Ani Jasper Speaks for Herself…

An Introduction from Ani Jasper (WARNING: Spoiler Alert-Book One)

 Ani Jasper Book 1a

I asked one of my characters, Ani Jasper, from The LightBridge Legacy, to introduce herself.

Here is what she said:

“You know how sometimes when you’re asleep you can’t tell if you’re dreaming or not because everything feels so completely real? Well, that’s how it feels to be me. I never know if what I’m experiencing is real or not. But I think I’m slowly figuring out that it’s ALL real, and that is the scariest thing I can think of. See, if it’s all real, then I am in some deep dark shades of trouble with all kinds of bad mixed in.

I’m Anani Jasper. People call me Ani. Not Annie. Ahh-nee. I’m a girl, I’m almost fourteen, I’m an amateur geologist and a magical apprentice. I live in New York City, but I still consider the Mojave Desert my real home. I’m technically an only child because I lost my twin brother the day we were born, but if you want to know a secret, the truth is, I didn’t really lose him because we are still together. Two souls. One body. Weird I know. But kinda cool at the same time. It’s called Zielfah which means “double soul,” and because of it, I’m next in line for some fierce magical mojo I didn’t ask for. Oh and get this… because I am the appointed heir apparent, I have some equally fierce enemies that want me permanently deleted in the worst way. Mom and Dad don’t know. Nobody knows. No one would believe me anyway.

So I live my life as if everything is normal…whatever that is. Mom’s an anthropologist and Dad owns a rock and gem shop. I can tell you anything you want to know about all sorts of stones (including their magical properties–but don’t tell my dad that. He doesn’t believe in magic). My godfather, Kahetay is a Navajo shaman and has some pretty cool skills of his own. He’s the one who first taught me about magic. And then there’s Sophie, my um… I guess you could call her my mentor… she’s a wise-woman… a magical practitioner and a good friend. She knows about my “future memories”—these strange visions I have where I go into the future and remember things that haven’t happened yet. That’s how I found out my mom’s in trouble. She’s gone missing on expedition in the Amazon jungle and it’s up to me to save her.

Have you ever had to do the thing that scares you the most? That’s what I have to do. And in order to do it, I have to “embrace my magical destiny,” whatever that is, but that’s how Xephero puts it. Xephero is the master of the LightBridge, the most powerful magical object in the world, and he has chosen me as the next in line to be the keeper of that magic. All I know is if I do it I can save my mom because if I don’t she’s gonna die. It means doing things I never thought I’d do, wrong things, dangerous things, but you would too if it meant saving the person you loved most in the whole world. You never know what you are capable of until you are forced to face the unfathomable.

Welcome to my world.”

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The Spark of New Inspiration

Secret-Ref -Dragonbond 4c-300dpi

Above is what I call an Imagery Character Study. Whenever I begin a new story, I put together one of these graphic “collages.” I scour the net for images that remind me of my characters and the objects that surround them. In the first glimmering sparks of inspiration and story creation, this is a wholly enjoyable task. Watching my characters and the world they live in “come to life” before my eyes is exciting. It brings their personalities into focus like nothing else can. And down the line, when I’m trying to complete a book after years of work, these images can offer some much-needed inspiration, bringing back the spark of new beginnings and the feeling of “falling in love,” for that is what it’s like to begin a new story. 

                       

Today is January 15th 2016, the first day of my new commitment to blog more. It also happens to be Annual “Appreciate a Dragon Day” (no lie) and in honor of this momentous occasion I have chosen to let a little “secret” out of its proverbial bag.
This week I took an unexpected break from my LightBridge duties—working on getting the second (revised) print edition of The LightBridge Legacy, Book One: THE SECRET HALF (formally Destiny’s Call) ready for my publisher, followed closely by the release of LightBridge Book Two: THE HIDDEN GATES which is in its final edit.
But since my laptop was in the shop this week, I had a chance to work on my notes for a shiny new story idea that’s been calling to me.  The beginning of every story for me takes the form of handwritten notes on scraps of paper, stickies, paper napkins, just about anything I can get my hands on. Next, I begin organizing these bits and pieces–which sometimes number in the hundreds–into some semblance of an order and paste them into notebooks. Yeah, I know, very low tech. I don’t switch to the computer until I start writing the story itself. This time, it was for a new story idea that has ignited my imagination, my dreams, and passion for writing.
I’m calling this new series The Dragonbond Books.
What are the Dragonbond books about? Here is the quick overview…

An infant boy is left on the steps of a 200-year-old library and raised by the head librarian who lives in a basement apartment below the stacks. On his ninth birthday, the boy learns he is the last remaining descendant of an ancient lineage called The Dragonbond Tribe and can, therefore, speak to and bond with dragons. 

Along with this new information about his family history, he receives a mysterious package said to be from his parents, left behind with the bassinet he was found in. In this ornate wooden box, he finds three items… an ancient book written in an undecipherable language, a handmade leather & feather quill, and a “rock” that, three months later… yep, you guessed it,  hatches into a baby dragon.

I’ve always wanted to write a dragon story. I’ve been waiting a very long time for the right tale (dragon tail) to emerge and finally, it has bubbled up to the surface from the depths of the creative inner well. I can’t wait to start writing! But I have promised myself I will finish The LightBridge Legacy first!
 
Onward! It’s going to be a very good year!
 
Elayne G. James