“In order to live in the harsh reality of our lives, seeking out the realms of fantasy and alternate realities, helps some people survive in this harsh world we live in. And for some… fantasy can be better than reality.” -Lady Shivana
My world wrenched open the day of my birth as the doctors hurriedly cut me from my mother’s uterus. I was a dark red and purple creature that quickly grew pale having to be resuscitated from near death. It was January, 1990, winter had its full grasp of the land in its cold iron fists. Though there was little snow on the ground, cold tears fell from the sky and the mountains from the west blew their icy winds over the city of Everett.
I grew up in a large household with a single mother who worked hard to keep a roof over our heads and our bellies full with whatever she could buy with the very little money she had in her wallet. We survived on foods stamps and daily excursions to the food bank to get stale bread that was placed out. We were only allowed “real” food bank food once or twice a month. in the quantity of two or three grocery bags to feed nine of us. And yet, old bread was given away like old rags for the poor, and there were many that were hungry. This was my daily life for nearly fifteen years. Until I began to work as a sophomore in high school to help supplement my mother’s meager income.
I am the third oldest to all of my siblings. My eldest brothers, they’re twins, hold the rank as being “the eldest” children in the family. They were my role models in which helped create the creativity that my mind has conjured over the years. From an early age, there they were, playing with me, or by themselves as I watched from afar. My mind especially enjoyed it when they played videos games, though they did not always like their pesky little sister sneaking up on them to ask a million questions. Legend of Zelda was the very first game I played on Nintendo in 1993 or 1994.
Next came the world of Final Fantasy. I watched my brothers play this game. And in secret, or so I thought, I played in their absence. This amazing world helped my imagination blossom. Final Fantasy 6 holds dear memories for me. And when my brothers found out that I was playing this game, they even helped me play. Helped me name the characters correctly (since back then, the characters could be renamed, and I enjoyed that aspect of the game very much as a child).
It comes to little surprise for myself and possibly those around me, when I began to have lucid dreams when I was twelve years old. Believe it or not, I was visited by the Grim Reaper twice in my life. I grew up religious, as prayer and hope bound me to life, for food, for shelter, for survival, though I cannot say that I am religious now. My memories tell me of this dark, tall, mysterious figure stood over my body as sleep paralysis took hold of me. As I squinted and tried to move, to run…to scream…I felt my body shift and my world around me dissolved.
I fell into a world of fantasy, of mysteries and magic. Of swords, guns and blazing glory. Of an empire vast and powerful and lands of woe and fire. Every night – for years – these dreams took over my nightly sleep. It was like living a whole different life in the twilight hours. Sometimes I didn’t know who I was or what was going on with me. My mother probably at the time, thought I had a very vivid imagination, as I recall her saying something along those lines when I was younger and recanted the stories of my earlier childhood adventures at night.
Since I was three or four years old, I have been an avid gamer and as I got older, I became an avid reader. Fantasy and science fiction holds my interest, but I will not turn my nose up to any book presented to me if it has a great story. When I am not writing, I am reading. When I am not reading, I am playing video games either solo or with m daughter.
I began writing my first book at age twelve, after the first few months of lucid dreaming. I cannot say that the early stories of Spirit of the Ancients were any good. I do know that I had finished a one-hundred page manuscript and that it was lost after we moved for the millionth time. Probably used as kitty liner as most first manuscripts ought to be used for.
For many years, as one of the oldest, I was destined to watched over my younger siblings starting at the age of tens years old, As my mother usually worked two, sometimes three jobs. To pass the time, we played video games together, played outside and even told stories. I found myself telling my stories of the dreams, to my youngest siblings, even talking familiarly about these imaginative people and their lives. And then mother got sick. During those years, It was a trying time for us all and for many of us, we had to grow up early.
I began my working life when I was just fifteen years old and found myself working two part time jobs throughout high school to help support our family. I knew that I wanted to go into a career helping others, people like my mother, so I began college and eventually got work in research. Over the last eight years of my life, I have worked for a world renowned cancer research center. I absolutely love the field of research, the people who work in it and those who support cancer studies. Together, we come together from unique backgrounds, diversity and different walks of path to brainstorm a cure for the worlds deadliest disease; cancer. Through unity, perseverance, through knowledge, resources and education, we will one day have a cure for every type of cancer out there. Until then, I hope we can find treatments for everyone who suffer. Everyone deserves a chance at a healthy life. Everyone deserves to be cancer free.
I would not have been able to do any of this without the support of my family and pets.
In 2014, two great events unfolded in my life. My daughter, Eva, was born in 2014. And I began to relive my fantasy adventures. In December 2014, I began to write once again. For 5 years, I have been story building, plotting the books and writing everything down. I have spent years writing and getting to know and growing with these fantastical characters that my mind has come up with. I fully believe that in order to be a happy adult human being, sometimes the mind looks to fantasy. It is where all writers begin their journey.
Outside of writing about the stories taking place in another world, I love birds. Birds are my life. My birds are my world and they make me who I am. They mean as much to me as my children, as much as my husband, as much as my mom and family, and they even mean as great to me as my stories do. Look closely, you might even see them in the story as events begin to unfold.
Umbrella cockatoos, a cockatoo of the Indonesian islands. Also known as cacatua blanca, the white cockatoo. Especially loyal to their people, aggressive to anyone they deem as an outsider or intruders, a vicious, territorial, amazing companion parrot. Also known as the parrot with a pair of chainsaws for a beak. You have been warned.
I hope you all will come to love Spirits of the Ancients and all the people in that world. The good. The bad. And the snakes that work covertly in the shadows.
What the characters say:
We do things not because we want to but because we have too.Director Voren
It is the choices that we make that show who we truly are, far more than that of a title.Lady Shivana
It is not over. It will never be over. Not while I still breath. Not while I can still move. Not when the fire in my heart still burns hot.The Red Commander, Uriel