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Local writer brings fantasy world to life
Stafford County writer creates a fantasy series featuring characters who've been part of her imagination since childhood

 Elanor Kindred sits in her office, where she gains inspiration for her books and illustrations. Kindred is publishing a seven-part series about Etheria, a fantasy world she began creating when she was 8 years old.
photos by Marie Sicola/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/1/2012

By CATHY DYSON

Elanor Kindred has had the same medieval characters in her head since she was 8.

Guess it's about time she published a book.

The Stafford County woman didn't just write one fantasy about the Somadàrsath, immortals sworn to protect the mythical kingdom of Etheria.

She wrote a seven-part series called "The Seven Wars." It's but a portion of the works she wrote about the noble family and its dealings with griffins and centaurs, phoenixes and assorted other talking creatures.

There are 18 novels in all.

Likewise, Kindred didn't just write about Lask, whose skin is fair as frost and eyes are the color of scarlet.

She created an entire civilization--with its own alphabet--along the lines of J.R.R. Tolkien and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

She learned the techniques of digital art so she could translate her doodles of dragons and swords into computer images.

She brought the image of Lask from her mind to a computer screen--and onto the cover of the first book, "The Immortal."

It came out July 7, and the next one, "Bound by Blood," debuts Oct. 7.

Starting Jan. 7, 2013, subsequent books will be released every six months, always on the seventh--a nod to the number in the series.

Kindred also created illustrations on her website for men, women and beasts.

And, she typeset every page, deciding where lines would break, how paragraphs would be indented and what style of big letter would start each chapter.

All along, the author has drawn inspiration from Lask, her main character and muse. He's the one who first appeared in her dreams when she was a child.

"He said, 'I have a story for you, do you want to write it?' The next day, I started writing it, and here I am 14 years later," Kindred said.

FROM STORIES TO NOVELS

As a self-published author, Kindred pays to have her books printed.

Part of the reason she does all the work herself is because, at 22, she doesn't want to pay for what she can easily do herself.

But the bigger reason has to do with control. She couldn't bear the thought of others making decisions about characters whose poster-size pictures grace the walls of her bedroom and studio.


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NAME: Elanor Kindred changed her first name from Emily to Elanor when she was 20 because she said the former name never felt right. She spelled her new name the same as Samwise Gamgee's daughter in The Lord of the Rings, who was known as "Elanor the Fair." IN HER BOOKS, she's listed as E.H. Kindred. DIGITAL ART: Kindred uses a stylus to create a basic sketch on the computer tablet. She then adds up to 30 different layers, creating textures, shades and highlights. It's much like coloring, but more complicated. SELF-TAUGHT: Kindred starting using Photoshop CS4 when she was 16 and taught herself. She offers step-by-step tutorials on her website, ehkin dred.com. CHICKEN OR EGG? Kindred isn't sure which came first, the word description of a particular character or the illustration. She likes being the person who creates both because "you see it the way I meant for you to see it."