I began telling stories as soon as I learned to talk, began scribbling them down as soon as a teacher put a pencil in my hand. Sixty years later, I am still inventing them. This may be one of them.
As a child, I read everything that came within reading distance, with interests that were always changing as one book or series after another caught my imagination. If my parents or teachers handed me a book and said, “You will probably like this,” I read it and they were usually right. Gradually, my interest began to center around historical novels (seasoned with the occasional mystery). Then, in my late teens, I discovered the works of Andre Norton, C. S. Lewis, T. H. White, and J. R. R. Tolkien, and my love affair with fantasy and science fiction began.
Editing out all the ordinary, boring parts (because who wants to read about those?), my life sounds rather interesting. I met my husband at our local Renaissance Faire, where I was working as a Tarot reader and he was part of a group putting on demonstrations of medieval tourney combat. We were married eight months later, in costume, in my parents’ back yard. The next several years of my life were devoted to the Society for Creative Anachronism. Then the urge to write came back, stronger than ever, and I decided to stop spending my weekends camping out in pavilions, stay home, and channel some of that energy into fiction.
Since then, my career has been a varied one, making puppets, reading tea leaves, working in a crafts store, and writing eleven fantasy novels under my own name and my pseudonym, Madeline Howard … meanwhile living in a state of cheerful chaos with my husband and four children. (Perhaps not always so cheerful — but beyond all doubt chaotic.)
Some people consider us an unusual family. In school, my youngest daughter was the only child in her class to be able to identify a griffin. As I write this, my son is out in the garage making armor. At Halloween, you’ll find our living room decorated with hundreds of paper bats. One Christmas I decided to recreate Narnia in our dining room. (It’s a well-kept secret that we live in the suburbs, have a reverse mortgage, and my husband worked thirty years for the telephone company.)
And for the crucial question, “Do they have pets? How can she be a fantasy writer and not have pets”? The Edgertons have always supported a large flock of dogs.