Move Over Tolkien: Author Jayel Gibson Proves Epic Fantasy Isn't A Boys Club Anymore

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Author Jayel Gibson promotes female friendly fantasy books. Unlike most fantasy epics, women drive the storylines and hold positions of power in Jayel Gibson’s writing.

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I tend to choose confrontation over withdrawal, which is not very often how we see women portrayed in literature. Cwen would never sit back and let a man fight for her.

Popular heroes throughout the history of the fantasy fiction genre have had three things in common: they’re male, they have a big sword and they have a damsel to save. As far back as the Knights of the Roundtable, medieval and fantasy-themed tales have idealized the heroic male action figure. With more and more women becoming interested in fantasy fiction and role-playing games, such as the Final Fantasy phenomenon, it’s time the genre moved past the macho heroes and featured strong female characters.

Author Jayel Gibson ushers in a new era of fantasy fiction from an uncompromisingly feminine point of view with her new book, The Wrekening, An Ancient Mirrors Tale (Synergy Books, September 2006, ISBN 1-933538-30-9, $14.95). Gibson was driven to create this platform for fearless females in fantasy because of her own past frustrations with the genre.

“I have been a long-time fan of fantasy, but as a woman in a genre dominated mostly by men, I’ve often felt as if I were on the outside looking in, “says Gibson. “Popular fiction tells women to look to a male hero for protection and for power, when it actually lies within themselves.”

The Wrekening’s main character is the viciously independent heroine, Cwen of Aaradan, a flaming-haired, fiery-tempered rogue who refused her destiny to be a Guardian like her parents. However, when the presence of an evil army buried deep beneath the earth threatens her homeland, it is up to Cwen and her companions to destroy the shards that would unleash the dark force upon the land of Aedracmorae.

Unlike most fantasy epics, women drive the storylines and hold positions of power in Gibson’s writing -- not only in Cwen’s case, but also in the ruler of Aedracmorae: the Dragon Queen. Gibson says she draws much of her inspiration for these powerful women from inside herself.

“I am a very determined, self assured woman, like Cwen,” says Gibson of the motivations behind the character. “I tend to choose confrontation over withdrawal, which is not very often how we see women portrayed in literature. Cwen would never sit back and let a man fight for her.”

Gibson, a former grade school teacher in California, currently lives in Port Orford, Ore., with her husband, a pet cockatoo and five sugar gliders -- a small type of marsupial. An accomplished author, Gibson often speaks at conferences, including Wordstock and the South Coast Writers Conference. For more information, visit the Ancient Mirrors website.

To set up an interview with Jayel Gibson or request a review copy of The Wrekening please contact Amy Currie of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists at (512) 478-2028 ext 211.

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