I was about thirteen when I first started reading the Dragonlance Series. I bought the early books, the ones by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, for ten cents apiece at a flea market. I already loved fantasy novels, had ever since I was a kid reading books like Alice In Wonderland, Wizard Of Oz, and The Chronicles of Narnia. I adored portal books. And I had also already written lots of short stories, poems, and a couple of terrible novels. So these books didn't get me started in any sense, but they did change the course of my life.
Something about these books hit me in a very special way. It's hard to explain, but anybody who has been impacted by a book in this way will understand what I'm trying to say. This is where my love of dragons really blossomed into what some people might call an obsession, but I prefer to think of as a passion. I already thought dragons were cool, but before this series they were just lumped in my mind with other cool mythical animals.
These novels changed the way I wrote my own stories. They turned me down a path which led me to become a published author with twenty fantasy novels under her belt (only fifteen have been published to date) and plenty more on the way.
In these first books in the series, I met my favorite character of all time, Raistlin Majere. At the time, he was the most interesting and complex character I had ever encountered in a book. And he remains, in my mind, one of the finest characters every written. His influence continues to shade my writing all these years later and his shadow can be found lurking in a number of my own characters.
These books didn't make me a writer, I already was one, but they did make me into the writer I am today. They fostered in me a love of character above all else and thus my own stories are very character oriented as these were. They also built within me a deep desire to write a story so epic, so fascinating, that it could span the test of time and draw others in so deep as to make then want to add their stories to my world.
Sometimes a story really can change your life. And that is the magic of books.