About

I am about five foot nine inches, about 40 lbs. overweight, thinning hair, gray beard, with a wide assortment of debilitating medical conditions.  My hair is about brown in color and I am about fifty-seven years of age.  Mentally, about seventeen.  My work as Dean of Creative Writing and History of Magic at Bardwood is characterized by a great deal of thinking and reading, especially in the field of history of magic, boarding school stories, nineteenth-century Brit Lit. and philosophy.  I am at present celebrating my tenth year as a Free Mason and soon to be retired Secretary for Lake Harriet Lodge No. 277 A.F. & A.M. in Minnesota.  I’m a practicing druid, which means I spend a lot of time bathing in the spirits of the trees, the birds, and the animals; and that I confer regularly with elves and other otherworld beings.  My head is most often to be found in the clouds (or vice versa) and my lap under Minerva, my tabby cat and too-familiar familiar.  My favorite color is aquamarine blue and my favorite Harry Potter character is Luna Lovegood.  My favorite poet is either Keats or Yeats (they have to work it out between them), and my favorite nineteenth century novelist is Jane Austen, followed by Anthony Trollope.  I’m quite a fan of Thomas Hardy too, but its hard not to get depressed by his endings sometimes.  My favorite author of magical fantasy is Susanna Clarke, author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.  I can identify very strongly with Mr. Norrell. (Not that I wear a wig.) (Not usually.)

Education

Ph.D. in English Literature and Composition specializing in 19th century literature and gender studies of masculinity. University of Minnesota 1993.

Undergraduate studies at Augsburg University and York-St.John’s University.  English and History summa cum laude, with the laurel crown to prove it.  Also studied studio arts to keep my sanity.  I briefly toyed with the idea of going into architecture and still enjoy drawing floor plans, and deck plans of ships.

Projects

Currently writing the Celydon Saga, a series for youngish adults.  The first three books published by Light Starch Press are House of Glass, First Term at Four Hallows, and The Alchemist’s Secret.  Starring Emily Glass a sparky redheaded 14 year old with a lot of family secrets to discover.  The world of Celydon is set in the post-deluvian future in a steampunkish culture restored to about the level of the early 19th century and with an alternate past which among several things includes the fact that the Romans never destroyed the Druids in the Isles of the Mighty (Britain is styled Prydein in my work).  The series follows students at Four Hallows Academy, the prep school attached to the Druid University of Celydon in the Kingdom of Northumbria.  Think maybe female Harry Potter written by Anthony Trollope, if he was a druid.  One of the raisins d’être of the series is to write fantasy that represents magic as it really is (according to magical folk in our world) and not the usual sort of wish-fulfillment and foolish wand-waving and flying brooms found in other magical school stories.  Another raisin is to show healthy adult-child relationships in stead of the usual nonsense in which children are abandoned, insulted, or abused by the adults around them, who (typically) are all stupid.  Tremendous amount of world-building involved, especially a druid-dominated culture and magic that has not grown out of a defective, anti-magical religion (pew!).  That’s what I do.  And maps.  Lots of maps.

James Maertens

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@alferian

active 1 year, 10 months ago