It’s more than just the name of a book, or a protagonist, more than a warrior, more than a man. Imaro is a force.
Before I knew that there were blacks in fantasy, Imaro existed. When I was writing my own fantastic tales, stuck creating blonde-haired blue-eyed heroes, Imaro was there.
It wasn’t until I became aware that there were others like me, others who thirsted for a little splash of color to be added to their worlds that I knew Imaro existed. Even though I’d been raised on Legolas’ ethereal beauty, and Belgarion and his practical, otherworldly sensibilities, and even Drizzt, with his skin blacker than mine, but his soul nowhere near, I thirsted, even as much as those before me thirsted.
Imaro had been looking for me. Imaro had been searching, plying different paths to my spirit, calling out to me across the ether. Imaro wanted to share with me, wanted to feed me, wanted me to know that a massive shift was nigh, a move toward changing the face of fiction…a shift that began years before I was born, a decade before I even learned how to write. And, being the relentless force that he is, Imaro found me.
I am glad Imaro found me. I am glad that I had the mind to go out into the unkown and meet Imaro, much like my characters (Imaro inspired creatures that they are) feel their way out into the expanses of my mindscape and carve out their own niches.
In his own right, Imaro is a revolutionary. Even more so is Charles Saunders, the godmind from which Imaro sprang ready to blaze a path to me twenty years later. Nyumbani calls to me, urges me to create, create, create, reassures me that Oloush-we is not a foolish dream.
I strive to do Imaro justice, just as much as any Sword and Soul practitioner does when they sit down to spin tales. If I can give to Imaro half of what he’s given to me, and in such a short time, then I will have done well.