I had the pleasure to attend Whidbey Island MFA program with Stefon Mears. Stefon’s writing is laced with humor and talent. His piece “How Narcissistic am I?” will soon be published in the lovely print journal The Bacopa Literary Review.
I present the author Stefon Mears:
Do you specialize in any genre?
In terms of genre, my specialty is fantasy. My interest in fantasy stories began as a small child when my mother read Greek and Norse myths to me. I particularly remember the tales of Theseus and Baldur.
Theseus provided a marvelous introduction to fantasy story structure – his quest and obstacles leading up to the labyrinth and the minotaur, even his eventual fall brought on by hubris. Go through his whole story and you’ll see many of the elements present in later fantasy novels.
In the case of Baldur, we have the foreshadowing dream and the great villain played by Loki (also an example of the villain threatening to steal the story). But the story does not end with Baldur’s death nor Frigga’s failure to raise him by persuading every living thing to cry. Baldur returns in a sequel — after Ragnarok, he will return to lead the next generation of Aesir.
I fell in love with mythology, and eventually got my Bachelor’s Degree from U.C. Berkeley in Religious Studies, with a double emphasis in Ritual and Mythology.
But I did not restrict my fantasy influences to myths. I also read extensively in folklore and fantasy novels, and developed a strong interest in magic as it has been practiced in our world, especially in Europe. I’ve read the obvious stuff, like Aleister Crowley and S.L.M. Mathers, but also older works like Francis Barrett’s “The Magus” and more recent writers like P.E.I. Bonewits, Peter J. Carroll, Jan Fries, and Stephen Mace.
I find that these works provide me not only interesting possibilities for how to develop a magic system, they provide me with insights into power and its application.
Magic must not only serve the story and the world, it must also serve the psychology of the wizard. These are elements I try to keep in mind for my storytelling.
“Do you offer any literary services?”
I consult as a grant writer. I have been considering starting up a six-week writing workshop in the Portland area, once I’ve finished settling into the new house.
“Anything else you wish to share?”
There’s an odd disconnection in writing. Writers are storytellers, but unlike the ancient bards or our ancestors around campfires, we don’t get to see the reactions of our audience. So every once in a while, when you read a story, take a moment and let the author know what you think about it — send an e-mail or post a review. You just might make a writer’s day.
WOW. Thank you Stefon. Let’s watch this author as he’s going lots of places fast.
If you have any questions for Stefon, leave them in your comments and I will post his answer.
THE PROMPT FOR TODAY:
Prompt for today: Your flashlight dies inside a cave. You are now in darkness and lost. What happens now?
Write a short story from this prompt and remember the story arc. Create desire (needing to get out) conflict and a change in the character.