She had intended for it to be a cutesy story about the fruit of the spirit, but when I got a hold of it, I decided that it had to be a lot more complicated. Part of this is the fact that my brain refuses to be simple, and part of it is that simple "cutesy" stories don't hold up. I wanted something rich, profound.
This book has received many influences, and has influenced most of my own writing, especially my world building.
As a world, it smells a bit of Middle Earth, with a dash of Narnia (especially since you get there through your closet ... though travel between worlds is much more dangerous, you could easily get lost in the Mists Between if you step off of the golden line). Mom said she had been reading a lot of the cutesy "Christian Morals for Kids in a Fantasy Setting" books at the time, so wanted to join in the party. I don't know what those books were.
I love this world for its rich variety. Its colors are just as vibrant as Rizkalands (though the water isn't as varied or awesome), but unlike Rizkaland, I've been able to build cultures for all sorts of awesome peoples. From the sea-dwelling Alatians, to the underground dwarves, to the wise elves, I've managed to cram something of everything that I love.
So come on over, enjoy the color, and enjoy your stay.
Oh, and do pop over to Abbey's blog today to enjoy an interview with Shasta!