L. Jagi Lamplighter spent 15 years writing, re-writing, and revising her Prospero's Daughter trilogy before the first volume was published in 2009. In an article entitled "A Writer's Odyssey," she describes her journey from hopeful writer to published author. Another article, "All About the Wonder," explains why Ms. Lamplighter writes fantasy. She explains:
Fantasy can do anything, go anywhere, occur in any milieu. It can take place in your back yard, in the ancient past, on the moon, in another dimension - the nature and laws of which can be anything you imagine. It can be frightening, romantic, mysterious, filled with intriguing factoids. But there is one thing fantasy does better than any other genre, and that is wonder.
The Prospero's Daughter trilogy is full of a staggering wealth of historical, mythical, and supernatural creatures, and religious lore from many centuries ago. Guessing that she did not just look this stuff up on the Internet, I sent Ms. Lamplighter an email asking: "How did you learn so much about all those gods, goddesses, mythical creatures, etc?" Her answer:
I love both fairy tales and myths. I have been reading them since I was a child. So I've kind of steeped in them, like well-brewed tea.
I've read semi-anthropological sources as well, like The Golden Bough and The White Goddess and Bullfinch's Mythology. I also went through a period when I spent a year studying, on my own, mythologies from all over the world - which is one reason that, in the Prospero background, each section of the world has mythological creatures appropriate to that culture.
In addition, the Prospero books are based in part on a roleplaying game run by my husband, sci-fi/fantasy author John C. Wright. He, too, is a fan of myths. So he and I have learned a great deal from each other...
My idea for the Prospero books was that the story took place "in the real world". What I mean by that is this: Many stories pick a particular mythology - Norse mythology, Greek mythology, American Indian, etc. - then they say 'this mythos is real in my fantasy world, and the rest of them don't exist.'
But, in our real world, they are all there: Norse, Egyptian, Hindu, American Indian, Polynesian, Christian, Jewish, etc. My idea for Miranda's world was that all the things we know in our real world are there in her world as well, living among each other in an uneasy sort of alliance.
Interview conducted by Judy Krueger.
This article was originally published in November 2011, and has been updated for the
December 2013 paperback release.
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