More Than Middle Earth

P.L. Blair & Shilo

P.L. Blair was born and grew up in Tyler, Texas; lived 10 years in the Corpus Christi/Rockport area before moving to Sheridan, Wyo., in the mid-1980s. She returned to Rockport in 2008 to be closer to family, but she continues to spend summers in Sheridan. She has worked for more than 30 years as a newspaper reporter. She wrote Shadow Path, the first novel in her Portals fantasy/detective series, in 2007, and followed it with three more – Stormcaller, Deathtalker and Sister Hoods.

Shadow Path has recently been released in ebook format.

In addition to her human family, Blair shares her life with two basset hounds, a longhaired dachshund and two cats – all rescued.

Words to Live By—

It’s too soon to panic. – My constant mantra

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.



Say “fantasy” in a crowd, and probably most people will immediately think of JRR Tolkien and Middle Earth.

But fantasy is much, much more than Tolkien, a diverse tapestry of ideas and treatments in which the only common thread is … magic.

Many writers have followed in Tolkien’s footsteps, creating Medieval-flavored worlds in which elves, dwarves and wizards join forces with humans in epic battles against evil.

But others have found fantasy in more familiar settings. I love Kim Harrison’s series featuring Rachel Morgan, a bounty-hunting witch in Cincinnati, whose companions include a still-living vampire and a smart-mouthed pixie.

Anne McCaffrey in her Pern books mixed fantasy and a hint of science fiction, with dragons living on a distant planet.

Then there’s Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy, a very Sherlock-Holmesian detective who solves crimes in an alternate world where Richard the Lion Hearted didn’t die but became a caring king whose Plantagenet descendants still, in the 1960s (when the books were written), occupy the throne of a world-spanning British Empire.

In Garrett’s world, magic substitutes for science, and Darcy’s “Dr. Watson” is Forensic Sorcerer Sean O Lochlainn.

My own books also blend fantasy with detective/mystery elements – but with a nod toward Tolkien, since my cast of characters include elves, wizards, pixies – all the creatures of our folklore and mythologies. My concept is that these beings actually exist, on a world parallel to our own, and that they had contact with our ancestors –

Which is the reason we have legends and myths about such beings.

My main characters, human Kat Morales and her elven partner, Tevis, are police detectives in Corpus Christi, Texas, in a not-too-distant future when portals that separate our worlds have reopened and these beings once again have access to our human world.

You don’t have to be a world-builder or have a deep understanding of Medieval life to write fantasy. It works well anywhere.