December 2010 Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour: The Charlatan’s Boy, Day 3

Christian Fantasy CSFF Blog Tour

Stories come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes the chronicling of a story comes easy as inspiration flows, other times it is more like grappling with a wild ox. But regardless of the process, usually there’s a single moment, a kernel of an idea from which story springs. I recently had the opportunity to ask Jonathan about the seed of inspiration for The Charlatan’s Boy. Here’s what he had to say:

The very, very beginning of The Charlatan’s Boy–long before it was The Charlatan’s Boy–was a story a friend in graduate school told me. His grandmother was born in California to a Scottish father and an Austrian mother. She had recurring dreams of kangaroos from childhood on, even though she had never seen a kangaroo except in picture books. When she grew up, she found out that she wasn’t a California native, and her mother wasn’t her mother. She was born in Australia to Scottish parents; she had an Austrian nanny. When she was two or three years old, her father ran off with the nanny and they took the little girl with them to California. It all happened too early for the girl to remember any of it, but she had seen kangaroos when she was a baby, and apparently they made a big enough impression on her that she continued to dream about them the rest of her life. That got me to thinking about the idea that we don’t really know who we are or where we came from unless somebody tells us; and there are people who don’t have anybody to tell them. The first sentence I ever wrote when I started envisioning The Charlatan’s Boy is still the first sentence of the published book: “I don’t remember one thing about the day I was born.” Everything unspooled from there.

So there you have it! If you would like to hear what others are saying, take a look at the other tour stops:


  • Becky Jesse
    December 8, 2010 - 3:50 pm · Reply

    Thats an awesome story! I have a link to your site from mine from Jonathan Rogers himself. Thats so cool that the idea came from that.
    I have memories from when I was just two years old of Big Thompson Canyon up in Colorado, it made such a huge impression on me that I have dreams about it still to this day. The memory is so clear and so vivid, I don;t remember anything else from that trip, but that one memory. So neat, thanks for your review!!!

    • Sarah Sawyer
      December 9, 2010 - 11:56 am · Reply

      It amazes me what a role dreams can play in our lives. I’ve always been one to dream vividly and to remember many of my dreams (and even find story inspiration there), but I’ve never heard of a tale quite this dramatic.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      December 9, 2010 - 11:59 am · Reply

      You’re welcome, Aubrey! I hope you get to enjoy the tale for yourself soon. 🙂 It would make a great Christmas gift. I love giving (and receiving) books, because they contain whole reams of experience and they last through countless readings and re-readings.

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