Before I start my ramblings, I’d like to say hello to each of you. It’s been quite some time hasn’t it? Sorry about being away for so long, I’m currently writing A Space Between Worlds Vol.2 at the moment. Along with that, I’ve been working on a few other things in terms of appearances and future participation in literary festivals in Chicago. I haven’t forgotten about any of you; I’ve just had my hands full, is all. This entry is going to be vastly different than what I would normally place on my site but due to the release of a story I’ve been waiting for since 2006, I thought I’d share my connection to and my love for the fantasy genre outside of the literary world.
My introduction to the fantasy genre wasn’t from novels. When I was a child, I grew up in a time when Japanese animation and video games were growing in interest here in the United States. The 90s was quite the period, wasn’t it? Through my brother, I was exposed to several animations and games; experiencing them opened up an interest in other worlds and storytelling. Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Hokuto no Ken, Dragon Quest, Breath of Fire, the list goes on. But there was one series that captured me and still has me after all of these years: Final Fantasy.
My first exposure to Final Fantasy was with the seventh entry. I’d sit and watch my brother play hours on end, often struggling to keep my eyes open when he decided to play deep into the night. Though, I was too young to understand everything that was going on, VII was an emotional trip for me. I was coming to realization and the understanding of my eldest brother’s death and I needed for something to whisk me away. I remember balling when a certain character died. I aligned her death with my brother’s, I even called out his during the scene. I didn’t get to play the series because I was too young but I continued watching my brother play them up until IX.
In 2001, the entry that truly spurned my passion and dream to be a storyteller came into my life: Final Fantasy X. My journey through Spira with Tidus and Yuna solidified my urge to write stories. The themes of life, death, love, deception, and exploration reality; even with its flaws, FFX’s was evocative to say the least. Though I continued to write poetry, I tried my hand at short stories(And good God, they were bad. Have to start from somewhere, right?).
For the last two decades, my life has been filled with reading, writing, and Final Fantasy. At a point when I was fourteen, I had a dream that I would be an author of some degree. Around this time, Square Enix announced their next Final Fantasy Projects under the banner of Fabula Nova Crystallis. This included the XIII series and Type Zero. Those did come out in the timespan promised, except for one: Final Fantasy versus XIII. There’s a long history about this particular entry that coincided with my path of becoming an author.