While I usually try to keep Ed’s Casual Friday to topics that might be of general interest to writers / readers of all kinds, today I admit I am staying in my wheelhouse. What follows is a list relating mostly to writers of Epic Fantasy, though some items will fit any sort of writer with a couple different words substituted. Others are probably unique to the species. Also, if you at any time sense an implication that I am saying you MUST have been (or still be) a Dungeons & Dragons nerd to write Epic Fantasy, I am really not saying that. Though I will say that it helps. 😉 Continue reading “Top d20 Signs You May Be An Epic Fantasy Writer”
The Sable City
by Name: M. Edward McNally
Genre: Epic Fantasy
The first of (presently) four volumes of the Norothian Cycle, an epic series melding classic fantasy elements with the history, politics, economics and technology of a world in which magic functions. Or to put it simply: “Muskets, Magic, and Matilda Lanai.”
Ed, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
The Sable City is the location to which Tilda Lanai and the cast of characters are drawn, all for different reasons and with conflicting goals.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Tilda is the center of the story, and it was an image of her that popped into my head that got the whole ball rolling. The image was of a young woman slowly approaching a wounded warhorse on a steppe plain with an apple in her hand. I started writing the books to find out who she was.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
While the stakes of the story become high (as you’d expect from epic fantasy), the personal relationships among the characters continues to be the prime mover. That’s about par for human interaction in my experience.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about your writing that shows they “get” you as an author?
I find myself sort of speaking to two audiences with these books. First, there is hopefully enough action, humor, and the like to engage a general reader. Second, there is hopefully enough complexity and depth to interest a reader who is looking for a little more from a book than they are likely to get from a half-hour sitcom.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“It says a lot that I am writing this review. I hardly ever do so, but enjoyed this book and so wanted to share.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?
Editing. Not a concept that fills most writers with joy. For many, it’s the unpleasant yet necessary shadow accompanying the act of writing itself, sort of how a painful rash can follow a good… um, hike through poison ivy. And I see why many of us feel that way, I really do. Or I did. Lately, along with extra wrinkles around my eyes and greyer hair at my temples (okay, not just my temples, but we don’t need to get all TMI, do we?), I’ve begun to appreciate editing for what it is. I’m not talking about the editing I do for others, necessarily, although I could be. No, I’m referring more to my own process in that regard. Something dawned on me: I’m starting to enjoy it. Now, either I am growing more masochistic than I ever believed possible, or my new realisation has actual substance. Again, for TMI-avoidance purposes, let’s go with the latter.
Here, I’ll just say it: editing is an integral part of the creative process and isn’t really qualitatively different from writing. What we tend to call “writing” is in fact “initial drafting” and what we often think of as “editing” is just a deeper form of “writing”. Every bit as creative, and potentially just as satisfying. At its best, it’s the layers of paint over the pencil sketch. I realise there may be folks reading this who are kind of looking askance at me and thinking “no, duh, did you just receive your first clue via a Wells Fargo stagecoach?”, and to those people I hold up my hands, guilty as charged: what others have perhaps known for a goodly while genuinely occurred to me, like, yesterday. Look, I’m a slow learner, okay, but at least I’m a learner. Continue reading “Hot And Fresh Out The Kitchen”
There, I said it. And while that isn’t a particularly damning admission, like saying “I love black tar heroin,” it’s not exactly cool. You’re not going to get far in a singles bar sidling up to somebody and whispering, “Hey, baby. You want to see a map made in Virginia in 1862 with The Confederate Territory of Arizona on it?”
So why bring it up? Well, it’s like this. Inspiration for us writerly types can come from just about anywhere, as I’m sure you all know. One sentence in a conversation, dog running down the sidewalk, Liquid Plumr commercial (that’s how they spell it). Absolutely anything can trip the synapses fandango, and send any one of us down a scribbling path we had no idea was there. Continue reading “Ed’s Casual Friday: You are here. (Maps and stories)”