For many people, summer is a time for family trips and new adventures. For some (well, for us at least), these trips can inspire new adventure fantasy stories.
Here in BC, Canada, life gradually slows down the closer we get to August. If people aren’t taking holidays away from home for a week or so, they’re either off to the park, on a hike or bike ride, or simply enjoying their backyards.
When Shane and I are out on a new adventure, big or small, we like to take pictures that capture our imaginations and inspire new adventure fantasy stories.
Shane recently took a trip from BC to Ontario and back…on his motorcycle no less! If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you probably saw the photos and stories he shared. Here are a few highlights:
My holidays are often spent visiting family far away. In addition to an annual trip to Ontario, our family takes trips down to Vashon Island, WA. That little forested island has been a great source of inspiration for many years.
But mysterious places can also be found close to home.
Shane shared this cool photo of a tunnel not far from his home…
And I love to explore the beautiful woods near my house.
Imagining a place in a forest or elsewhere that could lead to a fantasy world might seem a bit geeky or even escapist. But I think it can be healthy to open yourself to explore your imagination now and then. Just don’t get trapped there.
But what if you did get trapped in a fantasy world?
How would you survive? Would you be able to communicate with the locals? What if the inhabitants were hostile? How would you get home?
These questions have been at the heart of portal fantasy stories and adventure fantasy books for generations. Such wonderings inspired us to write the Maidstone Chronicles.
Even if you haven’t read Across the Fourwinds or Beyond the Hollowtangle, you’re probably familiar with adventures of Alice, Dorothy, the Pevensie children, and other characters from treasured stories like Peter Pan, Inkheart, Outlander, Stardust, the Fionavar Tapestry, and Harry Potter (to name a few).
But what would happen when all your adventures in “Wonderland” are over? If you returned to your old life, what would it look like? How would you cope?
Some authors have considered this and come to difficult conclusions. Even the fictional Bilbo Baggins entitled his adventure, “There and Back Again.” The journey was difficult, but being back home again in the Shire was full of challenges.
There’s a modern portal fantasy series I wrote about before that explores what it might be like for adventurers who return from their journeys into alternate realities and fantasy realms.
The Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire begins with Every Heart a Doorway. That book has won numerous awards and accolades such as: “A mini-masterpiece of portal fantasy ― a jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll’s and C. S. Lewis’ classics” ―NPR
There are now five books in the series, and I’m way behind. But I really enjoyed the first one. While it is a bit dark, McGuire’s writing and character building is brilliant. I came to feel for these kids and in turn for people I know and hear about who might be considered “wayward.” There’s nothing like hearing someone’s story to open your heart to them.
Enough of my adventure fantasy ramblings! Go out and enjoy your own summer adventures! Who knows where they might lead?
NOTE: Everyone on our mailing list as of July 31, 2019 will be entered into a draw to win either one of the books in the Wayward Children series, Terry Brooks’ Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold! or book 1 and 2 of the Maidstone Chronicles. The winner gets to choose. If you don’t get our monthly email newsletter, be sure to sign up now.