I was ten years old, holding a golden Nintendo cartridge in my hands. The first time I’d lost myself in fantasy maps was when I discovered Dad’s old Lord of the Rings paperbacks. But everything was about to change for me.
I didn’t play The Legend of Zelda to win. I played it to explore. With colored pencils and an old piece of graph paper, I mapped the 8-bit world of Hyrule. When I ran out of paper, I taped on new segments. I kept it in my back pocket and took it to school with me, unfolding it at every chance to plan my next adventure. I dreamed of filling out those blank spaces and wondered what I would find there.
Oh boy, I had no idea where that little folded up map would lead me. I guess I could’ve found myself mapping Antarctica or outer space or the bottom of the ocean. But I dislike the snow, am extremely claustrophobic, and am terrified of being out to sea. So I explore fantasy novels.