She wasn’t sure exactly how it happened.
Lorna Carleton was expecting to deal with a grizzly bear; that was the plan, but it didn’t come.
“A dragon showed up in Chapter 14. It was supposed to be a grizzly bear but it didn’t show up, a dragon did. I changed the book around. I visually saw the dragon and I thought, ‘I have no choice.’ It has its own entity. I just put my hands up and thought, ‘This is how it has to go.’”
Carleton is a Kamloops author of a sci-fi/fantasy series that begins with The Dragons of Nibiru. The second book of the series will be released in December and she is currently working on the third book, slated for a spring 2018 release.
In the first book, Celine, the adopted daughter of a distinguished starship commander, a brilliant student, promising cadet, and secret witch, faces a psychotic criminal who is bent on revenge against her father. When Celine is teleported into the cosmos, she finds herself stranded on the forbidden planet Nibiru.
Carleton laughs at the unexpected twist that changed the course of the series.
“When I’m writing, many times I don’t know what the end of the sentence is going to be.
Sometimes I go to other sections and when I come back and I’m reading it I go, ‘Wow!’ I don’t even remember it. Sometimes I reread stuff and make myself cry,” she says.
Carleton has come a long way from her early writing days, when writer’s block was just a part of life.
“In elementary school, I couldn’t write a poem to save my life and it really bothered me. I remember even at the age of eight I was fascinated by words and the ability to create images in someone’s mind. I found it so beautiful, I wanted to do it too.”
By the time she was in Grade 12, and living in Nelson, she earned the school’s literature award for the year.
Throughout her life, Carleton lived in various communities around B.C., including Canoe for five years, Sicamous, Lillooet, Kelowna, Vancouver, Prince George, Quesnel, Fort St. John, and Nelson.
Her jobs have been as varied as the places she has lived in: from an executive assistant at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver to a medic in the oil patches and now, safety advisor at BC Hydro.
Her literary tastes are somewhat eclectic, but her love of sci-fi goes back a long way.
“I’ve always been fascinated by aliens, even as a small child,” she says. “When Star Trek came out I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one thinking like that.”
Carleton will be reading from The Dragons of Nibiru at Books and Company on Reid Street on Friday, Oct. 13 from 12:30 to 3 p.m.