Of Epic Love and Romance

When writing my epic trilogy “The Chosen One of Allivar”, I recall watching “The Fellowship of the Ring” while a mother and two teenage girls sat chatting in front of me. At the ending, they all three agreed it had been a waste of their time. With this in mind, I began to listen to women’s comments more closely. I even tried, with all my might, to try to understand what women want out of stories. I read the first book of the best-selling “Twilight” series to gage what was all the interest. I have had various discussions with my wife on the needs of women in literature and held a focus group to discuss my story from a woman’s perspective. I truly wanted to write a story that appealed to both men and women of all ages and race. “Allivar” means the “One Family” so it had to appeal to our human needs.

I purposely created a plot where women would find some interest. I even made love forbidden and embedded this meaning into the title of the second story “Bound to Forbidden Lands.” What I heard from many women is that they wanted a strong female character. With all these things in mind, I created Elissia who is the love interest of the main character Arimar. By her circumstances she has remained strong, even though so many years of her life had passed from the effects of wars and slavery. For Elissia her love for Arimar grows daily as Arimar’s does for her. She sacrifices her needs because of the nature of Arimar’s quest and purpose. She and Arimar struggle with their human needs of being loved and needed. To make matters worse, all around them are finding others in love.

As a man, my concept of romance is when love doesn’t come too easily. Two people must have obstacles to overcome, so that an unseen force binds them together “for better or worse.” Many women who have read the trilogy became quite angry with me in book three, but later understood the reason. I learned much about their comments but felt the conclusion was necessary to complete the story.

As a man, I feel the need to provide and protect the Queen of my life. I was not born in the most chivalrous period in history. Writing allows me to return to a setting where men were men. The tales of King Arthur was also an influence to my writing. Love is a unique word. It encompasses so many meanings, whether love of family, child, and spouse; or love of neighbor, country, or world. Love takes on a completely new meaning when the concept of “loss” is interjected. So, as you read the trilogy, I challenge you to look at the various meanings of love interlaced within and of the romance between Arimar and Elissia.

One of my focus group participants is Linda Etherton, a middle-aged woman who admitted to having no interest in the Fantasy genre. Upon completion, she wanted to know if my story was the normal for the genre. This I cannot guarantee. Another young lady, age 14, stated my story was one-hundred times better than “The Lord of the Rings”. I at least have connected with a few women to date.


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