Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
At the beginning of my author career, someone told me my writing would change over the course of time. I wondered about that. Would it be because I would learn from my editor and choose different words? No, that wasn’t what she meant. I pondered it and couldn’t figure it out. I let it go. Then, about January or so of this year, I came in contact with several things that changed, or rather is changing, who I am as an author and how I write.
Yep, you read that correctly. My youngest three children are into anime, and the middle of those has made a point to share different shows with us. Over Christmas, he introduced us to RE:Creators. Besides having awesome animation, the plot focuses on creators of anime, fan fiction, and manga who suddenly are being able to meet their characters face-to-face in the real world.
As I watched the final episode, I sat stunned with the realization, what if… What if I could write with the intent of telling spiritual truths in a way that would bring them to life? Could I write a story that would share God’s love for the world without preaching and maybe even without the reader fully aware that’s what was happening?
Shortly after finishing RE:Creators, and as I was still emotionally awed by the power of the ending, I read a Hannah Heath blog. If you haven’t subscribed to her blog, you need to. As a writer she gives all kinds of great writing advice. I store the emails in a folder called “Writing Class”.
This particular blog discussed writing Christian fantasy. Up until that point, I’d thought Christian fantasy had to be either like the Chronicles of Narnia or directly showing Christ in the story with Christian characters. I’d never thought that Christian fantasy could be telling a story of God’s love without preaching and without the reader fully aware that was what was happening! Yep, her blog post confirmed that I could be creative and write stories that impart Biblical truth through fantasy and without telling a Bible story!
In March, I saw a thread on Fellowship of Fantasy’s author Facebook group that mentioned a conference that many of the authors were going to. I’d never heard of it before. After a quick Google search, I discovered Realm Makers, a group of authors who love Jesus and love fantastical stories. It’s designed for sci-fi and fantasy authors. I soon joined the group and found my tribe; I was at home. Here authors understood what I wanted to do. I couldn’t believe there were others like me out there—lots of them.
Just last weekend, an author in Realm Makers shared a link to a video. By now you’re probably thinking that I have a ton of strange things that have shaped or are shaping my writing. Anime, a blog, a writer’s group, and a video? Yep. Before I say anymore, I want you to watch it. Go ahead. Be sure to watch all the way to the end.
I’ve enjoyed Rich Mullins’ songs and My Deliverer is no exception, but I had never seen it portrayed in quite this way. I wiped tears away at the end. The portrayal of the world searching and seeking for a deliverer that’s badass and rough and tumble was so real, but then to contrast it with what The Deliverer really was like brought heartache.
Yet you say, “Kandi, what does this have to do with writing?” Let me explain. You see, all these stories of the ready hero who’s big, bold, and out there resonate with us because deep-down we want that hero to come into our lives. I want my stories to ring with the truth of a deliverer—The Deliverer. Whether I have the big bold heroes or the quieter ones, I want my protagonists to point to The One who gave His all for us.
Where am I going from here? From here on out, my writing will have more meaning behind it, whether it’s my Biblical retellings or traditional fantasy or even possible sci-fi/fantasy blends, there’ll be more depth to them. I’m excited to see where this takes me, but wherever that is, it’ll be a spot where fantasy and reality meet.
Illustration (Original character design): Hiroe Rei
Illustration (Anime): Makino Ryuichi
Animation Production: TROYCA
Where to find Kandi:
Fellowship of Fantasy: http://www.fellowshipoffantasy.com/directory.html?filterP=Kandi%20J.%20Wyatt
Clean Indie Reads: http://cleanindiereads.com/dragon-courage/
Langlois, Oregon website: http://worldfamouslanglois.com/content/dragons-langlois-local-author-kandi-wyatt
Rest of the scavenger hunt stops: