J. Aislynn d'Merricksson
Allemerra! That’s ‘hello’ in Argosian. Argoth is one of the countries of the world of De Sikkari, where my Evalyce novels take place. It is a vibrant world, as real to me as the mundane world here. The ‘J’ in my name stands for Julianna, but I prefer Aislynn.
I have a degree in anthropology you see. I approach my writing from the viewpoint of an anthropologist. My sister calls me a ‘biblioanthropologist’. I like the word. It fits perfectly! What are writers but consummate anthropologists? Writers must employ the skills of the ethnographer, the cultural anthropologist, the archaeologist, the linguist, and sometimes even the psychologist and the naturalist in order to weave their stories. I do not craft this world. I merely found the key to it and happen to have the skills (and courage) to share it with others.
I was destined for a career in forensic anthropology. A medical issue thwarted those plans and I ended up with a bachelor’s in archaeology, and later a master’s and a doctorate in philosophy. Along the crooked path away from what I found familiar, and into the unknown, I discovered a knack for poetry, and a gift for writing. I’ve honed these raw skills to something worth sharing, and found the key to a world I’ve fallen in love with.
There was a decade-long love affair with teaching, in which I crafted many of my own classes related to mythic studies, anthropology, archaeology, and ethics. My favourite class crafting was for an intro to mythology class. I did not want a boring listing such as Intro to Mythology. So…. I tweeted several famous people, authors, actors, and the like, the question- what would you name a class on mythology if you wanted to be creative. The last person I ever expected to respond was Mark Sheppard (Crowley on Supernatural. His response was ‘Bob’. So I took the challenge, and in the end, I had a class called BoB, a gift from the King of Hell. The full name was Blessing of Bragi, Bragi being the poet and keeper of stories in Norse mythology.
An observant person may notice that my eyes are heterochromatic. One is blue and one is hazel. Now, true heterochromia is rare. In my case it is a personal choice. That medical issue was a serious one. At the age of twenty, I lost my right eye and had prosthesis put in. That gave me the opportunity to express my eccentricity and insist on an eye that was a different colour. It also forced me to confront one of my greatest fears- that of losing my eyesight altogether.
I think I have Loki to thank for that. I follow a Norse spiritual path called Rokkatru. Brother Wildfire always has lessons for me. Fun fact- Loki is also known as the Lord of Laughter. My lessons generally are to teach me to laugh at the mild or major setbacks in life. It’s a lesson I’m slowly learning.
My crooked path has led me to a wonderful home in Northern California, where I live with my sister, bond-brother, bond-mate, niece, two adopted teens, and two kitty cats. Yes, we have a large house! Sometimes it feels a little crowded, but most often it is nice to have the closeness of family.
I spend my nights as an innkeep, which usually gives me ample time to write, or to read. I love to read! I was an early reader and I always have a book with me. That’s a passion that lead me to becoming a professional book reviewer, freelancing for several review groups such as the San Francisco Book Review. Such bliss! Paid to read! What could be better?
Synmerra! That’s good-bye in Argosian :)
Feel free to stop by Port Jericho! Always happy to see new people.