As 2002 wanes, I’d like to devote this Editorial to two of our most important writers: Dafydd Cyhoeddwr, and P. Atchley. Not only do they each have stories appearing in this issue, but between them they’ve written twelve of the 25 stories we’ve printed this year. These two authors are responsible for half of the fiction we brought you in 2002, and that’s worthy of acknowledgement, so I’d like to take a second and introduce you to them.
P. Atchley joined the project on January 2, 2000, and “Cherryseye”, which appears in this issue, is already her fifteenth Dargon story. After taking some time to get up to speed, she set to work in earnest this year, as her works alone comprised more than a third of the entire year’s stories. In fact, only twice before has anyone ever printed more work in DargonZine in a single year.
She describes “Cherryseye” as an unexpected delight. Although it didn’t start out that way, the story turned out to be her first attempt at writing a romance, and she’s quite pleased with the results.
Her story ideas usually come from a momentary emotion she has felt, which she then tries to recreate in a story of her own. Despite the positive tone of “Cherryseye”, she believes that the negative emotions are more fun to write about, because they offer more creative options.
She describes her writing style as more plot-focused and event-driven than most Dargon stories. Her stories emphasize drama, and she prefers using dialogue to move them forward.
The first story she recalls writing was a novella for children, wherein a group of children meet a botanist who has created a blue rose, and villains attempt to steal it from him. Looking back on that piece, she still considers it a fairly good plotline.
Outside of writing, which is a central part of her life, Ms. Atchley is accomplished at needlework and enjoys cooking and, of course, reading.
A message she’d share with our readers is this: “Keep reading DargonZine; what’s life without a story or two … thousand?”
Dafydd Cyhoeddwr joined DargonZine way back in 1986. In his sixteen years with the project, he’s written an amazing 51 stories, making him our most prolific writer by far. In fact, he is the only Dargon writer who has printed more fiction in a year than P. Atchley, having done so in 1999 and 2000. He has also created more of the people, places, and things in the Dargon milieu than any other writer. As if that wasn’t enough, he also served as DargonZine’s Editor from 1988 to 1994! It would be difficult to overstate the contribution he’s made to DargonZine.
“Talisman Nine 4″, which appears in this issue, is the 33rd chapter in his ongoing “Talisman” series, and if you haven’t read every chapter, you’re really missing some wonderful work, as well as the overall story arc, which will be coming to a climax in the near future. Dafydd says that “Talisman Nine” required more revision and reorganization than any other story he has published in DargonZine, mostly because his reviewers all asked for more detail! Although he has never co-authored a Dargon story, he considers “Talisman Nine” to be the most collaborative work he’s ever done.
He finds his inspiration in almost anything: a phrase overheard in conversation, a song that catches his fancy, or a story or book that gets him to ask “What if”. He eloquently states, “There’s no one thing that inspires me, just as there’s nothing that could not possibly inspire me.”
I asked Dafydd recently to describe how his writing style differs from DargonZine’s “mainstream”. His response: “Dude, my writing IS DargonZine mainstream!” And being single-handedly responsible for one-sixth of the prose published in our eighteen-year history, I have to admit he’s got a point!
Dafydd’s family recently gave him a gift: the first piece of fiction he can remember writing. Somewhere back in the depths of time, he wrote, illustrated, and hand-bound a six-page Hardy Boys story. Like P. Atchley with her first story, Dafydd still thinks his plot was fairly solid.
In a bit of synchronicity, Dafydd, like Ms. Atchley, is also a needlework enthusiast, as well as a devoted reader. He also games and is involved in medieval recreationist events through the Society for Creative Anachronism.
His avid appreciation of feedback on his writing is obvious in Dafydd’s message for our readers: “Read my stuff; all of it! And then, maybe, write me about it.”
That’s a little bit of an introduction to two of DargonZine’s leaders and most prolific writers. They deserve ample thanks and recognition for their amazing contributions to DargonZine’s success. It’s an honor to be able to work with them, and a pleasure to share their work with you. I hope you enjoy it!