Odellia Firebird - An Engaging Fantasy With a Positive Worldview
Author of the Book series "Tyal the Daughter of Flames", Odellia has written and bootstrap-produced two indie movies. Both her book series and indie movies "A Page in the Saga" and "The Blessed, the Cursed and the Forgotten One" can be found on Amazon. Odellia is an artist versed in multiple, inter-connected arts including drawing, writing, crafting and video. Born idealist, she dreams of a world where everyone is judged by the content of their character, rather than their gender or cultural background. She created stories that reflect the coming of age and self-discovery issues via gender and culturally-diverse characters with real-world problems. Odellia has a BA in English and a Film & TV degree. As our Author of the Day,
Please give us a short introduction to what Tyal The Daughter of Flames is about.
It’s about self-discovery, reaching your full potential, and staying true to yourself despite the things life throws at you. It’s about overcoming obstacles, remembering that the sun shines no matter how hard the storm is, and believing you have the strength to go through it all.
Was there anything in particular that inspired this story?
As I child I felt left out by the narratives that trended in stories. All the cool superheroes were male, and the female ones were generally made after a previously male character. I wanted to see the rise of a female hero that was her own, so I created my own. I wanted to see a character that would redefine what it is to be feminine. By all that defined girls, I was a “tomboy”. However, I do not like that term because it insinuates that being strong, assertive, and able to take charge are not female qualities, and they should be. Xena was one of my favorite TV heroes, but for every Xena, there are dozens of Hercules. I refused to give. For me, letting those who shun me, affect my life, would mean letting them win. I could not do that. So I turned to illustrations and writing. With time, these were the pillars upon which I built what is now The Daughter of Flames Chronicles, so girls like me can have a smart, ass-kicking character there to inspire them through whatever they are going through.
You have written and bootstrap-produced two indie movies. How has this influenced your writing?
It’s more that the books influenced the films. Everything I do goes back to my book series. The films were an attempt at creating something with no budget that still exists within the Daughter of Flames world. Both films are in modern times, so easier to shoot with zero budget, while still being in the same fantastical world. The first movie I made, is a parallel story while the second production was an attempt to take a piece of the Daughter of Flames story and bring it to life. That second film led to a lengthy feature script, turned into series, project I am trying to find funding for.
I have published 3 of 5 books of the series. Technically it’s a 6 book series now because I turned the script back into a novel and is part of the same story arc in some ways. Yes, it’s complicated.
And my writing circles back to my drawings, which started this whole thing… so I’m creating now a Narrative series where each character narrates their part of the story, accompanied by illustrations and light animations (all done on my iPad). Took me 3 years of work:
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Outside filmmaking, photography, illustration and acting, which are part of the whole writing package… I did karate for 5 years. I love swimming and I am like a fish in the sea. I play the piano to a medium level based on a few years of learning as a child. I had stopped playing for years but I am getting back on that horse with the help of an app on my iPad.
Why did you decide to throw the Dragon Empire into the mix?
Every good hero needs a nemesis, otherwise, there’s no story, right?
The heroine basically falls into this conflict she never knew existed. This is partly because I wanted the reader to discover the world and what’s going on with the lead character. I am not a fan of fantasy stories that throw terms and concepts as if the reader should already know this. So, what better way to ease the reader into it, than with the character learning about all these things?
Why I picked the name? I am a Playmobil fanatic. I bought the original medieval series back in the mid-90s. The “baddy” had a tower with a dragon flag on it. But it grew to something much bigger than that. But that will be revealed in the later books (4-5), when the final confrontation will begin!
Is there something that compels you to write? And do you find that writing helps you achieve clarity about yourself or ideas you've been struggling with?
But yes, my personal life and experience did influence the character. Strangely, there are similarities with stuff that happened to me long after I wrote them. I guess in some ways, we all go through tough times in life, and can relate it back to stories that focus on overcoming struggles.
When writing from these sorts of perspectives, did you feel you had to sidestep certain stereotypes?
I was trying to play and defeat stereotypes. The whole point of the story is to go against trends or criticize them in some way.
Did you write the books for yourself, or do you write them with a particular reader/audience in mind?
At this point in my life, I do write them for myself. But I wanted to write them for all the outcasts, misunderstood mutants, and witches. Isn’t that how we feel when we feel like we don’t belong anywhere? You have mainly two types of people in the world, those who try to fit in and pretend they’re something they’re not, and those who don’t and are shunned by their peers. I write for the latter.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I’m not hard to find on social media but the best way to contact me is messaging me on my facebook page /odelliafirebird or emailing me through one of my websites.