Like everything we are passionate about it our lives, that love or interest had to start somewhere. Whether that means ten minutes ago when you stumbled upon something intriguing on the internet or if it goes all the way back to when you were just a wee one. And once that seed is planted within us is can be hard to ignore. So then where did my love of fantasy start?
I would have to say that my passion for all things fantasy related began when I was just a wee neverbug in my parents arms. My mum has always been the artsy type. Always sewing a costume, creating a sculpture, re-landscaping our yard, painting a picture, etc. and my father has a great love of books and always has his nose in one (when he isn’t playing on the computer). Because of this my childhood was always full of magic. I grew up attending the renaissance faire each year in full period costume, danced classical ballet, had a whole closet of “dress-up” play clothes and had a vast library of books to fuel my imagination. After all, that was probably my favorite policy my parents ever put in place; while they often said no to toys or candy, I was NEVER denied a book and I grew up reading at least one page every single day.
And what kind of books are little girls usually drawn to? Stories of princesses, dragons, heroes, enchanted forests, unicorns, and in my case it didn’t stop there. I had books about werewolves, gryphons, and more! Before I could read I would be read to sleep at night tails such as C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia or J.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Some of the earliest book series I can remember really being captivated by were The Jewel Kingdom Series by Jahnna N. Malcolm and The Unicorns of Balinor series by Mary Stanton. I was captivated by the stories and the characters and wanted nothing more than for some of their magical adventures and enchanted worlds to rub off on reality.
And of course there were also movies. Being a little girl in the early 90’s meant that Disney was everywhere. I was surrounded by the tales of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladin, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and all the other Disney classics. But if I am being completely honest two films had more power in shaping my love of fantasy and the woman I grew into that any other influence I came across: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal (1982) and The Labyrinth (1986) starring the one and only Goblin King himself, David Bowie. Long live the king….