Why is sixteen important?

In an earlier chapter, we saw that Matthew, Laura’s boyfriend, has mainly human genes, but he also has reptile and witch genes. Two months younger than our heroine, Laura, he is about to have his sixteenth birthday. What will happen then? Follow along, with the next chapter, at A Birthday. Or find all earlier chapters here, at Golden Threads.

Do you read science fiction, fantasy, or paranormal fiction? If so, you’ll realize that the author has complete control of the world you’re reading about. I, as a reader, love that, don’t you? From J. R. Tolkien, with the Lord of the Rings, to Harry Potter, to Dune, and on and on, the author makes up rules, places, beings, magic – whatever they want – and pulls us into his or her fantasy.
It all starts when we’re little, and we are exposed to the old woman who lives in a shoe, or Humpty Dumpty. Humans make things up; things that can never happen in the mundane world we live in. We love creating, imagining, soaring.

So, back to my question at the top. Why do those with the right genes potentially turn into witches on their sixteenth birthday in Golden Threads? I don’t actually know. I suspect that I ran into the idea elsewhere, in another book (was it Diskworld? Years ago I devoured those novels, they are so funny), but it it popped into my head when I was drafting the first chapter. I turned it over in my mind for a day or so and decided that I liked it: it fit perfectly into the plot. It’s like any other idea, they sometimes seem to come from nowhere, but they may indeed have roots in things we were once exposed to. I’ll leave it up to you to figure it out, the same way that people have endlessly dissected the roots of J. R. Tolkien’s characters and plot.

How about you? What worlds have you invented?

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