About Mike Rickard
Mike was born in a little village just north of the River Humber and grew up just south of it in Grimsby. He experimented with becoming a fantasy author early on with his Father’s electric typewriter, trying to write a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book with limited success. In his 20’s he studied Computer Science at the University of Lincoln at the Hull campus, moving to Hull for his final year. He has also lived in Altrincham and Bristol, and now lives in Ely with his wife, daughter and 2 cats.
Mike has had jobs as diverse as 999 emergency operator; IT Technician; Health Food store manager; and hospital equipment delivery driver, to name just a few.
As a young man, Mike mostly followed his Father’s penchant for Sci-Fi, marvelling over art books of spaceships painted by Chris Foss and others and reading everything from . As children, when his cousin was reading Tolkien for example, Mike was reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. When his cousin read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Mike read Neuromancer and Snow Crash. They both read Dune, which goes to show what a great genre-spanning novel it is. He has since read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, but has yet to dive into Lord Foul’s Bane.
Mike considers himself to be a geek – A lifelong love of the art form of Comics and graphic novels, Computer and Videogames, Science-Fiction and Star Wars attest to this and has since been bolstered by a passion for all things Dungeons and Dragons, (Mike played his first game in his 40’s and became instantly hooked,) and Fantasy in general, particularly in books and RPG video games.
Some of his favourite authors include: Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Patrick Rothfuss, Ray Bradbury, and many others.
He is also very into music, particularly heavy metal, (and particularly in particular: metalcore, industrial, thrash, death metal and pretty much anything with a double kick pedal or a blast beat over a crushing breakdown.) but also enjoys punk, jazz, classical and selected pop. He despises modern pop R&B, although likes original Rhythm and Blues. He sings occasionally and will surprise people by dancing better than a man of his age and size has any right to. He has an aversion to musicals that borders on the pathological.
He is also an accomplished studio photographer, and spends some of his time shooting portraits for clients.
Long ago, long before even I was made, before the seas and the sky, before the land – before the world, there were The Gods and The Void. At that time, The Gods were everything that was, and the Void was everything that wasn’t.
The Gods wanted something other than each other to talk to and so set about devising a plan of what they would create and how they would go about it. They decided to make the world, but couldn’t decide what form it should take.
Most of the gods came up with grand ideas – Maurnherm wanted a collection of floating lands, linked together by huge braided chains of magic, forming bridges in the aether between. Bellviila wanted hanging gardens of course – lush and verdant, where water could fall between. Ichphiosus wanted only water, a suspended globe filled with fish and creatures that had no need for air. This of course angered Espiridian, goddess of the air, who felt the world should just be a rolling bank of clouds.
And so it would have gone on, into forever, with the gods arguing amongst themselves which was the better way to build the world, if it had not been for Elmantus. Elmantus, being the wisest of all the gods, threw a lightning bolt into the void, providing the impetus for creation. Holding the other end, Elmantus drew forth the world from that great nothing, while the other gods squabbled and their attention was diverted. Elmantus shaped the world with both intuition and wisdom. Appearing as a wise man, Elmantus set the firmament and hung the sky above it. He raised the mountains and chained fire inside the world with magic, to make it turn. Appearing as a woman, Elmantus blew the air into the sky, so that clouds could caress the mountaintops. She cried tears onto the land and formed the oceans and as the water ran from the high places of the world, in its wake sprang forth lush and green vegetation – a garden the like of which had never even been imagined. And then, together as both wise man and intuitive maiden, Elmantus created the fish of the sea and the animals of the forest.
It was at this point, that the other gods noticed what Elmantus had been doing, and they were delighted with what they saw. Each had been listened to, their designs forming part of the whole. From falling water to rolling clouds, to airless creatures frolicking in the deeps of the oceans. ‘But where is your design in all this splendour?’ they enquired of Elmantus, ‘What have you made for yourself Elmantus?’
Elmantus smiled, and uncovered a portion of the world that had been under her hand. Underneath were the first of the Elmar, tall and strong.
– Torrell, recounting the myth of how Feld was created.