Gillian Adams is no stranger to Speculative Faith. She’s posted here as a guest more than once, most recently in March when she wrote “Melding Music and Magic.” And yet, I suspect few of us would say we actually know Gillian.
I first “met” her in 2010 when she joined the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour. I quickly learned that she made astute observations about speculative fiction, and I looked forward to her CSFF posts with eagerness. As is true of a number of CSFF members, Gillian is also a writer, and happily, she has joined the ranks of the published.
Texas born and bred, Gillian’s writing journey started when she was quite young. As the baby of her family, she emulated her older sister who “was always writing something.” Soon she fell in love with the physical act of writing. She penned her first story when she was seven. Because of her homeschooling experience, she also read extensively and ended up writing dozens of stories. Yet the real catalyst that moved her to become a serious writer was her participation in NaNoWriMo when she was seventeen.
Her love for speculative fiction also began when she was young. Before she had read a novel on her own, her father read aloud The Lord of the Rings to her and her siblings. She was hooked. Throughout her growing up years she enjoyed a steady diet of Tolkien, Lewis, and fairy tales.
A year after participating in NaNoWriMo, Gillian decided to pursue publication. Along the way, she encountered a number of encouraging incidents mingled with a number of bumps in the road. She submitted her work to a small publisher who requested the full manuscript, then contracted her to publish her novel. The next step, however, involved editing. Gillian received extensive edits which opened her eyes to places she needed to improve. After working through another revision, she turned in her manuscript, only to have the publisher pull the contract. She began to question her ability. All the while, though, she was studying, writing, learning, and honing her craft.
Last fall her fantasy novel, Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, released from Enclave Publishing. Gillian is busy working on book two and on promoting Out of Darkness Rising, a novella that released March 15.
When Gillian is not writing, she works at a Christian youth camp, managing their equine program. She’s also a member of a volunteer fire department and participates in western skits in which she enjoys playing the bad guy (and falling off her horse in the end when she is inevitable “shot dead”).
While writing is a great part of who Gillian is and what she does, she identifies chiefly as a sinner who had been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and saved by God’s grace. Because her relationship with God through Christ is central to her life, she makes it central to her writing as well. As she likes to say, she write to the echoes of eternity.
But what does “echoes of eternity” mean, you ask? Well, the name refers to her goal in writing fantasy. Folks often dismiss fantasy as shallow, escapist, swords and dragons nonsense, to which Gillian replies “Boggswoggle!” (If you’re not sure what that means, read her novel Orphan’s Song!)
The beauty and glory of fantasy is the ability to take truth and reflect it in a different way, to ask questions and inspire thought, to leave the reader longing for something greater. Like a glimpse of a star in the bottom of a well, fantasy serves as a reflection of some of the highest truths and deepest longings of mankind.
Gillian doesn’t believe, however that these echoes of eternity must be stories with overt elements of faith. However, she does feel that “the truly great stories are those that, transparently or subtly, reflect the Greatest Story. Stories that encourage, strengthen, and inspire longing. Stories that echo eternity. Those are the stories that stay with you. The stories that really matter.”