Many have often asked me why I'm so passionate about reading and writing stories about or with talking animals. For a long time I had a straight answer. Now I've figured out two key reasons why I love them and why I write them-
1. They connect me to my Inner Child
2. It's not as easy as it might look, but that just means the end result, when done right, is that much more special!
Before I could read, this love first started with my favorite television shows and movies, many about real everyday people, but many always that element of whimsy, wonder, and enchantment, and often this came in the form of talking animals or magic that made people's lives that little bit more fun, and help make the hard times in life bearable. These were my earliest memories of playing with my imagination. I didn't have many friends growing up, and my grandma worked a lot, so I learned to make my own fun, for the most part.
As I got older, I didn't "Grow out" of some of the things I liked as a little kid, my chatty animal friends were one of those things, since my life at home was complicated and heartbreaking at times, it was something I needed to hold on to, but obviously I kept it more or less a secret from the few friends I had. They wouldn't have understood.
I came to reading late. When I say that, I don't mean I was a poor reader, in fact I learned fairly quick from what I remember and what my grandma tells me. But I hadn't found books I wanted to read, as opposed to what I was forced to read in school, and didn't get many chances to go to the library or be read to, my grandma was too busy, and most of my immediate family are focused only on their inner circle, not uncaring, but not a close-knit bunch. It wasn't really until my teen years, especially during my short stint in high school (Story too long to tell here), that I found the books I loved, and have been hooked ever since.
After being inspired by many great books that entertained, and comforted me during the hard times of life, I knew I wanted to write too, and after years of not truly knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd finally found something I clicked with.
When I started writing, I tried to write about real people doing normal things, or unusual situations grounded firmly in reality, but it never felt right. There wasn't heart or passion in what I was writing, even though I did my best to assure that came through.
When I started writing about these animals, which've always been in my imagination, and in my heart, things started to click. It was like finally finding the right pair of shoes when you've gone through 100 different pairs that were either too small, too snug, or were just not your style.
That said, as I stated at the outset, it's not as easy as people think to do this right, just like with anything involved with the craft of writing, I had to learn what I was doing wrong, how to make it right, and sometimes fix what I did right, the WRONG way. Confused? Don't worry, I'll elaborate further tomorrow.
Until then, may the fantastical fauna be with you,