Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Robin Nyström.

About Robin Nyström

Robin Nyström is a Swedish-born writer/director residing in Los Angeles, CA.

His latest project Tracy Buckles is an award-winning fantasy comedy web series. It’s been described as Harry Potter with an R-rated kick, and it stars newcomer Ana Lake as a kick-ass female lead. Across 6 fast-paced episodes, the series delivers not only magic spells and wicked witches, but also a good deal of swearing and a bit of weed-smoking.

Watch all episodes of Tracy Buckles on the official website:

http://www.tracybuckles.com

or on Vimeo:

https://vimeo.com/album/5807934

GUEST POST: Inspired to Believe by Robin Nyström

I've always loved fantasy. It’s a literary form that fills the reader with a sense of wonder. It reveals that magic is not unknowable but simply unknown, like an unseen and unspoken truth.

All we have to do is give ourselves permission to believe.

When I was fourteen years old, Neil Gaiman came to visit a local science fiction bookstore in my hometown. I lined up with about fifty strangers who were all ecstatic to meet the world-renowned author. Gaiman wore his signature leather jacket as he read an excerpt from a story and signed copies of his newly released novel American Gods.

There I was, standing face-to-face with my biggest idol. To my dismay, I found myself quite paralyzed—a gargoyle version of my human self. Gaiman looked at me with a kind smile. He asked me how I was doing. I mumbled an incoherent response. To his credit, Gaiman did not seem to mind my debilitating shyness. He signed my book and handed it to me so I could slink away from the embarrassing encounter.

As I escaped onto the street outside the store, I tore the book open and took a good look at the first page. A couple of inches above Neil Gaiman’s distinctive signature, the author had scribbled a single word in blue ink:

Believe.

I'm sure that Gaiman has written that same word in many a book throughout his career. Nonetheless, as a young boy I was convinced that the word was a secret message devised specifically for me. I had been given permission to believe in the boundless magic of stories and imagination.

Many years later, I had the opportunity to write and direct my own web series. In the spirit of Neil Gaiman’s formidable one-word instruction, I decided to create a story that required its audience to believe. The result became the award-winning fantasy comedy web series Tracy Buckles. It’s a show that is chock-full of spells and curses and witches and wizards.

Tracy Buckles takes place in a contemporary world, much like our own, where magic is an integral part of everyday life. In the first episode, our twenty-something main character Tracy conjures a purple flame from her bare hand by uttering a spell that she finds in a book. Since magic is such a common practice, Tracy can easily learn how to wield a simple spell, just like someone could learn how to strum a basic chord on the guitar.

Later in the episode, we encounter Tracy’s old high school friend Janie Cunningham, who is a much more experienced spellcaster. In fact, she’s a Level 9 Superior Black Mage. In other words, Janie is like the Jimi Hendrix of magic. Her talent is undeniable and awe-inspiring when she performs her powerful spells.

The web series is centered around a conflict between Tracy and Janie that can be traced back to the night of their senior prom. The quarrel results in Tracy being struck by a despicable curse. She must join forces with a nameless drifter and a bumbling wizard to free herself from the evil sorcery.

Throughout the making of this project, I was motivated by the idea of creating a story that was limited only by the elasticity of our imaginations. Tracy Buckles was produced on limited resources amassed by a group of close friends. We pooled our talents together, borrowed gear and equipment, and begged for help when it was needed in order to tell our story of magical misadventures.

So come along, if you will. Cross the threshold and step into the world of Tracy Buckles. Just be sure to leave your disbelief at the door.

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