Roberta Trahan’s “For the Love of Lore: Why I Write Fantasy”

Congratulations to Roberta Trahan, whose debut novel, The Well of Tears came out yesterday! In honor of its release, we’re featuring Trahan’s story of how myths and legends inspired her to write about the Fantastic. “The summer of 1977…I came home with…a very early English translation of Grimm’s Fairy Tales…I was initially captivated by this collection of what were called ‘household tales’ because I recognized the titles of some of the fables as childhood stories I knew – or thought I knew. I quickly discovered that these were grittier and much more provocative versions of what I had always thought were Golden Book originals. Being a moody and maudlin tweenager at the time, this suited me just fine.

“I read every book on mythology I could find in the local library (which wasn’t many), and then the librarian turned me on to the fantasy fiction genre. She introduced me to Mary Stewart’s iconic Merlin series (The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hills) – my first encounter with the real Arthurian legend, and the amazing world a masterful novelist could create by blending fact, fiction, and fantasy. I have been in love ever since.

“Why do I write fantasy? The easy way out would be to say that I write fantasies because those are the stories that come to me. This happens to be true, but it only scratches the surface—the full answer is much more complicated than that. The genre calls to me intellectually, emotionally, instinctively, and spiritually.

“I would have to say that underpinning those early inspirational reading experiences is the neuropsychology that is hard-wired into my DNA. I have a pathological need to understand the foundations of the human experience, as well as what could be called a clinical compulsion for research. I am also completely seduced by the ‘in-between’ spaces in our histories and cultures which defy explanation, and the misty veil at the edges of our existence that hints at something beyond what we can comprehend.

“This is where the magic lives, and sometimes, so do I.”

  • This is only part of Trahan’s essay. Read it in its entirety at her blog.
  • In Trahan’s debut novel, The Well of Tears, more than five hundred years have passed since the legendary age of Camelot and the Stewardry, the magical order charged with protecting the old ways of power and magic, has fallen into decay, disorder, and distrust. Now Hywel, a new king promised by prophecy, has come to claim his crown. But as he journeys toward his throne, those preparing the way are besieged by agents of destruction—from within and without. A great evil stirs at Hywel’s coming, unleashing a corrupting power intent on his destruction and opening the gates to a hellish army that will sweep across the land and plunge it into an era of terror and darkness. As a sorceress born of an ancient bloodline sworn to defend the Stewardry at all costs, Alwen is determined to fulfill her oath. Yet when black magic begins claiming those closest to her and traitors plot to steal the Stewardry’s source of power, she realizes that the king’s survival—and that of all the realms—may require that she sacrifice her own.
  • Enjoy an excerpt when you Look Inside on Amazon.
  • Don’t miss this! The author is giving away three copies of The Well of Tears on Goodreads, now through October 10. Enter to win!
  • To order The Well of Tears, follow any of these handy icons 

Roberta Trahan is a life-long writer and “fantasian” (lover of fantasy and history). She is also a Pacific Northwest native and former advertising & marketing maven. After too many years helping to cultivate other people’s ideas, Roberta decided to listen to the little voices in her own mind and began to build magical worlds populated with mystical beings. Roberta is a self-confessed coffeechocoholic and antique jewelry hoarder, and spends her more lucid moments with her family, friends, fellow fantasians, and the thriving writing community in the Seattle area. Book Two of The Dream Stewards, The Keys to the Realm, is coming soon! Read more at her site, her Facebook, and her Twitter.