Motivations: Princess of Amathar

Princess of AmatharI began writing Princess of Amathar so long ago, it’s really difficult to remember what I was thinking at the time. It was about 1980 and I was just about two years out of high school. I began writing several stories in short chapters, rotating between them. One was a fantasy story about an alternate world, one was a fantasy story set in a dream world (which I later used as the white opthalium drug-induced world for Senta and the Steel Dragon), but most of them were fan fiction sequels to Edgar Rice Burroughs Books. Finally there was Amathar.

My idea behind Amathar was to write a book that ERB might write if he was still around at the time. In that way, Princess of Amathar, more than any of my other books, was written as a book I would really want to read. As the years passed and the story was revised, it became more of a love-letter to the fond memories I had reading John Carter of Mars, Pellucidar, and Carson of Venus as a kid.

I still have the original first chapter draft and the story is quite different than the final version. Our earth hero arrives mysteriously in Ecos, though he doesn’t have the same name and he doesn’t meet Malagor. Instead he immediately finds a family of neo-luddite Amatharians whose daughter has been captured by Zoasians. The book changed again and again over the years. Alexander got his first name after I wrote a college paper on Alexander the Great, and his last name from a girl I worked with at Kmart.

By 1994, when I started teaching, the book was only half done. I worked really hard to finish it and did so about 1997. Many of the characters and alien races were named after kids in school, though in revision they were usually changed. It went through many revisions after that and it got many rejection letters from publishers, before I finally published it in 2007. The ebook came out in 2009.

Princess of Amathar has sold a little over 1,000 copies– not one of my best-sellers.  Still, it holds a special place in my heart as the beginning of my writing career, and I still enjoy reading it.

3 thoughts on “Motivations: Princess of Amathar

  1. Apparently I am one of the thousand who bought the book Princess of Amathar and I can’t believe that is all who did. I found it very good with an unlimited potential for stories in that Dyson World.
    I do think it would have been wise to create moving sun shields to allow for day and night. Perhaps a retcon of shields malfunctioning and stuck on the other side of the Star? Alexander might impulsively push a few buttons? Results could make life interesting. But hindsight is always clearer and I’m not the author, you are, Mr Allison.
    I for one would love more of Amathar if you could find it in your heart.
    Thank you sir for all of your hard work and imagination, and I look forward to all your future flights of fancy. Thanks for letting me tag along on all of them so far.

  2. Thank you for your kind words and support. You have no idea how much it means to me. As I’ve mentioned online, I have several chapters of an Amathar sequel written, so this could well be the year I get back to it. Thanks again for writing.

    • You are quite welcome sir. I have all of your works so far and have enjoyed them all.
      I am cheered to hear that my mind may trod the streets and powered walkways of Amathar again with Alexander in the future.
      This old man appreciates the flavor of the old classics I grew up with that flows through your prose. It is uncommon in today’s world. The tenor of the hopeful future to come underlies it all even when the story’s present is dark. That is very hard to do Mr Allison, and you make it seem effortless though nothing could be further from the truth.
      Please know that your heart’s work is valued and appreciated by many people out here in the mundane world.
      May your pen’s ink ever flow cleanly and your creative vision never cease to inspire everyone around you.
      Sincerely,
      Philip Tremblay

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