There seems to have been quite a cultural shift over recent years from campy and quirky fiction to gritty, dark, and realistic fiction. I use the word “realistic” somewhat loosely, since there is only so real fiction can ever get, and that is okay and sort of the point of being entertained by that genre.
In order for a fictional world to work, there need to be guidelines that make that world believable. However, I feel realism is one of those things that is a bit tricky to define. I know it when I see it.

I do intentionally utilize more modern language in Goandria, even though it is set in medieval-like world. One could argue that this is not a realistic concept, and my counter would be that just because there is renaissance-type technology doesn’t mean that there should be any presuppositions with their language. Goandria, after all, is a completely different world. On the other hand, I would argue that if my stories did take place in our world, even an alternate version of our world, than utilizing modern language would be inappropriate and unrealistic. I would also argue that utilizing crude or vulgar language in an Earth medieval setting is not realistic either. However, good luck finding many modern fantasy novels that don’t do that…

This small example is just that, small. I referenced dark and gritty becoming mainstream instead of campy and fun. I have to admit, Goandria: The Schism is fairly dark, but that is because of the purpose of it. I do not think that dark and gritty always equates better or more realistic, though. Overall, I would like to see a more balanced approach, somewhere between dark and campy. A little humor, or lack of seriousness, can go a long way when telling a story, even a serious one. I enjoyed the Dark Knight movie series. It offered a relatively fresh take on Batman, and it wasn’t ridiculously silly. However, it did not offer much in the line of comic relief or even a whole lot of hope, especially in the middle movie. Sure, it was believable, but the other issue I want to address is how necessary is that approach? With the Dark Knight, I felt the suspense that Batman must have felt, especially at the end. But I don’t remember anyone laughing. Well, save for the Joker, but that doesn’t’ count. There were no quips that come to mind, just a spiral downward into darkness.

I guess my point is that as authors, we can make things realistic without making them overly dark, campy, or stereotypical. There are many ways to make a story realistic, and we should strive to use those to make our works good and new. Realism can be helpful, but it needs guidelines within the world of the story to keep it from straying too far one way or the other.

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What is Next for Goandria?

Goandria: The Schism has been completed.  If you haven’t read it and you enjoy fantasy and speculative fiction, I encourage you to download Part I for free here or you can purchase the paperback here.  I have waited for over half my life to reveal Goandria to the world, and this is just the beginning.  I created Goandria with a rich background, and The Schism lays that foundation.  The upcoming book series will take place generations in the future.  The new book will be titled Goandria: Visions of War, and it will build upon the events in the previous novel.

Visions of War will be the first book in a trilogy.  New and old foes challenge the peace of Goandria.  I aim to go further into exploring characters, their struggles with beliefs and finding their place in Goandria, and how they come through these situations as an old evil creeps back into their world.

Stay tuned as more details are released!

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In Celebration

To celebrate Goandria: The Schism coming to paperback, I will pose a question that has several strong opinions. What is it? Do you prefer spaghetti or lasagna? Well I really have no preference, both are awesome. 🙂 That seriously is not the question though. So here is the real question: As a reader what would you like to read better? A physical book or an ebook?

There has been much talk that physical media will soon be a thing of the past, print is dying, and so on. I have heard such things for a very long time. However, there is something special about holding an actual book, the smell of the paper, and the visual sense of progression and accomplishment as you read through it. Of course, there is no objective truth as to which is better, but a real book is something truly special to me. Sure, they age over time and take up way more space, but that is all part of the beauty of a real book.

So I would like to kindly ask, if you are reading this and enjoy the fantasy genre, please take a look at my book here. It is prequel to a much larger series that will be released much later on this year. Please also comment with which format you prefer: ebooks or print books.

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Why Swords?

Why do I write Epic Fantasy with medieval weaponry and magic?  Hasn’t this already been done in a plethora of ways?  Certainly, but for me there is a draw to swords and bows that modern weaponry lacks.

I have a deep respect for medieval weaponry.  Sure, the weapons of that time are pretty barbaric and often lead to gruesome and painful deaths, but melee weapons such as swords allow the user to actually see his opponent die. Close combat requires two sides to engage in a way that ranged weapons do not.  A person wielding a sword has to get close enough to see the light leave from the other’s eyes.  Swords required years of training, often a man’s entire life, and a great deal of strength and speed to wield effectively.

These properties of medieval melee weapons are why they fascinate me so much.  While writing, I try to envision how the warrior would not only move, but his inevitable respect for his fellow swordsmen, even the defeated ones.  Every time two swordsmen engage each other, it is a test of skill.  There is no hiding with a sword.  The combatants must face one another openly.

There is also the exotic factor of medieval weapons.  Swords, maces, axes, and bows are not used regularly in the industrialized world.  Since they are so rarely seen, save for maybe a renaissance festival, I find myself wondering what it would look like to have these weapons as a staple for a military instead of firearms.  Ultimately, I chose to write another epic fantasy story using swords and sorcery because they are exotic, and exotic things tend to invoke the imagination.

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