The Story Behind Rhapsody by David Lundgren

Born in Zimbabwe (called Rhodesia back then), I was an only child in a world that was lacking TV but absolutely loaded to the brim with astonishing landscapes and a mixture of wonderful and terrifying creatures (charging hippos, leaping crocodiles, and – worst of all – the absurdly evil spiders). Devouring books as a young boy, I roamed the worlds of Eddings, Adams, Jordan, Pratchett and Tolkien (to name but a few), and as Rhapsody 2my fledgling imagination began to spread its wings, I found myself wanting to do my own thing, create my own story – something I think, as humans, we are are uniquely built and driven to do. And so the recording began: every novel idea, every stroke of genius, every random, brilliant (ahem), wacky notion that came to my head, all written down on whatever was handy (more often than not the back of school worksheets in classes that disappointed me with their lack of terrorizing dragons, marauding spaceships, or suitably debonair heroes).

Music has always been a passion and a love for me, and it was no coincidence that I chose it as the medium for the ‘magic’ in The Melforger Chronicles trilogy. It has always held a sacred and fundamental role in human history – in every culture that exists or has ever existed (there are bone-flutes over forty thousand years old!), and I loved the vitalizing way it weaved itself into the world I had built, creating what I think is a a really unique and original story. This world, one of fascinating and daunting settings, is very much based on my experiences; from the harsh, savannah-like plains of Zimbabwe, to the vast and desolate Saharan desert, to the intense and crowded third-world cities. Even the inspiration for the enormous, four-hundred-yard-tall trees of the Forest (inside which the foresters actually dwell) are extracted from fond childhood memories of camping.

Raf, the sixteen year old boy at the heart of the story, is a school-leaver and forced to deal with the challenges of both growing up and dealing with the responsibility his ‘talent’ gives him – particularly stressful as his Forest home is dying, collapsing, and he is the only one who can put things right.

The trilogy (of which Rhapsody is the concluding book) pulls together my love of nature and music – and of sheer action-packed adventure – crafting it into a story that I hope encapsulates the fun, danger, comedy and sheer excitement that I experienced growing up.


David LundgrenDavid Lundgren was born in “a pokey town in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia)” and spent the first 18 years of his life there. He grew up in an environment “that seemed to combine the best elements of both an American and English heritage with a hybrid African lifestyle.” Lundgren is also a musician, which gave him the creative spark to create the Melforger series. He spends his time in San Francisco “teaching, enjoying frequent – and often frustrating – games of tennis, trying to learn the blues on piano, attacking Sudoku puzzles with relish, and attempting to make some headway with the ever-increasing pile of books that is waiting patiently at my bedside, developing its own gravity.”

His latest book is the fantasy/science fiction, Rhapsody.

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