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best fantasy, Kaalii Cargill, writing


When I was young, my imagination populated the world with wolves, dwarves, a king in the moon, a troll beneath the hallway floor, and a friend called Miss Shell. These figures were as real to me as my family, and they befriended, terrorised, and entertained me for years.


At thirteen I left my "make believe" world to become a teenager; I exchanged wolves, dwarves and Miss Shell for the lure and illusion of romantic love. My childhood companions waited patiently through the highs and lows of relationships, marriages, and parenting.

Early one morning an old man came to me while I was sitting on a veranda in Bali, overlooking the northern ocean. He told me a story:


I am an old man dozing. I have seen my share of mornings. When the Sun comes gliding over the mountains wearing His robe of silver grey cloud. When the cocks crow their welcome and cook fires flavour the breeze. I am an old man dozing in the shade. The cat stretches nearby, whiskers sensing movement. I have been like that, alert to life, ready to act. I am an old man dozing in the shade of a Nabab tree. Holy tree, sacred tree, trailing tendrils in the breeze. Reaching deep to the heart of things. Touching the sky. Dreaming of colour and ceremony, music and laughter . . .

Thus I met the ancient Warden, Garamen, and The Element Series unfolded as a living story. I started writing and didn't stop until all three books were finished; it was more like being a scribe than an author, with scenes unfolding so rapidly I could barely keep up.

Since then I have written and published short stories, won some writing prizes, and completed an historical/speculative novel, Daughters of Time. Always the theme is "What if . . .?"

I  live in a rambling home in south-eastern Australia, with ample walls for my murals and a leafy garden for the elements. I have altars in my home for Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, and I use many of the invocations spoken by the Wardens in The Element Series and by the priestesses in Daughters of Time.

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