Inspirations Part One

It occurred to me after I started working on LOST SKY that the plot had been influenced in part by two books that I had read as a child. The first was The Dodo, The Auk and The Oryx, Vanished and Vanishing Species by Robert Silverberg, a treatise on the plight of creatures that had recently disappeared from the earth or seemed destined to do so. I remember re-reading the book many times all the while fantasizing about discovering a living Dodo or Auk.¬†Although I had never been much interested in prehistoric fauna, Silverberg’s chapters ignited what would become a melancholy fascination with extinction. Unlike dinosaurs, which seemed the stuff of nightmarish fairy tales, the plight of animals that had become extinct during modern times struck a chord with me. It was I think the first time that I stopped to think about people’s heedless actions and this new awareness kindled in me a complex mixture of sadness and pessimism.

At around the same time I read Peter S. Beagle’s, The Last Unicorn, which tells the tale of a lone unicorn searching for another of her own kind. When she leaves the safety of her forest home she is confronted by a changed world that she doesn’t recognize. I recall as a child being deeply affected by the fact that almost no one whom the unicorn encounters perceives her for what she is.

It wasn’t until I was editing the first draft of LOST SKY that I remembered those two books and suddenly realized how much they had influenced my thinking. I wonder now if I would have written LOST SKY if I hadn’t found them in my school library all those years ago.

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What’s In A Name?

Welcome to the first installment of ANDREW’S FANTASY. Perhaps I should begin by explaining the blog’s title. My name is Andrew Grossman and my upcoming novel, LOST SKY, is a work of contemporary fantasy fiction.In the case of this blog, however, my use of the word “fantasy” has a dual meaning.

You see a few years ago, while working in my garden, an idea for a novel unexpectedly popped into my head. At the time I had no credentials or formal training as a writer and although I attended Bennington College in the 1980’s with the authors Bret Easton Ellis and Donna Tartt, I was a Modern Dance and Botanic Science major.

As I’ve always believed that creative endeavors, no matter the outcome, have a certain innate value, I decided to disregard my lack of experience and set to work on a first draft. In passing and not without a touch of embarrassment, I mentioned my new project to a college chum who happened to be a noted journalist. She generously offered to read my manuscript and subsequently gave me a wealth of advice on many of the more technical aspects of writing. Eventually I shared my chapters with a few other friends including the author Danielle Trussoni. Encouraged by their support I began to “fantasize” about getting my novel published.

This past fall LOST SKY was accepted for publication by the imprint Queered Fiction and will be hitting the shelves (or at least Amazon.com) in 2010. In the upcoming weeks I plan to use these posts as a forum to discuss the writing and publication process from a novice’s perspective and I welcome your input as I navigate what are for me uncharted waters.

Finally, as you finish reading this post you may be wondering why I didn’t use my full name or my novel’s title as the the web address for this bog. Surprisingly, both were already taken by someone else.

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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