I’m pleased to have Author Suzanne Rogers as my guest today, sharing her YA fantasy (also appeals to imaginative adults) The Last Great Wizard of Yden. I think it would make a good movie, the kind my 14 yr. old niece and I are on the lookout for.
Blurb: After his father is kidnapped, sixteen-year-old Jon stumbles across a closely guarded family secret–one that will challenge everything he has ever believed about his father and himself. A magical ring his father leaves behind unlocks a portal to another dimension, but in using it, Jon unwittingly unchains the forces of evil.
A crisis develops when a malevolent wizard transports to Earth to kidnap one of Jon’s friends. With the help of some unlikely schoolmates, and a warrior princess from Yden, Jon embarks on a dangerous quest to free his friend and his father from the most vicious wizard the magical world has ever known. In the end, Jon will be forced to fight for his life as he attempts to rescue the last great wizard of Yden.~
S.G. Rogers in Fantasyland
“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” ~Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”
When Dorothy steps out into a Technicolor Munchkinland, it’s a magical moment in cinematic history. That feeling of wonderment is exactly what I’m shooting for when I am building a fantasy world for my readers to explore. In “The Last Great Wizard of Yden,” my sixteen-year-old protagonist is accidentally transported to a magical world, and my challenge is to start with the familiar and then begin to layer elements of the fantastic, like icing on a cake:
Excerpt: One moment Jon was sitting at his drafting table. In the next, he was sprawled in the middle of a dirt road, having fallen painfully on his behind. His wrist was still tingling, as if he’d stuck his finger in a light socket, and his nostrils burned with the unmistakable scent of ozone.
“Get out of the way!” a man yelled.
A wooden cart, pulled by a team of enormous horses, was bearing down on him. Jon rolled to the side as the cart rumbled past, its wheels barely clearing his head. The driver dragged the team to a halt. “I should report you to the cygards,” he snarled.
Before Jon realized what was happening, the driver’s arm recoiled and he let loose a bullwhip. The popper cracked mere centimeters from Jon’s face. As he scrambled to his feet, the cart moved on, raising a cloud of dust in its wake. Jon stumbled backward, coughing, but then the tail of a strange animal snaked around his waist. The beast resembled a stocky horse, but it had stubby horns and hard ridges where the mane should be. The tail was reminiscent of a small elephant’s trunk. Jon shuddered and twisted out of the animal’s reach.
A plump woman hurried toward him, parcel in hand. “You there! Step away from my puleden!”
“S-sorry,” Jon stammered.
When the extraordinary creature wrapped its muscular tail around the woman’s parcel, Jon gaped in amazement.
“What’re you looking at, vagrant?” the woman snapped.
Without waiting for an answer, the woman unhitched her puleden from a rough-hewn post and led it away. Jon narrowly avoided the road apple the animal left in its wake.
As he took in his surroundings, his mind refused to accept what his eyes were showing him. Somehow he’d traveled instantaneously to a village plucked straight from the pages of a medieval storybook. People were shopping at a busy open-air marketplace nearby, which consisted of rustic wooden stalls, booths, and tents. No cars were on the road, nor could Jon see any modern machinery of any kind. Women were clothed in long, coarsely woven dresses, while men wore cloth shirts and trousers with hide vests. Everyone over a certain age seemed to be wearing a hat of one sort or another. The vendors at the food booths wore the same kind of two-cornered hat oddly similar in shape to ones Jon had seen at fast-food joints.
When a light rain began to moisten his skin, Jon focused his attention upward. To his astonishment he saw not one but two suns in between the streaky, gray clouds. One was nearly overhead and the other, much smaller sun was on the horizon. The realization he was no longer on Earth began to sink in.
I’m on Yden.
My goal is to weave together threads of the familiar and the unfamiliar, to create a world that you’d give anything to see—or do anything to avoid. When I was writing “Yden,” I went location scouting on the Internet. It’s all well and good to have an image in your head, and quite another to convey the details necessary to make that picture come to life for a reader.
Many of the scenes take place in an underground cavern…a fantastic garden…or a tree house built in an old tree. So many places on Earth have a magical, breathtaking quality to them. With a little embellishment, they become the perfect settings for wizards, dragons and nymphs—and you don’t even have to drop a house on anyone’s sister to get there. – S.G. Rogers
Images of: Camlann Medieval Village
El Árbol del Tule, Mexico, Topiary garden – Funchal Island, Carlsbad Caverns
http://tinyurl.com/3wfa6yk (Astraea Press)