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Guest Post: Stories that Shape Us

Posted by on October 15, 2014

Today, I’m excited to have Gillian Bronte Adams here with us as she celebrates the release of her debut novel, Orphan’s Song. She’s also doing an awesome giveaway, but more about that later! Without further ado:

Stories that Shape Us2

The Stories that Shape Us and the Characters that Change Us
by Gillian Bronte Adams

My parents instilled in me a love for the written word at a young age. When I was four, my dad started reading a chapter from The Hobbit every evening. I cut my “reading” teeth on the Lord of the Rings at the age of seven and jumped from there to Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, and Kidnapped, and from there … well, you can imagine the rest.

Every spare moment of my childhood that didn’t involve climbing trees or trekking through the woods behind our house (known to the initiated as the real Sherwood Forest) was spent with a book in hand.

My favorite characters became more than just characters, and more than just a child’s imaginary friends. They became me … and I became them.

I hunted the Uruk-hai at the heels of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli.

I stood beside Jim in the blockhouse and defied Long John Silver and the rest of the pirates.

I climbed into the wardrobe and emerged in the land of Narnia alongside the Pevensies.

And as I devoured book after book, the stories I loved and the characters I admired seeped beneath my skin and left an indelible mark on who I am today.

From the stories, I learned many things. Life isn’t easy. It isn’t fair. Knights’ armor is more often battle-scarred and blood-stained than shining.  There isn’t always a happy ending, and when there is, it often waits at the end of a long, dark, and painful road.

But the characters I loved were the ones who faced the trials that came their way with honor, courage, and the will to fight on and never give up. They were the ones who didn’t allow circumstances to make them bitter, fear of danger to make them cowardly, or the harsh tongues of others to make them alter course.

Even at a young age, I knew I wanted to be like those characters—and not just in my games of pretend in the backyard.

In everyday life, I wanted to have courage, like the heroes I admired, to stand up for what I believed in. To speak the truth and never allow a lie to foul my tongue, no matter the cost. To be known as a person of my word—honorable and trustworthy.

As I was thinking about writing this post, a book immediately came to mind: The Chameleon Lady from the Tales of the Forgotten God series by Don Hamilton. It is an allegorical fantasy—and unabashedly so—and a series that I loved growing up. In The Chameleon Lady, we are introduced to a character named Fearshadow who has been hunting all his life for the face of a legendary warrior that he saw while reading a book of prophecy, until he meets the beggar Covenant who invites him to look into a mirror.

Fearshadow did so, and what he saw there staggered him. He finally turned to Covenant. “Can it be?” he asked.

“It can,” answered Covenant. “It can, and it is. There is the face you have been seeking. The words have soaked into your heart as well as your imagination, and shaped your face as well as your soul. That which you have yearned to find you have become.”

The Chameleon Lady, Don Hamilton

In the same way, I think that the stories we read possess the ability to influence us and shape who we become. When we read a book and grow to love the characters that dwell within the pages, a part of them rests inside of us, and it is natural to want to emulate them, so much so that we can begin to change.

What are some stories that have shaped you or characters that have caused you to change?


About the Author


BronteGillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a Christian youth camp, but at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. You can find her at her blog Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant where fantasy lovers unite to discuss favorite novels, villains, costumes, and enjoy sneak peeks at her work, or stop by her author page on Facebook!


About her Novel

fall release orphanOrphan’s Song

Who Will Keep the Song Alive?

Every generation has a Songkeeper – one chosen to keep the memory of the Song alive. And in every generation, there are those who seek to destroy the chosen one.

When Birdie’s song draws the attention of a dangerous Khelari soldier, she is kidnapped and thrust into a world of ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by her old friend, traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies in pursuit of the truth behind the Song’s power.

Ky is a street-wise thief and a member of the Underground—a group of orphans banded together to survive . . . and to fight the Khelari. Haunted by a tragic raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of a new life beyond the reach of the soldiers. But the enemy is closing in, and when Amos’ shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira.

Available on Amazon.

add to goodreads


And about that giveaway!

This is just one of three of the awesome bundles, so stop by her blog to see the other two and to see how to enter. Contest ends November 1st!

Birdie's Prize Bundle Collage_thumb[10]

2 Responses to Guest Post: Stories that Shape Us

  1. sparksofember

    I haven’t read The Chameleon Lady but that excerpt is powerful. I’m going to look for it right away!
    I had a similar childhood and feel exactly the same way about the books I have read and who I am. Most especially the Chronicles of Narnia, Little Pilgrim’s Progress (I didn’t read the original until I was much older and by then, of course, I preferred the younger version), Hind’s Feet on High Places, What Katie Did – each of those books affected me profoundly in different ways. 🙂

I love hearing from you!

J.L Mbewe - Author