William D. Hutcherson
Local artists and craftsmen are often overlooked and underappreciated, especially by their community. The purpose of these articles is to shed some light on the local flavor that Jessamine and Fayette counties have to offer. This month, we take a look at author/filmmaker Stephen Zimmer. I’ve known Stephen for a little over six years now, and he is one of the most interesting individuals I’ve ever come across. From a young age, he enjoyed reading and writing, a love instilled in him through his parents. Stephen’s father would improvise stories, making up fantastic tales off the top of his head, and his mother read to him classic fantasy such as the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, two authors who later would be counted among his major inspirations. Stephen knew he wished to walk the path of a storyteller in his late high school years. In 2008, he published a book called The Exodus Gate, the first in what would become the Rising Dawn saga. A year later, he published the Crown of Vengeance, the first in the Fires of Eden saga. He continued to release two more novels in each of these series, as well as contributing work to several short story anthologies published by the same company as the two series, Seventh Star Press. In 2013, a convention that Stephen and many others envisioned and organized debuted in Louisville. The Imaginarium Convention was founded with the intention of drawing creative writers and independent filmmakers of all skill levels and giving them an affordable environment to experience the camaraderie and mentoring that he believes is so important to becoming the best author or best filmmaker you can be. In 2014, however, a health scare after enduring much personal tragedy in his life that put his writing on hold influenced him to begin the journey to return to physical fitness through martial arts and intense physical training. During this, he was able to return to his writing, and begin the journey of his most important character. Heart of a Lion, released in February of 2015 as the first in the Dark Sun Dawn trilogy, returned to the tale of a character that previously appeared in his short story, All the Lands and Nowhere A Home. This character, Rayden Valkyrie, is what drove him through that dark period, ‘onward and upward’ as he likes to say, and now is beginning pre-production on a television pilot based on Rayden’s adventures. If you are interested in finding more about Stephen’s work, find him on Twitter and Facebook. For more information on Imaginarium go to http://www.entertheimaginarium.com/.