DJ Says ‘Thanks’ and Farewell

Terry-Pratchett-001No, no, she isn’t going anywhere. Well, she IS, as you’ll soon find out in Pirate’s Alley, but I’m emerging from the cave of the day job to tip my hat to Sir Terry Pratchett, who died yesterday after a several-year bout with Alzheimer’s.

First, it’s a horrible, horrible disease. I have lost two aunts to it, and now a cousin has it.

It would be disingenuous of me to claim to be a great fan of Terry Pratchett’s work, as I am not in general a reader of pure fantasy. But it was an essay he wrote–or, rather, a transcription of a speech he gave, that I read in 2009 as I was noodling around the idea of trying my hand at writing a novel, my first-ever bit of fiction. I was going to write about a young female shapeshifter in New Orleans and maybe work in Hurricane Katrina, but hadn’t gotten much further with the idea until I read this thing called “Why Gandalf Never Married.” In it, Terry Pratchett talked about gender stereotyping in fantasy and it made me start thinking about witches and wizards in the books I’d read, in which wizards were mostly male and powerful and witches were mostly female and also maybe powerful–but not as powerful as wizards. I’ve since learned of others, but at that time the only books I could think of with female wizards was also my favorite UF series, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.

And so my young shapeshifter, DJ, became a wizard, which in turn led me to develop a magical system and a world for it to take place in, and the rest, I suppose is history.

So let’s hoist a toast to Sir Terry Pratchett. DJ owes him much.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

6 thoughts on “DJ Says ‘Thanks’ and Farewell

  1. i’m sorry to hear about this news and all my thoughts go to his family

    howeer i must also admit that i’m relieved as well because when i saw the title of teh post in my mailbox i nearly had a heart attack^^;;( what can i say i have become to feel untrust towards editos and publishers)

    • Oooh, sorry about that! Don’t worry, even should my publisher not continue the series after Belle Chasse, there will definitely be at least one or two more books in this series that I do myself. It will take that long for me to wrap up this story arc!!

  2. I thank Terry Pratchett for the idea that ended up with DJ becoming the wizard that she is. Soon Pirate’s Alley, can hardly wait to read it.

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