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About the Author
Living in a forest, it's easy to see how Myths and Legends begin. At night, when the trees block out the stars and moon, you are left with a darkness that you can almost touch. You lose all sense of perspective and distance. Take one wrong turn and you’re lost.
Stand quietly and the forest slowly comes back to life around you. Unseen animals of the night move, invisible wings flap, leaves rustle. A heavy foot breaks a fallen branch. Your imagination runs wild.
When dawn brings the slanting sun rays that pierce the gloom, you can feel the weight of the towering giants bearing down on you. Watching the wind eddies slowly pass over the tree tops, swaying the mighty pines, it's easy to understand how ancient people saw magical powers moving through the forest. In the silence, there is enchantment and sometimes, something a little scary. Forests truly are magical places.
I grew up in Wales, in a culture where animals were always a close part of our lives. In my world, we loved the folk stories that told of the loyalty and bravery of our faithful dogs, and the sometimes human characteristics of cats.
Inspiration for writing this novel came from my own Welsh culture. It’s a country of green hills and deep valleys. It’s also a land of ancient King's and Druids, where evil once took many forms, and our heroes died with their devoted dogs beside them.
One of our most loved legends tells of Prince Llywelyn and his favourite hound, Gelert.
The Prince loved to hunt in the hills and forests of Caernarvonshire. One morning, he called his dogs to accompany him, but his favorite hound, Gelert, didn’t appear. Disappointed, the Prince left without him.
Returning to his castle later, the Prince was greeted by Gelert who stood before him, covered in blood. The Prince, fearing the worst, rushed to his new born son’s nursery. Sure enough, he found the crib overturned and the walls splattered with blood.
The Prince, heart broken and in a blind rage, sunk his sword into Gelert’s heart. As his favorite hound lay dying at his feet, the Prince heard a baby’s cry. He rushed to the crib, to find his son laying beneath the overturned crib, unharmed. A blood covered wolf lay dead beside him.
My time in the Himalayas is vividly remembered in Part 1 Shifters Alliance. Nepal is I feel, one of the most interesting places in the world with the most lovely people imaginable.
My time in Egypt’s Sinai desert also helped me to write about a desert crossing in Part 2 Lost Lands.
Now, I’m settled in Poland, located at the heart of Europe. A country at times lost and without borders, but with a people always proud of their heritage. It’s the home of the last remaining part of the Primeval Forest that once covered all of Europe. A forest where Bison and Wolves still roam free.
I count myself truly lucky to have traveled during the times that I did. I sometimes think, mine was the lucky generation. Having the opportunity to go far and go cheap, to distance places, without fear (a Thai Pirate excepted). Then, to arrive on a deserted tropical beach, or to have an ancient Egyptian temple to yourself, it really was an adventure of discovery.
Shaun Griffiths is the author of the Changing Times Young Adult Epic Fantasy series, along with numerous Short Stories. Both his debut and follow up novels reached the Best Seller charts on Amazon. He is a Self Published author whose work has recently been included in an Anthology published by An Alliance of Young Adult Authors (AAYAA)
He has travelled extensively, using his experiences in the Himalayas, to shape the fantasy world we read about in his novels. He lives with his wife, three children, two dogs and various rodents, in a house they built in the forests of Poland.