Book Festival!

Books and Sword

If you live in southern Minnesota, I will have a table at the Deep Valley Book Festival in Mankato. The festival is in Sibley Park on June 28th from 11:00-3:00. Feel free to stop by if you are in the area, even if you want to just ask questions and see what Goandria is all about.

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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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Looking for Inspiration

I can say honestly that I write everyday, whether I’m in the mood to or not, because moods are fleeting things that can change quickly. However, I the real challenge is finding the right inspiration.

For me, being inspired and finding inspiration are very different things. All too often I can invision a scene or perhaps the general mechanics of a culture, but how that plays out I’m not entirely sure. It is funny because when I search for inspiration from related topics or genres, they do not always do the trick for me. Ironically, some of my best inspiration has come from utterly unrelated material. Inspiration does not always come from other books, either. Many times movies stir the “what if” questions far quicker than other forms of entertainment. Perhaps it is because there is an entire plot crammed into a two-hour movie, and it is a lot faster to get to the point with a movie than a book. Movies tell a story differently than books do. Books can afford to be slower-paced, but movies cannot due to time restraints. This is probably why most movie adaptions of books are very different, and that is fine by me!

Searching for inspiration as a writer can be downright grueling. It is especially frustrating when writers know where they want to go with the plot but need help with how to carry it out.

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It's Been Awhile…

I know I have neglected posting fresh content lately, but stay with me.  I have more on the way, but in the mean time please sign up for my newsletter here.  That is the best way to stay informed and up-to-date on my writings.  As always, if you are reading this and enjoy fantasy, you can find my first short story free on smashwords to get a taste of my writing style.