What literary influences did you draw upon to create this world?

Tolkien’s works have probably had the biggest influence on me as a reader, a writer, and a person. His characters shaped me during my formative years as a child. I dreamed of being a hero like Aragorn, as fierce as Eowyn, as courageous as Frodo, and as loyal as Sam.

Tolkien’s mythology includes a creation song and a battle between songs of power. So, it’s safe to say that concept stuck with me and planted a seed where years later The Songkeeper Chronicles blossomed.

Did you grow up reading epic fantasy, or what inspired you to write in this genre?

My dad started me on Tolkien when I was five years old by reading aloud The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings. He gave me my own copy for my seventh birthday, and I started reading that day. It took me two years to finish, but by the time I was done, I was fully in love with epic fantasy and the kind of characters and storytelling that sinks deep into your heart.

It was years before I realized that epic fantasy existed as a genre beyond Tolkien’s works. But as soon as I discovered the vast treasure trove of fantasy books, I began to devour them. And when I turned to writing, epic fantasy sort of naturally flowed from my fingertips onto the computer screen.

Want to know the challenges of writing fantasy as a Christian author? Click through to find out…

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