By her grandmother’s side, Jayel Gibson listened with eager anticipation as her grandmother wove traditional Celtic folklore and fairy tales into stories. These tales fascinated and captivated her imagination, greatly influencing the direction of her own writing and storytelling. This love for mythology drove Gibson to eventually craft the “Ancient Mirrors Tales,” a series of fantasy novels that delve into an ancient, magical world where humans live alongside dragons and wizards.
Gibson holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Multicultural Studies from National University in San Diego. In 1989, she became an elementary school teacher in Escondido, California, where she taught the fourth and fifth grades. During her time in Escondido, she was a two-time “Teacher of the Year” recipient for the Escondido Union School District. In 2003, Gibson retired from teaching to wholly pursue her passion for writing. Using the seedlings of her grandmother’s Celtic tales and alternate worlds, Gibson formed the “Ancient Mirrors Tales,” which include The Wrekening, Dragon Queen, Damselflies, and Quondam.
The final chapter of the four-part, epic-adventure series, “Ancient Mirrors Tales,” features strong female characters who do not hesitate to stand up for themselves. The final instalment, Quondam (Synergy Books, May 2008, ISNB 1-933538-83-X), follows Cwen of Aedracmorae who has fallen into a mysterious world, called Quondam, where she must face tragedy and heartbreak that leads her into the middle of devastating war. Fighting to unseat the wood nymph queen, she finally restores order and magic to Quondam. Gibson’s interest in history and folklore is woven throughout the tale to create an otherworldly, yet authentic experience.
Through her research into Celtic and Anglo-Saxon cultures, Gibson’s “Ancient Mirrors” enchants readers in a world and time unlike their own. Quondam and the other tales are also grounded in elements gleaned from the world of role-playing games. Gibson draws much of her inspiration for her stories from video game designer, long-time friend and fellow gamer Sean W. Anderson.
“The first ‘Ancient Mirrors Tale’ began as a short story for Sean’s website,” Gibson says. “Nine pages in I decided that I really wanted to create a more in-depth story and merged my love for both fantasy fiction and gaming. They come from very different traditions, but the two go hand in hand.
In addition to a full-time writing career, Gibson serves as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Oregon Community College, where she teaches courses on novel writing. Gibson currently resides in Port Orford, Oregon, with her husband, Ken, and five pet sugar gliders – a small type of marsupial. She is a popular conference speaker at events like Wordstock and the South Coast Writers Conference, and is the online book moderator for Realms of Fantasy magazine.
Quondam was awarded the 2008 National Indie Excellence Award in the fantasy and sci-fi category. Gibson received a 2007 Writer’s Digest Book Award Honorable Mention for her previous novel, Damselflies, and the series received two USA Book News finalist awards. She has been a contributor for Education.com and Thefatherlife.com.