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“A Map Fantastic” by Jon Aspen

It was the maps that captured my adolescent eyes. Simple black lines, not particularly elegant. The forests and mountains were childishly depicted — the mountains, especially so. The paths these ranges took looked nothing like what you’d see in the real world. Even as a kid I knew that. But the words on those maps enchanted me: Gondor, Mordor, Lothlórien, Rivendell. My heart was fifty pages in before my fingers had a chance to find page one. When I did hit page fifty, the pecking order of the real world had fallen to second.

I can still picture it. My early-teen self hidden away in my room, mouth ajar, delightfully lost on that familiar river of symbols; twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation, a strand of DNA as long as a real one and just as formative to my being. Maybe in your case, it was Narnia, Prydain, Watership Down, Hogwarts, or someplace I’ve never been. …

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My novel was published today.

Don’t panic. I’m not going to ask you to buy it. I only wanted to share the story behind the story, the events that made the endeavor possible. It’s a bittersweet tale, one I feel may be of interest to others toiling with creative expression, if only to provide an extra bit of oomph to your day.

The idea behind my novel, Freelight, was born on a Thursday. It was March 16th, 2006. Read that year again, it’s not a typo. I was at my day-job, daydreaming it into existence. …


Jon Aspen, Novelist

Author of Freelight (Winterleafe Press) • Writer of speculative fiction with twenty-something protagonists •

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