We’ve all experienced it, some more than most. It is an obsession that we can’t explain nor can we understand ourselves. With me, it began in college in the 1980s, where I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons. That’s where I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
Hello, my name is Mark and I’m addicted to fantasy!
It was automatic for me. I created my first D&D character and started my adventure into role playing. From that point on, I was obsessed with it and could think of or do nothing else. I played every weekend, from Friday night straight through to Monday morning. I even became a Dungeonmaster and ran my own game. I even went as far as to join a local group with the Society of Creative Anachronism.
I went to see every sci-fi/fantasy film that came out in the 80s, from Dragonslayer to Krull, Conan the Barbarian to The Beastmaster. On television, I watched Xena or Hercules, even The Dungeons and Dragons Saturday morning cartoon. It was like a drug and I couldn’t get enough. I started reading anything and everything, from Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga to J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks’ Shannara Chronicles and C.S Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Even after I joined the Navy, I continued to play D&D. I found friends aboard the ship and we played during our duty days and off-duty hours. When I eventually stopped playing, I turned my obsession around and started writing, and it was from that, I created my Forever Avalon series. I was able to tap into my fertile imagination, fueled from all those years of role playing games, movies, television and inspiring stories from other authors. It was a magical journey that I’m still riding on, even today.
Josie Glausiusz wrote in Scientific American, “Daydreams are an inner world where we can rehearse the future and imagine new adventures without risk. Allowing the mind to roam freely can aid creativity—but only if we pay attention to the content of our daydreams.” She also said that “When daydreaming turns addictive and compulsive, it can overwhelm normal functioning, impeding relationships, and work.” I can honestly attest to that determination.
When I played D&D, I ignored a lot of things to play the game. It was a deep-rooted obsession that drove me out of college, without a job or education and into my military career in the Navy. In that sense, it did me a big favor. My career in the Navy made me the writer I am today.
You have to tame your obsession, even more, today. With the internet, video games and better CGI effects in movies, there is a resurgence in the fantasy genre that gives us more to do and see. From Warcraft to Lord of the Rings, fantasy has taken center stage again. We have the chance to see our dreams in full color, high-definition, and 3D.
Glausiusz said, “Yet to enhance creativity, it is important to pay attention to daydreams.” That’s where we, as authors, filmmakers, and even musicians find our muse and translate fantasy into words, images, and sounds. That is, at the heart of it all, why we love fantasy. It is a means to escape from reality and bring everyone else along for the ride. It’s why I don’t mind living with my obsession.
Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse. The Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.