Jay Swanson


When I was a kid, I loved to tell stories. If I didn’t have one from real life that was interesting enough to hold someone’s attention, I would just make one up. My parents tended to call these “tall tales.” I didn’t just make up these stories for attention though; I made them up to bring out the deeper senses.

I was as fast as any car racing down the street, and could leap over any building in my hometown (which I later realized wasn’t really that impressive). I kept a battle ax under my backpack for any ambush that might find me on the way to school, and sailed with Jason’s Argonauts to find the golden fleece. To put it bluntly, I was a badass.

The rush that I got from this was real. What I came to understand was that Fantasy, whether my own or in books, did more than offer an escape. It heightened reality. I found that literature lent a window into the souls of others and – by extension – a mirror to my own. Fantasy differed in that it provided a unique set of surreal tools with which to paint the world in adrenaline-fueled colors.

The human experience is still what ties us to our favorite characters. We identify with them. We draw power from them. Then we do something more than simply escape: we grow.

This is true of all good stories. I write fantasy because it touches something deeper. It pulls out the reality that hides just below the surface of our everyday existence. It’s mystical, wild, and reaches into the unknown. Still, I’m no authority on the genre. All I know is that when I read and write in it, I come alive in a different way.

That’s what I want to share with you. I started out writing stories simply because I liked to tell them. My goal now is to encourage and inspire. Lofty, I know. I hope the respite it brings leaves you invigorated, and better able to face your day. Where my wisdom is found lacking, I simply hope you enjoy reading along.

If you get anything more out of it than that, I’ll be thrilled.

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