Categorized | 2015 March, Talent showcase

Talent showcase: Melissa A. Joy Blackheath Dawn’s emerging fantasy writer

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About Melissa A. Joy, by Terry Gilbert-Fellows, CEO. 

Melissa is an emerging fantasy author who challenges the conventional expectations of fantasy and takes them to a whole new level. It is no secret that she believes in the existence of all things fantastical, and that anything is possible.

She began building the world of Aeldynn and started writing seriously aged approximately 13 back in 1999, and has since developed it into something truly magical worth sharing. From the glorious winged Drahknyr and wise and fearsome dragons to pirates of the high seas and a world rich with history and lore, her imagination could be said to be limitless.

When she isn’t locked in a reverie about what’s going on in the world of Aeldynn, she’s probably out sailing the high seas on a tall ship, or perhaps dressed up in costume at an anime convention.

Launch of sample book and promo video, The Gateway to Aeldynn Lore

Melissa has recently launched her sample book The Gateway to Aeldynn Lore,  as  well as a promo video as an interest generator to inform potential readers and to draw attention to the forthcoming debut novel, Keys of the Origin, the first book in a saga under the banner of Aeldynn Lore.

Sample book   Promo video
GatewayAeldynn-alternative5Arch-edit 9x6

 

image001Keys of the Origin is the first book in a saga, but it’s also intended to be one of many stories to take place in this world where you will see some of the same characters again and again, as well as new characters and new storylines. This world is full of mysteries; it’s full of legends, some of which are very real. It is full of lore. World-building isn’t easy, and it’s time-consuming, but it’s certainly rewarding. For all who enjoy this story and the stories to come, the reward will continue to grow in value. All in all, I have been true to the world inside my mind, and hope that you will all enjoy sharing in experiencing it with me.

Building the world of Aeldynn, by Melissa A. Joy

When I think back to when I first created the world of Aeldynn, I can’t remember exactly how it all came about. I think it started when I first played video-games seriously. I hadn’t really got into them until I played my first RPG (Role-playing Game), Phantasy Star IV. Shortly after that I played Final Fantasy VII, and went on to play various other titles as well. Initially, as a result of these games, my first attempt at writing a serious story ended up with a setting that merged science fiction and fantasy, but I quickly grew to dislike this combination in my writing. I didn’t feel that the two genres really gelled for me as a writer, and to make that work, it would have to be a world similar to those games. Fantasy and science-fiction can work well together for the right author, but it didn’t work for me.

Many fantasy worlds are set in the equivalent of Earth’s medieval era, but I’ve always been quite partial to the Renaissance and Georgian eras, and the ancient world. I’m also an avid sailor of tall ships when I get the chance, and I am more than a little obsessed with all things nautical up until the age of ironclad ships. I didn’t develop such a deep interest in that until I was roughly 19, maybe 20, and I didn’t start sailing on them until I turned 21 when my older brother bought me my first voyage. The real obsession started then.

So, between the ages of 13 and 20, Aeldynn underwent its initial design work. I’d even written the first draft of a book that was saved on a floppy disk and still exists somewhere amidst all my hoarded treasures. I drew maps, I created characters who I role-played as with a few friends on private chatrooms and even instant messengers, which was a beautiful way of engaging in character development. My friend Amanda (who I first met on the old MSN chatrooms) was the one who became a part of it almost from the very beginning. Quite a number of my first characters were initially developed that way, and they’ve continued to grow ever since.

The map of Armaran has changed very little, and though the world map of all of Aeldynn has undergone some changes, much of it is as it was back then. The names of the major continents: Armaran, Ardeltaniah, Enkaiyta, Koborea, Manlakhedran, Icetaihn and Zaern’Kairnell are names that have always remained the same. The Lands of Elinda, Aiecendi and Azaeras: The Unseen Isles are much newer additions.

Furthermore, my tall ship obsession was first kicked off with discovering the need to design a ship. I took a great interest in researching the 18th century warship HMS Victory – a ship that I love dearly and feel great nostalgia for – which assisted in the hybrid creation of Larkh’s ship, the Greshendier. First hand experience in sailing tall ships began with the Tall Ships Youth Trust (http://tallships.org), who also provide voyages for adults, sailing on their brig, Stavros S Niarchos.

There is much in the way of nautical jargon to take into consideration, and I’ve engaged in many hours of further research to understand more about ships of the 17th-18th centuries, and still do, because I might just be a little bit obsessed. While perfection on every topic is impossible for writers, I have found it is essential to do what research you can to maintain as much clarity and believability as possible. I can write very easily about tall sailing ships, for example, but when faced with the manoeuvres of armies across battlefields I’m still a bit of a novice in that regard.

Melissa A. Joy is also a consultant writer for Blackheath Dawn and supports aspiring writers within Blackheath Dawn’s Creative Writing section.

Find out more about Melissa A. Joy

If you are interested in finding out how Blackheath Dawn can help you get published, please contact us at info@blackheathdawn.co.uk.

Cover photo of Melissa A. Joy, courtesy of Paul Jacques June 2014

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