Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Romance in fantasy

I admit, I've never been a fan of romance in fantasy, although if it fits the plot, I certainly don't mind it. Now I find myself needing to include a romantic subplot in my fantasy novel, and I'm not quite sure I know how I feel about it.

Writing the kissy, emotional scenes doesn't bother me. I don't plan to include anything R rated, so if my characters do end up in bed, it'll be behind a closed door. What makes me squirm is the need for it in the first place. For those who know the story of Gavin Kinshield, it makes perfect sense that he would need to find a wife -- and quickly (in case he croaks). In fact, omitting it altogether would be completely illogical from a story standpoint. Glossing over a subplot is, well, not who I am as a writer. If I'm going to include it, it has to be an integral part of the story. It has to pull its own weight.

Yet, I hesitate. When I ask myself why, the only answer that comes to mind is that "romance doesn't belong in fantasy." I know, I know. It's a subjective preference, one that many other fantasy readers share. Will they forgive me this one indulgence? Will I forgive myself?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Game of Thrones

All I can say is WOW! Even if you're not particularly fond of fantasy, this series on HBO is definitely worth watching. Based on the book A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, it's more a story of kings and wars and back-stabbing and manipulation than the typical fantasy with magic. You won't find any fairies or unicorns or elves in this story. It's raw and gritty (intended for mature audiences) and very well done!

Anyone who appreciates excellent prose and an epic story should consider reading the series, called A Song of Ice and Fire (of which A Game of Thrones is book 1). I found myself completely immersed in the story such that I don't notice the writing. As an author, that's my goal -- to make the writing disappear and have the story take shape within the reader's mind as he reads. Mr. Martin is a master!

I'm betting the HBO series shoots his books to the top of the sales charts (again?) as new readers discover his amazing talent for storytelling. I've read the first three books in the series, and now I'm eager to start on book four, especially knowing that the conclusion of the story, A Dance With Dragons, is due to hit store shelves July 12.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Another 99c sale

This time, The Kinshield Legacy (ebook) will be on sale for the month of April at all online vendors:

  Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XT5IYI
  Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18996
  B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ean=2940011837036

A mysterious stone tablet with five magical gems has sat abandoned in a cave for two hundred years. The kingdom is in ruins, with only warrant knights to keep the peace. But then, the gems in the tablet, one by one, disappear.

Warrant knight Gavin Kinshield is a man of many secrets. He's the one deciphering the runes in the tablet. Unless he can find a suitable replacement, he'll be Thendylath's next king. All he really wants is the letter written by his ancestor Ronor Kinshield, king's champion and the last man to see King Arek alive... a letter he must earn by tracking down a common thief.

But when Gavin saves a woman's life, what should have been a simple task draws him face-to-face with his nightmarish past... and the truth of King Arek's demise.

If you like heroic fantasy tales, check out the free sample. Reviewers have given it 4.7/5.0 stars at Amazon (28 ratings), 4.5/5.0 stars at Barnes & Noble (6 ratings), 4.6/5.0 stars at Smashwords (10 reviews), and 4.23/5.0 stars at Goodreads. You might enjoy it, too!