H. A. Byrd

About

Mythical creatures attended Harriet Arden Byrd in her youth, fostering an active imagination which refuses to be suppressed by adulthood. Free from concerns about fashion, Harriet shows respect for cultural and literary tradition and for the lessons about tolerance which history provides us all.

As an author of magical journeys that adults can enjoy, in often humorous and sometimes visionary escape from reality, Harriet feeds the spirit and offers relatable magic.

For the first thirty-odd years of her life, Harriet experienced existential depression in the form of a deep frustration about the great mysteries: the purpose of existence, the nature of reality. Then she had children, a move which both amplified her sense of humor and taught her patience. She learned again to explore the world with wonder in her eyes. For better or worse, as time went by she claimed her place as a formidable female with strong opinions.

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Aru’s Realm

As she steps through the doorway into womanhood, Aru must leave behind everyone she’s ever known.

Now she must find her way in a world where others have control of her life. With the help—and hindrance—of the friends she makes, Aru unravels the secrets of a mysterious sorcerer’s interest in her and her strange abilities.

Will her courage and creative thinking be enough when this journey places the fate of multiple worlds in her hands? No. No it won’t. Although, maybe with the aid of a little magic…

But there is so much more to the tale than the plot alone! It’s a playful journey with details to observe and connections to make. A visually artful story, it is all about color, nuanced textures, and perspective.

Come, enter Aru’s Realm. We all need magic in our lives.


Watch for a sequel to this visionary fantasy novel!

An unusual form of epic or high fantasy, Aru’s Realm may also be considered gaslamp fantasy, absurdist fantasy, and coming of age fantasy. Built on strong female characters and written with gender sensitivity, this old-fashioned, classic style fantasy novel is set in a parallel-world Victorian era and in a peaceful universe.

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Stories Are Here For Us 

Many of us are exhausted, and ready for a breath of fresh air. I know I am. Relaxing with a book can be a source of comfort on several levels.

It is painful but fortunate that our eyes are opening to the reality of the society in which we live. The darker side of human nature has recently accelerated the onslaughts which are a natural result of that darkness. We respond with the light, the love, the brighter side of our humanity. We work together to save us from ourselves, just like in generation after generation of stories.

Our ancestors around the world lived through difficult, sometimes unspeakable events. They shared the wisdom gained from these experiences by telling stories. We have a wealth of knowledge in the form of mythologies, sacred texts and oral traditions. These stories can help us to improve our lives, giving us perspective or adjusting our thinking. They can help us to cope.

In modern thinking, the insect which rested conspicuously on a man’s head for a couple of minutes during political debate did so as a random event. It could have happened to anyone. What are the chances, though, that a bird perched on a candidate’s podium in a crowded venue, and also a fly rested for a couple of minutes on the head of another during a debate? Throughout the ages, small birds have represented clarity, purity of the soul, and new beginnings. Flies have been associated with refuse and corruption. There is a thin line between superstition and usefully noticing these symbols that nature gives us, but our traditional stories and sacred texts are full of them.

Symbols are integral to our lives, our brains recognize them and depend on them for processing information. Traditional knowledge within and across cultural boundaries, expressed through symbols since time out of mind, has woven societies rich with culture. Artful uses of archetypal images such as this bird and fly are a joy to come across in fiction and poetry. These symbols are significant because we use them to interpret what we observe in literature and in life.

Personally, I’ve always had an interest in symbols. Symbolic images in dreams, in artwork and literature (particularly in traditional fantasy) intrigue me. Enthusiasm in recognizing symbols helps the reader to appreciate the story Aru’s Realm both artistically and sociologically.

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