Dragon, cat, and castle
Yes, this is an accurate portrayal of me and my cat. And my dragon. Painting copyright Carolina Russo, used with permission.

A.S. Akkalon didn’t plan to become a fantasy author. She planned to run away and join the circus, and so spent all her time doing somersaults and climbing pine trees barefoot.

One day she came down from the trees for long enough to read a book, and discovered the fantastical worlds of David Eddings, Katharine Kerr, and Raymond E. Feist.

A new plan crystallised: learn magic, live in a medieval castle, and fight dragons with a sword. She practiced martial arts and horse riding, and even tried her hand at fencing, which, to her great disappointment, had far too many rules and would have been entirely ineffectual for dragon-slaying.

But her plan fell apart when the dragons she met were urbane—possibly because they didn’t realise they were dragons—and she had no desire to fight any of them. Luckily, she realised that not only could she string a sentence together, but she was also quite good at mathematics, and one day someone might pay her to do it.

Today she works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one—because the work is fun and not just so she can eat, which she also enjoys—and she writes high fantasy novels in her spare time. She won’t admit it, but she still believes in magic and knows the words to all the best Disney songs.

She didn’t grow up to live in a castle, which is probably fortunate because castles are cold and draughty, but she does write about people who live in castles and only occasionally complain about the cold. Instead she lives in Middle Earth in a house with a cosy log fire, her husband, five chickens, and a cat who is always right.

As for the circus, she did run away to soar on the flying trapeze, but she usually makes it home in time for dinner.


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