Hi everyone and thank you Author’s Lounge for featuring my book!
I’m Izabela, also known as Iza to my friends, family, fellow authors and bloggers. I’m a multilingual marketing professional by day, a blogger and fantasy writer in my spare time. I was born in Poland but I grew up in the United Kingdom. I’ve been living in Finland for a little over a decade now. I’ve been a fan of fantasy, especially Tolkien’s works and mythology practically all my life. In addition to fantasy, I also like to read Viking era historical fiction and Gothic horror. As well as writing and reading, I also enjoy cycling, listening to heavy metal music and spending time with my husband and children.
I have always had a vivid imagination and I love coming up with stories, but very few of these were ever written down. I used to write as a child and during my teens but then I took a break from this hobby as I got older. All that changed when I read Tolkien’s ‘The Silmarillion’ during the Corona virus pandemic lock-down. This, my love for foreign languages along with my fascination with mythology and folklore, inspired me to write my mythical fantasy short stories anthology ‘The Stories They Told Their Children’. These tales depict the culture and beliefs of a fictional nation known as the Gragiyan Empire. Each myth is set in this vast continent, a world resembling ancient Rome, where humans live among powerful deities called Erai, their immortal servants – the enchanting Enai and various other magical beings. Nine short stories of love, death, magic, family, friendships and adventure. These include a touching love story set in the grim Halls of Makar; the legend of the Orealisi Oasis and the tragic romance of Avarrin and Amara. Although I am not a linguist like Tolkien, the fictional languages and some of the character names are inspired by terms and words from both Finnish and Polish.
What started out as a collection of short stories I originally shared with just my friends and family, has evolved over time. I created a blog so that I could share them with others on various social media platforms. These stories eventually became a full length book, which I finally decided to publish last year. I’ve been fortunate to work with the indie publisher Fantasy World Books along with some very talented graphic artists and an editor to bring these wonderful tales to life.
‘The Stories They Told Their Children’ is for adult and young adult fans of mythology, mythical fantasy and Tolkien’s works. Though some of the stories are suitable for young children such as ‘Ieskr and the Orealisi Oasis’, a few feature some violent scenes, so I would recommend a parent reading them first before using them as bedtime stories.
I hope that my stories are entertaining and that they will provide the readers with a source of escapism, taking them on a magical adventure which they won’t forget. This book also serves as an introduction to my future projects; more short stories, a novella and a novel all of which will be set in the same universe. In addition to this book, I have more short stories and a novelette, which marks the start of the Gragiyan trilogy, on my website. One project, a fantasy romance novella called ‘Tiriyanin’s Riddles’, another part of the Gragiyan Empire trilogy is now fully edited. It is currently with my publisher awaiting formatting and proof reading. If all goes well it will be released either later this year or early next year.