Today I am privileged to be taking part in the Blog Tour for A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone #1) by John Gwynne with a guest post courtesy of the author himself.
Gwynne’s previous work The Faithful and the Fallen series is my all-time favourite fantasy series and he is one of my top authors who I always recommend so to say this is a fanboy moment for me would be true! High five for my little blog! 🙂
I haven’t yet read the book myself (I’m waiting until I’ve a few days in which I can devour it in peace) but stellar reviews from my fellow bloggers have me more than eager to dive in and it’s Gwynne! It’s bound to be epic.
Enough of me babbling here’s the guest post:
The ups and downs of writing a series of books; and your thoughts on beginning a new series.
I feel like I am still very much learning my trade as a writer, so I’m never very confident about giving tips or thoughts about writing. The only thing I can tell people with any kind of certainty is what has worked for me. I can tell you about the specific ups and downs that I’ve encountered whilst writing my first series.
For me writing is all about perspective and motivation. I don’t think there’s any right and wrong, no specific, scientific rule-book to writing. As Mr Keating said so eloquently about the scientific method of scoring the greatness of a poem in Dead Poet’s Society, ‘Rip it out.’ Writing is all about heart.
Stand-alone’s are great and I love reading them, but at the moment the stories in my head just will not fit into a stand-alone. My heart is with epic fantasy, and by and large that means ‘series.’ It’s almost a template, set a long time ago by Homer, and of course a little more recently by the likes of Tolkien, Lewis and Howard, amongst others. Of course, there are also great epic stand-alone’s out there, but they tend to be the minority in the world of epic-fantasy. In saying that, I’ve had a thought or two about writing a stand-alone, but it’s a little lower down my ‘ideas’ list at the moment.
The ‘up’ to writing a series as opposed to writing a stand-alone.
Writing a series is great if you have a big vision, which often involves an epic world, a large cast of characters, often with multiple points of view, and an escalation towards monumental, cataclysmic conflicts. These kinds of tales need room to breathe and grow, and would more often than not feel shallow and rushed if they were pruned into a stand-alone book.
The ‘down’ of writing a series as opposed to a stand-alone.
One of the biggest issues I’ve faced, on more than one occasion, is getting into book two, three or four and thinking, ‘I wish I’d put this really cool idea into the story back in book 1,’ or ‘this character would be so much better with this backstory/character trait,’ except I can’t change anything, because book one has already been published. Set in stone. Or print, at least. It can be annoying, and a little depressing.
A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone #1).
The Ben-Elim, a fierce race of warrior-angels, burst into the Banished Lands over a hundred and thirty years ago. They were in pursuit of their eternal enemy, the Kadoshim demon-horde. On that day a great battle was fought, the Ben-Elim and Kadoshim joined by allies from the races of both men and giants, and a great victory was won.
Now much of the Banished Lands is ruled by the Ben-Elim, who have made this world their home, extending their influence and power as they swallow ancient kingdoms into the protective grasp of their ever-extending borders. But peace is fragile within the realm and the Kadoshim that remain are now amassing on the edges of the empire….
Threats long in the shadows are about to strike.
Purchase A Time of Dread.
(it was released in the UK on January 11th and it will be released in the US on February 20th).
About John Gwynne.
(photograph and author information taken from Goodreads).
Malice is my debut novel. Goldsboro Books of London, specialists in signed first-editions, have made Malice their ‘Book of the Month’ for December 2012.
I was born in Singapore while my dad was stationed there in the RAF. Up until he retired that meant a lot of traveling around, generally a move every three years or so.
I live with my wife and four wonderful (and demanding) children in East Sussex. Also three dogs, two of which will chew anything that stands still. I have had many strange and wonderful jobs, including packing soap in a soap factory, waitering in a french restaurant in Canada, playing double bass in a rock n roll band, and lecturing at Brighton University.
I stepped out of university work due to my daughter’s disability, so now I split my time caring for her and working from home – I work with my wife rejuvenating vintage furniture, which means fixing, lifting, carrying, painting and generally doing what my wife tells me to do…
And somehow during this time I started writing. I’ve always told my children stories at bed-time, and they pestered long and hard for me to write some of it down. At the same time I felt that my brain was switching off a little – vintage furniture is my wife’s passion, whereas my passions are geekier!
That’s how The Banished Lands and Malice began, though along the way it became more than just a hobby. I’m still in shock that it is actually a real book, rather than just pages on my desk.
John Gwynne can be found:
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