Flashback Friday: Magic Tree House

For this week’s Flashback Friday post, I’m happy to have SF/F author, Stuart Thaman, here for a guest post on how the Magic Tree House series introduced him to the world of fantasy, and how those works influenced him as a writer.


Flashback Friday: Magic Tree House book coverI still remember my first fantasy book.

I was in second grade, and my teacher couldn’t find anything that I liked to read. I honestly wasn’t interested in books since they all seemed girly and predictable.

One day, she handed me a Magic Tree House book about kids going back in time to a land of knights and kings. I think I read twenty (or more) Magic Tree House books that year alone.

By third grade, I had devoured the entire series and moved on to Redwall by Brian Jacques.

I discovered Orson Scott Card in high school, Larry Niven and David Dalglish in college, and I haven’t stopped since.

I fell in love with fantasy when I fell in love with the escape.

Getting the opportunity to live in another world is incredibly intoxicating. Watching movies and following TV shows can be great fun, but nothing will ever compare to the personal relationships you can develop with characters in a book.

When I write fantasy today, I want my readers to get lost in the world of Goblin Wars. I want people to fall in love with my characters and see themselves on the page. When I achieve that, I know I will have succeeded as an author.

As for my writing in the future, it is certainly influenced by the novels I read currently. I love the lack of character immunity I’ve read in George R. R. Martin. I love the epic adventure and video game feel of R. A. SalvatoreDavid Dalglish introduced me to my favorite fantasy race: half-orcs.

When the Goblin Wars series is finished (in 2 years, spoiler alert!), I want other young writers to look back and realize that some of their inspiration came from me.

That would be the ultimate honor.


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