Hi, I’m A.B. Shepherd. You can call me Abie. You may have read my prepared bio. A bit boring isn’t it? Although maybe you frowned a bit, or even scoffed when you read the part about my imaginary friends. That’s okay, because really, they aren’t exactly imaginary. They are merely inanimate - at least to you. To me, they are as real as you are.
The first thing you might want to know about me is that I tend to be just a little bit delusional. I’m not outright cray-cray. (Don’t you hate that term?) I just prefer to live in a fantasy world most of the time. My husband Pete lives in my fantasy world too. I dragged him in here kicking and screaming, but once he adjusted to it he’s quite happy here. Or so he tells me as he pats me on my head.
We aren’t the only residents here in my little Fantasyland. Oh no. That would be boring, don’t you think? We have friends here. More like adopted family. My boys.
You haven’t made up your mind yet as to my mental health? You want to know about my boys? Okay I’ll tell you.
Charlie is a puppy. He was the first of the boys to join Pete and me in Fantasyland. Charlie may, or may not, have run some strip clubs when he and I lived in the States before we moved to Australia. Pete says he did, but I don’t think so. Charlie is far too sweet and innocent for such an unsavoury lifestyle. He’s a good boy. Aren’t you Chuckles? Yes, you are. Yes, you are.
Next came PopTart. Now I know what you are thinking - PopTart is a very strange name for a little koala, but it suits him. PopTart adopted me at the airport the day I arrived in Australia as a resident. He is a cheeky little buggar and if the boys get up to mischief you can bet PopTart is the ringleader. Always up to tricks, that one. But it is usually harmless fun. Although he is apparently under contract to tamper with Pete’s socks, twisting them as Pete walks around the house sans shoes. Pete has begged and threatened him, but a contract is a contract.
PopTart and Charlie formed a fast and loyal friendship - they are mates through and through. Both of them desperately want to be ninjas and have declared Pete to be their Sensei. He teaches them the art of sword fighting, sneaking around in the dark, making themselves invisible, and other useful ninja skills. One of their favourite ninja training lessons is swinging from the Hills Hoist.
Their favourite food is Hungry Jacks (the Australian equivalent of Burger King). They demand we drive them there at least once a day, but we very rarely indulge them. I think sometimes they sneak the car out at night while we sleep. If they are desperate and Hungry Jacks is closed they settle for Maccas (McDonald’s). They both have acting careers where they’ve made a ton of money, but they have hidden it away in offshore accounts. They are also trying to establish careers as hit men. After all, who would suspect cute and cuddly puppies and koalas? But so far their nefarious careers have yet to blossom.
Algeron - or Al for short - was the next to join our happy little family here in Fantasyland. Al is a 900+ year old garden gnome originally from Ireland, or so he says. He isn’t sure of his exact age because he figures once you hit 900 it is impossible to keep track. Al tries to keep PopTart and Charlie in line, and guide them with the wisdom he’s gained in his many years, but he’s usually too busy having tea and a bickie, or taking a nanna nap.
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Tom and Tinkerbell (he prefers to be called Tink) joined the family at the same time. Christmas 2012. Tom is a very famous cat - he even has smartphone apps made in his image for which he collects mega royalties. Tink, on the other hand, is a tiny firefly in a jar. Poor Tink, he’s often left behind. He tries to keep up, but it is really hard for him, especially with that jar to drag around.
And there you have it. Collectively, these are my boys. Oh the stories I could tell you of their adventures! They get up to such high jinx! They keep telling me they’d like me to write their adventures and publish them as a book, but so far I haven’t done it. I’d need to change the names to protect them all, and there are so many stories it would be impossible to choose.
Oh! I neglected to mention that Pete is a dark lord, and my boys are his minions. They are frequently running here and there around the world doing his bidding. This is where the ninja skills come in handy. At least when the boys don’t get distracted, and run off playing. Tom has been learning ninja skills as well. He’s got some catching up to do.
But I’ll have to save their adventures for another time. Or maybe I’ll write them in a book one day after all. I’m running out of space in this tiny article!
As you can see, my world of fantasy is one full of fun, silliness, laughter, and sometimes harrowing adventure.
Cass, my heroine in Lifeboat, lives in a darker, sadder, and scarier world. If you like suspense and science fiction, her world is a great one to visit, and I sincerely hope you will.
Read an excerpt from Lifeboat
I like to venture into the darker worlds from time to time, but I don’t like to stay there. Life can be dark enough.
For me, on a daily basis, I prefer to be right here - with Pete and my boys - where there is love and laugher - in my very own Fantasyland.
Now that you know about my life, tell me about you. Do you prefer real life? Or do you live in a fantasy world too?
A.B. Shepherd grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but moved to Australia once her children had grown and empty nest syndrome set in.website * Twitter * Facebook
She now lives in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, with her husband and their imaginary friends.
A.B. loves living near the Southern Ocean and often finds it inspiring. She can usually be found seaside at Port MacDonnell, or lost in a fantasy world.
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