It’s my privilege to welcome RJ Mirabal today as part of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour! Let’s learn more about RJ.
Q:Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
A: I don’t know who choose whom, but from my earliest memories I have loved stories. And once I realized the difference between realism and speculative stories, it was the “weird” ones that had me hooked, first as a reader and then in my own childish creations. By junior high, I wrote a few little science fiction, adventure, and fantasy stories. So it went from there. Only the need to have to make a living in my adulthood kept me from a serious focus on writing, though I did try hard in my twenties, but the market was hard to break into at that time. Retirement from teaching has finally allowed me the freedom to write.
Q: What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
A: I can create my own world and do all the research “between the ears.” Library research was always like pulling teeth without anesthetic for me, though I still do some in terms of the more realistic parts of my stories, but now the Internet makes it easier.
Q: What authors make you want to be a better writer?
A: Isaac Asimov, JRR Tolkien, Tony Hillerman, Rudolfo Anaya, Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare, Arthur C. Clark, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Bronte…. I could go on and on.
Q: Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use? What inspires your world building?
A: I have included the hero, the dark lord, world building, created races, good vs. evil, the quest, and magic into my published book as well its sequels, but I’ve tweaked them quite a bit to make them my own.
My hero is an apathetic alcoholic, the “dark lord(s)” are actually less-than-impressive leaders of a not totally evil race, the quest is fairly standard, but magic is downplayed as a power of limited scope. My races are all a little odd and rustic, but the world I have built is my pride and joy.
I have used an alternative New Mexico as a high desert setting elevated to mythic heights—literally. The Medieval European type setting has been done to death. Since I grew up in New Mexico and always found it to be a unique and fascinating place, it only seemed right to make it a major part of my fantasy stories.