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Stafford County writer creates a fantasy series featuring characters who've been part of her imagination since childhood
Date published: 10/1/2012
"When I sat down and thought about the whole process, I thought I was going to barf," said Kindred, who normally speaks as properly as someone who just stepped out of a medieval castle.
The tale of Lask and the people of Etheria started in short stories she first wrote at age 8, shortly after the dream.
As a young teen, she revised them into novellas, then made them into full-blown books at 14.
After two years of studying medieval literature at the University of Mary Washington, she went back to her novels and rewrote them.
Reading the works of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and other literary giants helped her develop characters and style, but she never changed the basic premise.
"The core of the story has always been the same, it's just that the characters have matured as I've matured," she said.
Kindred still has her original short stories and rudimentary drawings, locked in a suitcase, never to see the light of day again.
CHARACTERS WITH VALUES
Kindred works at England Run Library, where she handles hundreds of books.
She's even watched others check out her book. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library has 13 copies in various branches.
Kindred regularly tells people that her books are not like Harry Potter or other popular young-adult series.
"Everything is so saturated with vampires and werewolves and fallen angels," Kindred said. "Dear God."
Reviewers on Amazon.com said they liked her vivid imagery and were glad to read about characters who exalt "values and morals, kindness and decency," said one reviewer. "There are far too few books like this in our society."
Lynn Kern, the head of circulation at England Run, said Kindred's cover illustration perfectly matched her description of Lask in words.
"That doesn't usually happen," she said. "She's an excellent artist in addition to being such a good writer."
Sometimes, Kern has read books and could care less what happened to characters beyond the final pages.
It's a different story with "The Immortal." She's eager to find out what becomes of Lask and his cast of winged, scaled and human characters.
Kindred is happy to share details of her imagined kingdom.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
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."