Yup, you read that right.
Militant Lesbian Tree Octopus Sorceress. No, I can’t tell you where ideas like this come from. The first story is several years old now, but was kept in the can because I was working with an artist at one point to do illustrations for her. That woman’s life fell apart, and when she got it back together, she was in a different place and I never followed up with trying to find someone else.
The second story got written about a year later, so maybe two years ago now. Just as silly on the surface. Just as serious underneath when you go to really studying on the themes and ideas about what “Modern Western Fantasy” looks like. (Hint: most of it starts from the point of a Tolkien pastiche. Usually badly.)
Last summer (2018) at CampCon, the decision was made on an anthology theme of “Whimsical Beasts.” I don’t write much fantasy these days, and publish even less of it, but writer-brain engaged and said “Hey, let’s do another Akahana story.”
Okay, sure. She’s not whimsical, at least to outsiders. But I can look at other magical creatures through her eyes and let her have opinions on the topic. So I found a bunnyhawk and a catowl. Yes, seriously.
That’s the key with Akahana. She’s extremely opinionated on many topics, and a tree octopus sees the world through much different eyes than an evolved tree shrew like me.
She’s the ex-familiar of a pretty powerful wizard dude who managed to get himself killed. She’s still not sure how she survived, but she did, and wants revenge. The only problem is that she’s no longer evil.
Whoops. So now she has to come to grips with what it means to be good. To like people, even.
But she’s got an interesting relationship with a god who appears on this plane as a goldfish in a giant brandy snifter. And people who need her help.
And she’s a lot of fun to write.
With that, I give you Akanaha, the eight-petaled rose.
Y’all have fun and let me know what you think.