Monday, August 29, 2011

What exactly is a Hero?

So, what exactly is a “hero” supposed to be? I’m talking fantasy here, but this really applies to everyday life as well. A standard fantasy setup is to have some random dude, some lowlife, or beaten-down person rise up and save the world.  That is fine, and I love those kind of stories, take Rand Al’Thor: just a sheepherder from the Two Rivers, who winds up being the Dragon Reborn. It makes for a very exciting story. But that type of thing just doesn't happen in the real world very often. And even in fantasy worlds, it surely doesn't happen very often, but who wants to read about the common man in fantasy. As Zhy asks, "who wants to read a story about a town drunk?"

But heroes are not always named. Those who run this world—I mean really run the world, and make things happen—do not have CEO on their title. They carry their lunch to work in a pail, they come in and start the servers, fix the main lines, run the pumps and hoses, and go into nuclear plants and spray them down with sea water. And then they go back to their families. When they are asked “how was your day?” they reply, “it was good.”

Zhy reiterates strongly that he is NOT a hero. And events are unfolding far away that would lead one to believe that was the case. Plus, the whole adventure story kind of leads one away from the whole concept of needing a hero.  But things are starting to unfold that may require him to do more than stand there and try to recall memories from an alcoholic fog.

We are often led to believe the man character will help save the day.

Does that have to be the case?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Why "A Drunkard's Journey?"

Why is this trilogy called “A Drunkard’s Journey?”

Well, I don’t want to pull a  RAFO (Read and Find Out), so here is the best explanation without spoilers.

The main character (Zhy) starts out as a hopeless drunk, and while things improve over the course of his journey, it’s never quite 100%. Book II will make things even more interesting, because everything gets a little haywire.

Originally I thought this would be something like “A Trilogy of Knots”, to refer to the philosophical/religious teachings that we see in the lands of Belden and Welcfer. But that made it impersonal. When we meet Zhy we at once feel sympathy and revulsion. And even though there are multiple threads that weave through the story, the focus really is on Zhy. As much as I wanted to avoid the clichĂ© of the “personal journey of growth and discovery”, it sort of turns out that way, but Zhy just stops short at about 37%. Why? Well, gosh, I hate to say it, but RAFO. I hate it when authors do that, but I don’t want to give anything away.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Spaces Between - An Off-Beat Fantasy Adventure

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So, has anyone read a fantasy novel where the main character has autism or Asperger's? And has that story been told in the first person?

What about a fantasy novel where strangers meet and go on a grand quest? Yes, of course, that is pretty standard.

The Spaces Between has both.

But hold on!

The Spaces Between may start off down a familiar path, but it quickly spins out of control, and we find ourselves engrossed in a captivating series of events that end quite unexpectedly. The ending is by far one of the most surreal and unique in the genre.

We have a secret Order of specially-trained assassins, a group called "Protectors" who guard a so-called holy temple, and a very dangerous warlock waiting for them all.