Looking back through the years, it’s somehow fairly obvious I find myself here, an author of fantasy books. But then again, who on earth decides to write a book out of the blue, just to tick a ‘done it’ box? I thought I’d share a few of the checkpoints I passed along this journey.

I was born in 1977, and grew up a child of the Eighties. During the early years, and specifically those counted in single digits, I spent my time alternating between playing at home – Lego, GI Joe and He-man – and the outside world – climbing trees, biking, boy scouts, chess, catching frogs, soccer, and demolishing stuff that seemed not to belong to anyone. We got that last part wrong on occasion, but considered it an acceptable risk.

I devoted the early hours of each weekend to cartoons on the Fun Factory, broadcasted on Sky channel – learning English by accident – and reading Roald Dahl and Fighting Fantasy books. Back then, going to the cinema was a rare experience – I remember it happening only twice. My first movie was The Neverending Story (1984), and the second was Willow (1988). On the telly, we watched the A-team, Knight Rider, Buck Rogers, Air Wolf, and Robin of Sherwood. We rented a VCR on occasion, and films such as Labyrinth, the Dark Crystal, Conan the Barbarian, the Princess Bride, Krull and Legend. It’s safe to say fantasy got to me at an early age.

After my parents moved from a rural town to the big city –and I decided to go with them – the fantasy section at the local library became a regular pastime from age twelve onwards – reading Le Guin, Zelazny, Eddings, Brooks, Kay, Williams and Tolkien – starting over when finished. I’m pretty sure I’ve read most of them at least three to four times. I worked part-time jobs from the age of fourteen, which provided me with a little money to spend. I filled my high school years with comics – Spider-man first, X-Men when I was fed up with goodie-two-shoes Peter Parker. I rented the original Star Wars movies a lot, went to the movies more times than I can count and put on Star Trek and Twin Peaks at home. RPG’s on the Commodore 64, and Hero Quest paved the way for D&D, which I still play to this day.

I spent most of my twenties studying archaeology and larping. I moved out of my parents’ home at 21, moving into an apartment with friends. Babylon 5, Buffy and Farscape were among the more popular tv series, and I geeked out on Jordan, Erikson and Martin. After graduating in 2005, I worked in IT for a while. Mid 2007, I moved into the field of archaeology.

That same year, I went travelling outside of Europe for the first time, to Egypt and Jordan. I’ve since been focused on backpacking in the near East and Central Asia. It’s been a while since my last one (Iran), but hope to get into it again after finishing the books, and I thoroughly hope I will never stop.

The treasury in Petra, Jordan

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