Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why I Write Fantasy - Sheri McGathy

Welcome Sheri McGathy,  Fantasy author of stories filled with danger and magic!

Amber: Why do you write fantasy? 

Sheri: Fantasy, to me, evokes the wonder of dreams and unfettered possibilities. It can be filled with fanciful pleasures or unimaginable fears—all the things we believed in without question when we were kids. Fantasy is Santa and pixie dust, unicorns with long golden horns, and the monster that lurked in the shadows beneath your bed when you were little. Fantasy is fantastical and holds the promise that wishes just might come true if only we dare to believe in the magic of the moment.

Magical moments exist all about us, yet all too often, our busy lifestyles cause us not to notice. We're simply unable to pause long enough to allow the magic to touch us. The moment passes unnoticed and unremarked. 

I think twilight is one of those magical moments—a time when the world holds its breath as if waiting for something special to occur. The day has not yet arrived or ended, and the night is not yet born or faded. A hush settles over the land and a sense of awe surrounds us. So much so, that we accept the possibility of other realms where elves exist, magic works, unicorns graze, dragons fly, and anything is possible if only we believe. And maybe, if we wish hard enough, we might be able to bring a bit of that magic to our daily lives. 

Twilight holds the promise of enchantment and ignites my imagination. It makes me ask, "What if?" It's simply magical.

I personally feel that magical moments come to us in many forms and strike in many different ways. Old legends, ancient puzzles, a word or words overheard in a crowded place are all things that make me ask, "What if?"

Each story in my OMNIBUS collection was conceived from its own what if moment. The Birth of Spring was born from my fascination with the fairy tale charm of three while Thief of Dreams sprang from a line in an old ballad. The Ancient One developed both from my love of trees and from a very simple question: How does one become a goddess? The idea for Where Lies Beauty started with a rose and a single tear.

Amber Why do you write the type of fantasy?

Sheri: I like to take old lore or myth and rework it, incorporate it into my stories, but make it my own. When I wrote WITHIN THE SHADOW OF STONE, I took a wonderful, at least wonderful to me, legend surrounding the King’s Stone and then started the “What if” process. What if the standing stones really had warriors trapped within. What if the people forgot the truth of the stones, and the whys of their own religious ceremonies. From there, I just sort of “flew into the mist,” and let the story unfold. That is pretty much the essence of how I craft. I might hear a snippet of someone’s conversation or catch a show on the History Channel that causes me to say What if. I just never know.

Amber: What are your favorite fantasy novels? 

Sheri: Well, that’s not an easy answer but if I had to pick just one, it would be Shadow Castle, a YA fantasy novel that was my introduction to the world of elves and dragons, goblins, and magic. I read it in grade school. It was the book that made me want to write fantasy. Since that time, I have been introduced to so many wonderful writers and tales that we could fill your blog with their titles. 

Amber: Why do you think readers love fantasy? 

Sheri: For me, it is the wonder and the chance that maybe it could happen. I love the adventure, the worlds, the magic, good and bad. The characters. The escape fantasy offers. I just love fantasy.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?

Sheri: Yes, I think I would. I love to imagine and make believe. If an idea grabbed me, possessed me, and I started to imagine characters, I’d have to write he tale if nothing else so I can find out what happens!

 Who is Sheri L. McGathy?
Born in the Buckeye state, I was uprooted in 1971 and replanted amongst sunflowers, tornadoes, and college football. It’s a good life. During the weekdays, I’m a Graphic Arts Coordinator/Copy Editor in prepress. In the evenings and weekends, I’m a writer…or I try to be. Sometimes that is debatable. I’m also a freelance cover artist

*.:~~:.*.:~May the magic always brighten your world~:.*.:~~:.

Learn more about Sheri L. McGathy
at her Website And more about her books  

 Sheri's Contest!
Leave a comment to win a .pdf 
of one of her latest short story releases

Shay, a Blade Whisperer, has made a promise. A promise she is determined to keep, no matter the consequences or the pain that promise might cause. She has searched long, following the countless whispers of forgotten blades, until one quiet whisper reveals the blade she seeks. And now that's she's found the bewitched dagger, she must fulfill her promise to set her lover free…by killing him.
What magic lurks in a selfless gift, whispered by one who has lost all hope save for love? On the eve when darkness must surrender its cold grip on the land and cede victory to the light of renewal, one such gift is offered, but what ancient earth spirit will answer?
Take Your Pick!


  1. Great interview, Sheri. I agree, the 'what if' is the most magical part of fantasy, and I love that, too. Sometimes make believe is just plain more fun to write than real life!

  2. Ah, yes, Sheri, it's what I always tell my students - Take a situation, then ask yourself 'What If'? It works for any genre. Great interview.


  3. I enjoyed reading the interview, just as I enjoy reading Sheri's stories.

  4. What if is very important. Most books considered Science Fiction before 1942 and now Science. I like the 'What if', but I would like to control it a little bit :>)

  5. Sheri, I love your covers. I can read the titles AND the author name. Plus they're beautiful!

  6. Yes, controlling the 'What if,' is something I need to work on myself.

  7. Amber - thank you! I have been fortunate in the past to have had a publisher who was very attentive to the covers as well as being able to craft several myself. I hope to do some freelance cover design for others.

  8. I think it's wonderful that you create the worlds you do. Perhaps it's more about possibilities than what ifs... If you can dream it, you can do it.

  9. Sheri, I agree on the what if. That's something we all should paste on our desks.

    I also agree on twilight time of the evening. That's my favorite part of the day.

  10. Hi Sheri,

    I think many of who write romance and/or erotica feel the same way. Readers crave escapism and it's up to us to supply it, which means dreaming big. Fantasy is definitely hot right now and it's great fun to explore as an author.

    Great interview!!


  11. Hi Sheri: I loved the cover of your book, Promises, and enjoyed your comments about magic and mystery. I too find twilight an awesome nevernevertime. An editor told me long ago that fantasy is extremely difficult to write successfully. Good luck with your work.
    And thanks Amber for the interview.

  12. Thanks for the great interview, Amber and Sheri. Sheri makes fantasy magical with her language. I love the idea about twilight.

  13. I love your thoughts about twilight: not quite day, not yet night. Kind of a suspended animation where anything can happen.

    Oh, and I love your stories! :-)

  14. Wow, thank you all. I'm a tad speechless. Just a tad LOL And such great and thoughtful comments. Twilight is magical, we just need to slow down and truly experience it.