Hi, My name is Sandra Hurst, author of the fantasy novel. Y’keta.
As a child growing up in England stories and legends surrounded me. My mum made me understand at an early age, how important imagination was.
We had an old set of encyclopedias that contained sections called ‘stories from around the world’ and I would put on readings of these legends or pieces of poetry for my incredibly patient parents. It’s funny, but when I think of those shows I can still smell the books, see the tatty burgundy bindings and even remember the illustration that they used for one of my favourites, a Celtic story of a young boy captured by Vikings.
When I was 8 we moved to northern Canada and the legends changed. Stories of the Fae and the little people were replaced by legends of the Thunderbird and stories of Cree warriors.
I never stood a chance. What could I be but a writer?
I wrote on birthday cards, in letters and on any scrap piece of paper or diary page that I could find, and it was all fantasy, legend, or myth. The valiant but flawed hero and the world who needed him.
As I got older, chasing these legends brought me to, what I consider, the ‘hardcore’ mythmakers of the modern age. Guy Gavriel Kay, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Neil Gaiman. They are the authors who can make words dance and sentences MEAN things. I would give my left ovary (not so dramatic a thing since at 53 those parts are hardly crucial) to sit down with either of these gentlemen or even better their writing notes, for an afternoon!
They don’t tell stories.. they become them.
Listen to this line from one of my favourite fantasy authors -Guy Gavriel Kay
“There are kinds of action, for good or ill, that lie so far outside the boundaries of normal behavior that they force us, in acknowledging that they have occurred, to restructure our own understanding of reality. We have to make room for them.”
Myths give us a way to interpret the world past our normal experience. To ask questions and explore answers in a larger-than-life game of ‘what if.’ In my novel, Y’keta, the question is about identity. Is Y’keta willing to give up his identity to please his father? Is he willing to risk being honest and possibly losing everything he has grown to love.
The answer to these questions grew into the beautiful, although I say so myself, world of Y’keta. Loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y’keta is an epic fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.
We need to make room for myths and mythmakers in our fact driven world. For worlds that are brighter and clearer than our own. For it is in doing so that we have room to become more fully human.