I was ten when I started reading fantasy novels. Unfortunately, when I was ten, teen fantasy was not what it is today. The teen section at my bookstore was relatively small and very short on fantasy. So, by the time I was twelve, I was launching myself into the adult fantasy section. This occupied me for a few years and I read approximately one book per week. As you can imagine, by the time I was halfway through high school I had read quite a few books and was close to exhausting everything that looked interesting to me. And I was tired of the damsel in distress, the fire breathing dragon that the knight must slay in order to save the princess, the vampire that feasts on human blood, and the dark castle with thunder and lightning around it full of evil creatures and ruled over by a sorcerer or sorceress. I was tired of reading about serious kings who charged into battle over everything and strong female characters that eventually needed a man to help her out of some jam. Tired of my frustrations, I decided to write a story that turned as many of those common fantasy themes upside down and Black as Light was born.
I’ve never really been one to follow rules and formulas and what’s usually done when I write. I like to throw everything out the window, jumble it up, and reel it back in. Some of what I write follows convention, but I don’t like writing stories with definite turning points, climaxes, a middle point from which everything resolves into the ending, and happily ever afters where everything is changed and better. I prefer to write more about the human experience and people’s lives, regardless of whether they live in this world or another. People’s lives don’t follow the formula of having a beginning, middle, and end. Life continues with high and low point and a lot of uninteresting stuff blended in with some interesting things happening. That’s the way I like to write, where my characters are supposed to lead their lives without having a story form bending their lives to my will. And that’s partially the place from which Black as Light came. The characters aren’t supposed to follow convention; they’re supposed to have their own lives and things start happening when Tanith follows her own life story and runs away to the Black Castle, but their lives aren’t radically changed, or really at all. And the only thing that’s really changed by the end of the story is that Tanith is able to visit the Black Castle without her father sending in knights to rescue her.
Anyways, thank you for reading this story, and a special thank you to those who took the time to like and comment on each part. It means a lot to me that people other than my mom enjoyed this whimsical story.
Next up: Well, I haven’t decided yet. It’ll either be a much more serious and darker sci-fi story or perhaps another tale of whimsy in the form of a two-act tea party play I wrote around the same time as Black as Light. I’ll probably flip a coin, but if anyone has a preference as to what to read next, please do leave a comment and I’ll have the first part up on Friday.