THOT J BAP Extras >>>>>> The Themes

A Planet in Ruins

The warning signs of accelerated climate change in world overtaken by evil forces such as Consortium, a global superpower, controller of almost everything, even the seasons; ah, but not quite! There’s still an underground Resistance to this dark world. And in and out of all this is Bramah, our hero, a skilled locksmith who uses her trade to hoodwink Consortium. She is a double agent!

Mythological Texts, Reimagined

Epic poems are long narrative stories told in different styles or forms of poetry. Famous examples of epic poems include Homer’s The Odyssey, Dante’s Divine Comedy, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and the ancient Indian poem cycle, The Mahabharata

I’d also include a collection of Arabic folk tales, known in English as The Arabian Nights. I love these classics; also, I wanted to create an epic fantasy in verse that featured female heroes, such as Bramah who is “brown, brave, and beautiful.”

Mythic Characters

The character of my epic hero, Bramah, first came to me after I got off at the wrong bus stop, pre pandemic times, along the Kingsway corridor in my section of east Vancouver. Spending time with Bramah and world-building her community, lead me to create The Beggar Boy, the Four Aunties of the Wishing Well, and many more.

Magic

Every fantasy and every epic I’ve ever read has some magic in it. “Just enough to make if fun, not too much too make it twee.” That’s one of my mottos. I grew up reading novels like Alan Garner’s The Owl Service and Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave. At some point in this ten-year writing process, which was like a side-hobby, while I was publishing other books and essays and teaching creative writing, the world of magic and high fantasy, which I loved so much as a child, really started to influence the narrative. 

Rhymes as Subversive Forms of Communication

I love advertisement jingles, even annoying ones! And I’m intrigued at how different cultures and sub-cultures, particularly ones that break along the lines of race and class, use “lingo/rhymes/beats” to communicate their own truths. I’m also fond of puns and song lyrics. As a child, my parents read me Mother Goose Rhymes. In THOT J BAP you’ll find “serious epic poetry” juxtaposed with ballads, spells, chants and riddles.

Thoughts? Comments? Leave a reply below or email me at portals@thotjbap.com.

© Renée Sarojini Saklikar 2021.
© Nadina Tandy Cover Art. © Top Shelf Creative Book Design.
© Nightwood Editions 2021. © Isaac Yuen Website Design. All rights reserved.

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