As part of the book birthday blitz, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources, I have a guest post from Aaron Hodges about travelling and fantasy writing
So if you don’t know too much about me, probably the first thing you should know is that I’m a traveller. In the last six years, I have spent 80% of my time outside of my home country of New Zealand, and have to date visited over 50 different nations. I love the backpacker life, the excitement of meeting new people and exploring new cities and landscapes (of course, this was all before covid19). And while this lifestyle is only possible because I am lucky enough to have a job as a writer that allows me to work from anywhere, I’ve found more often than not that my travels have also helped to inspire my writing.
By far the biggest way this has happened is through the various scenery and architecture I’ve encountered on my journeys. From mountain valleys to jungles to snow-capped peaks, I’ve used my experiences everywhere from Europe, Nepal, to the Americas to fill in the descriptions of my worlds. Even the architecture, history and culture of my various cities and kingdoms has been inspired by what I have learned travelling the world. A few of my friends I’ve met along the way have even been able to highlight a few points in my stories which they recognise from our own travels together.
And that is perhaps the other way travel has helped to shape my stories. Travelling has brought a multitude of interactions with people from other places and cultures I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience. It has tested my own comfort levels and forced me to adapt to environments that I once would have never thought to find myself in. And so many of those experiences, those characters and personal connections have helped to enrich my own writing along the way.
In fact, I actually met my editor in a hostel in Istanbul where I introduced her to the wonderful world of self-publishing!
That’s what I love about travel, you never know what you’re going to find, or who you’re going to meet.
Thanks so much, Aaron
Recruited straight from his academy, twenty-year-old Lukys hopes the frontier will make a soldier out of him. But Tangata are massing in the south, and the allied armies are desperate. They will do anything to halt the enemy advance—including sending untrained men and women into battle. Determined to survive, Lukys seeks aid from the only man who seems to care: Romaine, the last warrior of an extinct kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Queen’s Archivist leads an expedition deep beneath the earth. She seeks to uncover the secrets of the Gods. Their magic has been lost to the ages, yet artifacts remain, objects of power that could turn the tide of the war. But salvation is not all that waits beneath the surface. Something else slumbers in the darkness. Something old. Something evil.
Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and explore the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School (titled The Sword of Light) and began to rewrite the story. Six months later he published his first novel, Stormwielder, and hasn’t looked back since.