By Kohar Bayizian
Imagine being brought back to a time when knights had to slay dragons to free damsels in distress, when lords and their vassals covered the land, when magic ruled the air.
Well, that’s exactly where you’re sent in Anjelicia Harris’ lastest novel, “Excalibur and the Holy Grail.”
Harris, 46, was born in Woodside and has lived in Glendale for the past nine years along with her husband of 22 years and two teenage children. After graduating from Bryant High School in Astoria, Harris attended Hunter College but later had to drop out due to financial difficulties.
Instead, she took up an apprenticeship at The Roundabout Theatre taking classes in the art of acting, writing and playwrighting. But having a family took precedence.
“I had to put my dreams on hold,” Harris said.
Harris had to support her family, so she enrolled at the Flexer School in Flushing for hairdressing and makeup artistry, and worked as a hairdresser for 25 years. Harris said she dedicated her life to her family but it was time to pick up where she left off.
Harris’ writing skills were rekindled when she started to research the history of her dead uncles who had been crew members on the Titanic. She wrote to various corporations for any information she could find on them. “It was almost as if I found my lost writing skills,” she said.
What inspired Harris to write her books was the character Mordred, who is King Arthur’s son, from the movie “Merlin”, starring Sam Neill. “The little boy reminded me so much of my son that I started researching the Camelot period again.”
In 1997 Harris began to write the first book of her medieval trilogy, “The Quest for Excalibur.” “Excalibur and the Holy Grail” has taken the last six years to complete.
The book is intended to be more than just a journey through time but a journey toward self-realization. Harris said that she wants others, and especially those that suffer from a disorder, to know that they can be anything they want to be in life and that they’re not alone.
Harris’ 14 year-old son, John Anthony, suffers from Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and range of mood disorders. “He’s just a great kid but it’s not easy” Harris said of her son. “We get a lot of help from the Tourette Syndrome Association and from our family.” The Tourette Syndrome Association is based in Bayside.
“I firmly believe that if you believe in yourself then you have found your own Grail, and with that you can fight anything,” she said.
As for her next book, it won’t come for a few years. Even though some notes for the final chapter of the trilogy have been laid down, it won’t be until 2006 until it is released. In 2005, for their 25th wedding anniversary, Harris and her husband are planning to travel to London to do extensive research for her third book and to continue to research her uncles who were on the Titanic.
Harris will be at the Barnes & Noble at Bay Terrace along with Danielle Ackley-McPhail, author of “Yesterday Dreams,” on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.