants to keep it concealed as long as possible. Anvar
also is older and according to the rules of magic in my world, channeling the
power physically drains you. The more magic you channel, the more
exhausted you become. He is of weak stature to begin with and is not
capable of shouldering the load of the party. Finally, Anvar is there to
help Linvin become worthy of the Red Sapphire and guide him to greatness.
To do that, Anvar must let him make his own mistakes and learn from them.
The dynamic of the party is most unusual as with the Narnia books. There
are such different personalities among the characters that there simply must be
one that you like, dislike or are otherwise engaged. It was meant to be
that way. I went in another direction with the antagonist by hiding their
identity. It was fun to have this ultra-powerful, mysterious enemy who
would stop at nothing to see Linvin dead. So Linvin could be standing
right next to his adversary and never know it. I love that. As a
reader, I love to have answers but I love even more to be kept guessing.
“Quest for the Red Sapphire” is my pride and joy, but I was inspired by C.S.
Lewis. He was a truly great author.