I’ve been reading Charles de Lint books since a friend introduced me to Moonheart in the mid-90s. A contemporary fantasy author, deLint blends the present with the past, moves archtypical characters into complex spaces, and just plain writes a terrific yarn.
He’s one of those authors who keeps producing and his pubs list tops over 60 books. He speaks at SFCons all over the world and has one of the most faithful readership you’ll find anywhere. He also plays music every week at pub local to him in Ottawa, and he creates stories with the craft of a composer, each rising action softened with pauses, each introspective moment punctuated with action.
He’s one of those authors you imagine from a distance as being as cool and as nifty as his work, but someone you’re unlikely to meet in person. After all, he lives in Canada, plays to packed audiences at Cons and… did I mention 60 books published?
But every once in awhile you get lucky, and you read something in a fan newsletter. Something about a workshop at a lit colony not two hours away. And you race to the phone, credit card in hand, and you patiently wait as the receptionist fields call after call as she processes your reservation for the class, and you buy a membership for good luck, and you find out maybe, maybe you’re in the workshop, one of fifteen, but she can’t be sure. You have to wait another week for the registrar to return from vacation to confirm, and finally he calls and he say Yes, you’re are in.
What a wonderful, belonging word. In.
Then seven hours of workshop bliss where you work not only with your favorite author but with 15 other people just as in love with myth as you are, just as frustrated with getting a story right as you are, just as amazed as you that there are so many ways to tell and retell myths – everything from fiction, to memoir, to animated scripts.
de Lint was generous with his insights, tender in his critiques, and ever encouraging of all the students. We talked everything from writing process/discipline to publication to eRights management. But most of all he reminded me of the basics:
Do thorough research
I had my inner fangrll *squee* moments too, when he signed my books, when he responded positively to my ideas, and especially when he expressed interest in reading more of my work.
Every once in a while it all comes together and it’s veryvery good.