There were so few mysteries left. The world couldn’t spare the loss of even one of them.
Charles de Lint
When I first signed up for Goodreads, not knowing what I could do with it but feeling I should, one of the questions they asked was, “What are you reading now?” My reply was Greenmantle, by Charles de Lint. I’ve probably read a few hundred books since then, but if you look at my Goodreads page, it still says the same thing. Not just because I often go to Goodreads while I’m writing, not reading, and have nothing to change it to, but also because every time I think of changing it, I can’t bring myself to. Hands down, this is one of my favorite books, and one of the reasons I finally decided to let my inner fantasy writer come out into the light of day.
The mysteries, the myths and legends and questions of what, why, when, where and how, fascinate me. I’m a believer in there being more to this world than we can see, touch and completely understand. I’ve always wanted to think the fairies danced just beyond my peripheral vision, the clouds hide magical beings and the rustle of the leaves is the wind whispering secrets. Oh! If I could just interpret what it says, the treasure that awaits!
And the world is a wonderfully big place. My mysteries, the things I believe with my heart even as my head says they can’t exist, are only a tiny part of the collected mysteries of mankind. Exploring the various ideas others hold thrills and inspires me, opening my mind to life. Some of that exploration comes out in my Unveiled Seductions series--along with some of my own longings, experiences and wishes, suitably camouflaged to protect the innocent and give no glory to the guilty.
Greenmantle isn’t a gentle fantasy novel. It’s gritty, deals with some of the worse of human nature as well as the best. As a romance author there is sometimes a temptation to not explore the difficult themes, to make everything rosy or take the less stress-inducing route to the Happy Ever After. Yet books like Greenmantle remind me it’s the struggle through darkness to light that makes the sunrise that much more beautiful, the ability to suddenly see what was hidden that much more thrilling.
While we can’t explain the mystery, exploring it, learning about ourselves as we go, makes life worthwhile.