Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X]. proudly introduced author David Anthony Durham as their Eccles Visiting Scholar on Thursday, Feb. 17.
Specializing in fantasy, historical fiction and science fiction, Durham has written and co-written more than a dozen books. These works include collaborative writings with George R.R. Martin’s “Wild Card” series and his most recent work “Shadow Prince.”
“Shadow Prince” is the first middle grade novel Durham has written. It explores the world of Egyptian mythology and religion in a solar punk world that has never been done before.
Before his most recent novel, Durham was not writing for kids but acknowledged it was a part of his life as he reads to his kids often.
But with “Shadow Prince,” he has shifted to a world specifically written for children in late elementary school and early middle school—the very age in which he was wrapping himself in the world of fantasy.
Prior to “Shadow Prince,” Durham’s fantasy trilogy, Acacia, was introducing him to the public as a fantasy writer. This trilogy explores a world that has been described as lived in, filled with rich history and beautiful cultures that spread across the continent he has created.
“I wanted to create a multicultural world,” Durham said.
Durham’s desire to create a world like this one was realized when he was reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” while living in Trinidad as a child. While completely immersed in the novel, he slowly realized that none of the people who he was living with were represented among the pages. With Acacia, he succeeded in that goal.
This exploration of rich cultures was not only present in his fantasy novels but in his historical fiction as well. Originally hoping to be a history major, he focused a lot of his work into exploring the worlds he learned about during his lectures. It was these lectures that inspired numerous novels he has written.
While initially disappointed he did not have the mind for history, Durham said, “The things that interest me informed my future.”
Article and Photo by Audrey Gee