Meeting up with some technical difficulties, The A to Z Blog Challenge is back to its regularly scheduled posting….
I was going to do something else for “M,” but thought differently about it and I am saving that as a topic after the challenge is complete.
So, I am going to write about prolific author, Mercedes Lackey!
Discovery in a creepy Milwaukee bookstore
I had found this used bookstore just off of Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. They had the most interesting books, some of which probably sat on their shelves for ten or more years. My interest at that time was trying to understand some occult ideas, and I had this tendency to zero in on books that had “Magic” in the title. I was zipping by the Science Fiction & Fantasy section when this book, Magic’s Pawn, jumped out at me.
The story of a vain, young noble, Vanyel Ashkevron, sent off to his aunt’s home, and where he falls in love with her student, Tylendel. Their tie to one another breaks open Vanyel’s latent magical talents when Tylendel dies suddenly and quickly. Vanyel barely survives this ordeal and goes on to legendary feats for the sake of the country called Valdemar.
This series was so engrossing to me for a few reasons. For me, it was the mid-nineties and here were openly gay characters in a fantasy book, not one but three books actually. Second, finding love and purpose can change a person. And third, the story could have been about anyone- straight or LGBT- who is struggling through life.
Off to the races
I started on an obsession. I had to get my hands on anything she wrote, co-wrote, or touched. That was an interesting task considering all the different series she has in her bibliography. Her books are not all about LGBT characters, but Mercedes always makes for an interesting read. She starting publishing in 1987 with Arrows of the Queen. Her bulk of work is in the Valdemar world, but she also writes alternative histories about people with magical abilities, elves, bards, dragons, science fiction, and retold fairy tales. She has co-wrote with Piers Anthony, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, Dave Freer, Eric Flint, Rosemary Edgehill, and many others.
Mercedes has been writing now for over 25 years and has produced over 100 books alone. Go check her out and find something you like.