There's a new young fantasy author and artist on the scene. Her name is Kylie Leane. She's written her first book in a fantasy series, The Chronicles of the Children. The first book is an amazing story called Key. She has also done much of the interior art work for her book. Kylie is an author from Australia and she is a guest this week on Pencil + Write to talk about the inspirations for her writing and love of storytelling: (Kylie's book in paperback is available for purchase on Amazon.comand also on the Middle-Earth Network shop)
Science Fiction most defiantly left its mark on me at an early age. When I was very young and we would go camping into the Australian outback I would dream of the stars; of riding the Milky Way Galaxy in an endless adventure.
I own this love of space to my father, who is currently sitting beside me as we travel back from visiting my grandparents in Port Augusta. Stories and the art of storytelling has truly been a part of my family for a number of generations. Maybe it is the land itself, this beautiful, though somewhat barren land I have grown up upon can feed an imagination with its wilderness from the stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtimes to the tales of my ancestors first exploring on horse and cart. It just…oozes a surreal sense of history.
Although my Poppa calls Lord of the Rings and Science Fiction ‘airy-fairy hogwash’, storytelling doesn’t have to be just books, the art of retelling an event in a family’s history is just as much a story, and telling tales around a camp fire, or around a dinner table during Christmas, such was the environment that I grew up within. So it did not matter to me that I could not write or spell, I could tell a story and I had imagination as a child and I wanted to share it!
I remember the day my father took me to the back shed, when we used to live in the old mining town of Whyalla, and he revealed to me his treasure trove of old Science Fiction books and Westerns inside a worn box. I must have been about seven at the time. I loved to play in my spaceship made of cardboard boxes, taking trips to the Moon, to Mars to fight alien invasions with my toys as my crew members. My heroic adventures would involve great battles, sometimes dragons, quite often a lot of mayhem and tearing around the backyard with a helmet covered in shiny foil. However, that moment my father opened that box my life became a whole lot bigger. Father started me on an amazing book, ‘The Chrysalids by John Wyndham’ and to this day there is no greater story than that story. In fact, I have the deepest desire to write the sequel – whatever did happen to Michael and Rachel? I must write that story!
From thereon I ate up E.E. Doc Smith, Arthur C. Clark and my beloved Asimov, Allen Dean Foster, Annie McCaffrey and countless others. To those great authors I owe so much. They are my heroes.
I may not have been able to write, but I could read and I could tell stories so I just needed to figure out how to write. It would be many years down the road until my family would finally be able to understand anything I did write. I believe it wasn’t until I was about sixteen that I was finally writing intelligent sentences.
I taught myself due to the passion to tell the stories I wanted to tell—or I needed to tell.
A powerful drive indeed, a drive and a passion that I have needed more than I ever thought I would over the years that I have tried to tell the story of the characters in Chronicles of the Children, my current series – the first book ‘Key’ was finally, recently published. Over the ten years of gradually building the world in Chronicles of the Children, my health declined and we truly, really, do not know why, all we know is it is just…declining, I’m now just ‘chronically ill’ or in ‘chronic pain’ and it, well, it’s awful. I suppose is not supposed to be fabulous, but when you are a child, having epic adventures and fighting aliens you do not expect that at twenty-four years of age you will feel like your grandparents in physical prowess – but my stories have kept me going, they are the fuel to my fire, the reason why I continue to solider on to reach the stars I saw in my dreams.
Science Fiction may be fiction, but my stars are real in my stories.
My father said something this weekend, “What is the greater miracle, the miracle of healing – or the miracle that here you are, chronically ill and you refuse to stand down, you keep writing, you keep telling stories.”
So, as the rain begins to fall and I laugh with my father over the words written on the caravan ahead of us (a bit to controversial to repeat here) I truly hope that those who are considering their own stories find the opportunity to tell them in whatever format they can.
Imagination is a great healer, a great teacher and a wonderful friend, as I have found out over the years. Thus, I leave you as I stare into the rain stained horizon and the pink salt lakes, surrounded by the wheat fields to go and ponder a new story that I hope to share someday.
I would love to say thank you to Victoria for allowing me to be a guest on her site. I really appreciate her wonderful love of story-telling and her friendship. Thank you Victoria.
The Chronicles of the Children, Book One: Key is published by Grail Quest Books.