How my dad inspired my fascination with trees in fantasy

My dad is a talented artist. I remember when I was a kid (we were homeschooled) my mother did not have the artistic leaning, so my dad told us he was going to draw an apple. When he said “draw” he meant create a piece of art. The apple seemed to “grow” off the paper.

Trees in Fantasy

My dad did another thing I found fascinating. He showed me how to draw trees. The way he drew them he would “grow” the tree, starting with the trunk, designing branches that shot off of it. Maybe I just don’t remember but it seems to me he never added the leaves unless it was a panoramic sketch.

For an unknown reason trees have always fascinated me. Perhaps it is their strength and their fortitude in a storm . . .. A better explanation might be that my dad brought them to life for me in a magical way.

I am not a great artist. My sketches are simple. Maps I can do but other things take me hours to accomplish. Yet, I do know how to write.

Through fantasy stories I bring trees to life in much the way my dad did on paper. In Key of Living Fire I had the opportunity to introduce a living tree. Ancient and deep in shadow, this is a carnivorous tree, full of evil intent. It works with its benefactor, this crazy woods guide.

If trees were alive? Is it a question? Not to me. My dad brought them to life on paper, and now I bring them to life in my novels. This is just one more reason to love what I do.

Question: What things do you like to see ‘brought to life’ in Fantasy?


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Most obvious thing about me is how much I love reading and writing. This is truly my passion and has been for almost as long as I can remember. I know that sounds cliche, but it is true. Growing up in a conservative Christian home I learned to value God, intelligence, and life. I am always learning. I am a husband and a father of three young children. I love my family and my life. God is good and I attribute my success to His provision.

Great fantasy stories are a lot of fun. I write the stories that I want to read and am fortunate enough to have several published novels under my belt as well as more in the pipeline.

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2 thoughts on “How my dad inspired my fascination with trees in fantasy

  1. I’ve always loved it when authors brought trees to life (like the Ents in “The Lord of the Rings” or the torsils in “The King of the Trees”.) I’ve always thought of them as these magnificient things that, if sentient, had the potential to be very wise.

    I also like it when authors give life to things like rivers and mountains.

    • Agreed! I haven’t seen it done with mountains, though. I did bring the Eiderveis River to life, chiefly as shown in “Neverqueen” and I’ve done my share of living trees. In “Key of Living Fire” it was fun to make an evil tree because I’d never seen it done before.
      The last march of the Ents in “The Twin Towers” is one of my favorite fantasy film moments.