Friday, 16 August 2013

Why I started writing: love.

by Tara C MacDonald

The topic of love exists through Romance Writers of America, RomCon, Romantic Times... but where did it start for me?  In a library.

When I was thirteen I used to grab a notebook from my bookbag and after eating my sandwich I would scurry into the library.  At this school I would use the library as my safe haven.  I really didn't like the class I was with and found them to be bullies so the library was safe.  Safe to create an entire world based on my love of the Elfquest comic book.

Elfquest, created by Wendy and Richard Pini, is a comic about a world where elves and wolves lived as a tribe.  You can find them online at

This world had humans that were neolithic and not friendly to elves.  It was a world of two moons.  There was danger all the time from lack of food, impossible environmental changes and then the inside political movements to rid the tribe of its Chief Cutter.  Cutter had a dream.  This involved leading his tribe wolves n' all across their world.  If he hadn't he wouldn't have met Leetah his future Chieftess and Healer.  He wouldn't have solved the mystery of the elves beginnings and ultimately conquered a very great evil elf determined to rid the world of his tribe.

What I love, though, about this world besides the comic art is the acceptance of those who are "different."  I was always "different" and was isolated at a private school where my nearest friend was a 30 minute drive away.  Up until I had my license there wasn't much I could change about my location so I read.  I read a lot.  And Elfquest let me indulge in a world where "different" was acceptable.  It also survived the breakup with my first boyfriend: comics, I mean.  He introduced me to comics and I loved that I could go to Wilkes in Dartmouth and add to my to-be-read pile.  Comic lovers were "different."  Artists were "different."

Then, many years later, when I started my own business I tried to make people's visions come true on video.  And my writing stopped.  Six years later I'm wrapping up the film & video business to finally start my writing career.  I've been at it "nose down" committed for the past year and a half.  Thanks to communities like Brenda Novak's Online Auction and Romance Writers of America my writing is improving.  I fill my days with working out and writing.  I do it because I love it.  Because that girl in the library needed to write out her angst and her need for her world to change.

So I have this notebook still.  I was very daring at the time labeling it "Volume One."  I'm not sure what happened to Volume Two or Three but I can tell you that if I start writing fan fiction it will be based on the Elfquest's world where the Wolfriders live and your imagination can soar.  Elfquest was about love and now I write about love.  What greater force is there in the world than love?   

Photo by Rebecca Clarke

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  1. I love the picture of your notebook novel, Tara. Especially that you stated it was to be Volume One of a planned epic. 'Go big!' you were saying, and why not?

  2. I think I thought my entire school year was a waste of time at age thirteen. If I hadn't had the library I don't know how I would have occupied my time. :-)

  3. It's inspiring that you still have that notebook, Tara. Childhood dreams don't have to be abandoned. I've been imagining fiction in my head since I was a little girl, but am finally committing to writing it. It's a big, exciting step.