I love everything sci-fi/fantasy. I can remember reading X-Men and Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes comics in the 70s. I remember watching a wide variety of Japanese anime on UHF (if you don’t know what it is, look it up youngling) like Speed Racer, Marine Boy, Ultraman, Gigantor and others. I use to draw my favorite superheroes, cut them out, and play with them like action figures, and watch Superfriends every Saturday morning. I had all the “Glow in the Dark” monster models like Dracula, The Wolfman, and Frankenstein. I watched Hammer horror movies on late night TV, with Christopher Lee as Dracula. It was a great time to be a kid!
This was my youth, my influential years, and it was filled with everything geek, which explains why I didn’t date a lot when I was young too. In any case, these memories are the foundation of my imagination; but even then, my imagination was quite limited. At that time, my goal was to be a comic book artist. I spent every waking moment creating my own characters, their origins, etc. I was focused on that.
I went to college, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh , where I was still focused on being a comic book artist. Then, I had an awakening. I started playing a game that changed my life forever … Dungeons and Dragons! It was like a fire was lit inside me and it started burning brighter and brighter with each passing moment. My imagination was on fire!
When you hear those stories about people spending an entire weekend playing D&D, drinking beer, ordering pizza, playing a never-ending game. Yes, it’s true, because I did it. I was spending my weekends, constantly playing D&D, either as a player or Dungeon Master. It carried over when I joined the Navy. I played with a group on duty nights, weekends, and when we deployed. It was a mainstay of my daily life, and it was those games that forged my imagination.
Those experiences made me the man I am today. Those trips into the fantasy world of D&D helped me develop my skills as a storyteller. It was through D&D that I created the world of Forever Avalon. Though I don’t play anymore, there are so many of things that continues to fire up my imagination as I write. The slew of movies, like Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and King Arthur; TV shows like Game of Thrones, Merlin, and Arrow; and video games like Warcraft, League of Legends, and Assassins’ Creed; all of these make a jubilee of fantasy for a writer like me.
I’ve written stories almost all of my life, but I never really considered myself a writer. I wrote stories for my high school newspaper, and as a Navy Journalist. It wasn’t until my first book was published that I really began to consider myself as a writer. Since then, I’ve published one other book, The Dark Tides, and working on publishing my third book, The Outlander War, this year. Even in my full time job, I am now (by definition) a writer-editor for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). I have reached my dream job, writing full time.
Now, to continue living the dream. There are more stories waiting to be written, and I hope you like them.
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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. 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 publishing. The Outlander War, Chapter 3 of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.