Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds in her local libraries and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated.
I've been a fugitive from reality since forever. As a child, I constantly made up stories—some would call them lies—about my family, friends, neighbors and even strangers on the street. I had friends that only I could see. We had many adventures, but we also told each other stories.
Learning to read was a revelation. Words fascinated me. Whole new worlds opened up, and since my parents forbade nothing, I read everything. Some of it I didn't quite understand, but I didn't mind. I read it anyway. I even read the dictionary. When I was a little older, I was big on mysteries--English cozy mysteries, like Agatha Christie, were my favorites. Then I graduated to horror. Whenever a new book came out by Stephen King, Peter Straub or Dean Koontz, I was first in line. I was reading a little science fiction at this time—Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and authors like them—but I really didn't get into it until I was in college. The same with fantasy. I really got into high fantasy—like Lord of the Rings—at that time.
All the while, I was still making up stories, but not writing them down. They were private. Besides, I thought my family and friends chide me for wasting my time. The only story I recall actually writing was one that won a contest when I was in elementary school. No one laughed, but no one encouraged me, either.
So life goes on. I went to law school. After I graduated and entered the workforce, I finally started writing down my stories. I wrote a bit here and there, short stories that never saw the light of day (which was probably a good thing). Then I fell ill. Bored out of my skull, I started writing a piece of fan fiction, though I didn't know that's what it was at the time. Upon my recovery, I showed it to a friend of mine who encouraged me to finish the story. All right—she browbeat me until I succumbed.
Well, that piece of fan fiction fell by the wayside, but in its place came a manuscript that would eventually become my first book. I absolutely loved writing it. I absolutely love writing, period. Slipping into that alternate reality for hours on end, there was a time in my life when it was called daydreaming and I got into trouble for it. Now it's legitimate. And that's the best part of all.