All right, I've been good until now but it's time for the long overdue plug.
Those of you who are regular visitors to this humble blog have no doubt noticed the three books pictured to the right (--->). Now, as the advert goes, these are the best fantasy fiction books you've never read. How do I know that? Well, the indepedent reviewers who checked them out (www.yetanotherbookreview.com) quite enjoyed them. And you've never heard of them because my publisher is a small time guy with no budget for aggressive public relations. He publishes and promotes locally once. If I want my book to become famous, I have to push it. The only problem is that I have a day job which is my priority and I'm not about to give it up to attend book signing and fantasy conventions across North America in the hope of selling a few dozen copies.
I will mention the strength of the books here. First of all, one thing I don't like about many current fantasy novels is their preoccupation with feminist revision. Although I am firmly of the belief that women are as intelligent and capable and men, one must remember that in a medieval setting where might makes right, the only way for a woman to advance in society is through cunning, natural intelligence or, in a fantasy setting, the use of magic. Thus fantasy novels showing societys dominated by queens and warrior princesses are nice to think about but put a certain strain on the credulity of the novel. It is not shameful to remember that these are societies where women were at a physical disadvantage and ignoring that adds nothing to the story.
Then there's the obessession with sex. I remember reading through the appendices of The Lord of Rings and coming across the story of Aragorn and Arwen's secret marriage. What does it say? "And there they plighted their troth and they were glad." That's it. A bit prudish and, for a young teenager who knew nothing of plighting and troths, incomprehensible. A more modern version might have read "And there they got it on, hot and nasty (followed by several paragraphs I'd rather not think about)."
So when I sat down to write my novels, I decided to avoid these new age cliches and I think that has added to the strength of the story as well as kept it appropriate for readers both young and old.
The other major strength of the trilogy is that it is character driven. When I am invited to speak in schools about the process of writing books, I often mention that there are no original stories left to tell in the world. Every story, when broken down to its essential elements, is a slight variation on another similar story. What makes a new novel stand out is not the story but the characters in it.
And I'm very proud of the characters in my story. As strange as it sounds (and I'm not the only author to think this), they seemed to come alive the longer I wrote until instead of writing, I felt I was merely chronicling their adventures and following them along to see what happened next. This gives the story a better flow, of course, and adds to the excitment of the events in it.
Enough for now! The links where you can buy these books is over on the right (your right, not mine). Go on, try them out. You will not regret taking the chance.