Last Friday I went to another Waterstones Brighton bookish event. This time it was all about magical worlds, and I got Blackwing [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] by Ed Mcdonald. Fantasy writers John Gwynne, Bradley Beaulieu, Ed McDonald and Adrian Selby, told us a great deal about how fantasy worlds work. The funny thing was that they all had different systems of magic in their heads. Plus, they had very different approaches to write their books. My favorite approaches from the lot were Bradley Beaulieu’s and Ed McDonald’s, which happen to be very different.
The night was interesting and insightful. Beaulieu seems to prepare a lot while writing. His inspiration comes from many places, but make things happen on a paper is quite difficult. Thus, he suggested to follow a snowflake method when writing. Simply put it’s to write an idea in a sentence. Then, you write more, a paragraph. You keep going until you get a page, and so on. McDonald however seems to start with the ending of the book. Okay, I have this ending, now I need a beginning. Whatever is in the middle looks like the mess you would get from emptying your fridge on the floor and smashing everything there.
Selby was a funny author. He got inspiration to write his book from board games and taking some mushrooms. His approach to inspiration also made that his magic system for his book has a high price to pay. Brews (drugs) are taken by soldiers, but taking them also means to be addicted and face heavy consequences. The most important part in this world isn’t gold, but recipes! Can you imagine a world where the most important thing are recipes? I can imagine all types of murders and tricks and treason in order to get the enemy’s best recipes.
Gwynne’s inspiration and ways of writing come from life. He’s a re-enacting Viking, and he likes mythology and history. Thus, you can expect a lot of that in his books. The way he sees magic is more as something like a mix of practicality, small things, and mysticism. He was very cute, and we got to meet part of his family who came to see him in this event.
This was a happy event, and nope it wasn’t the wine we got at Waterstones when we arrived. (Many events at Waterstones include a glass of wine; so fancy!) All the authors created a very cozy, and interesting night for authors-to-be and readers. As epic fantasy writers, they had a lot to say about magic, politics, and ways of writing. But the thing that I got from all of it is that there’s no right way to come up with a book. You use the way that suits you best. The only thing that all had in common is to keep going despite what others might be telling you. And I think that might be exactly the key of their success.
So, what about the books? Well, in my personal case, I got Blackwing by Ed McDonalds, and I plan to get A Veil of Spears by Bradley Beaulieu in the future. Alas, I had only budged for one, so I chose my favorite. I queued for a while, and I got to meet Ed who was super sweet and drew a small raven for me. You can imagine how happy I was! I’m sure I’m going to devour this book, and I’ll end up buying the second one that comes in June.
In Blackwing [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] the Republic faces annihilation. Galharrow has a magical tattoo in the shape of a raven, that rips itself from his arm to deliver messages. There’s a conspiracy within the citadel with traitors, ghosts, and a mystery. Plus, there’s an ancient wizard paradox that if it isn’t solved, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again and everyting will be lost. Will Galharrow unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defenses?
A Veil of Spears [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] is the third book in The Song of Shattered Sands. Now the kings have been hounding the rebels and many were forced to flee the city, including Çeda, who discovers that the King of Sloth is raising his army to challenge the other Kings’ rule. When Çeda finds the remaining members of the Moonless Host, now known as the thirteenth tribe, she sees a tenuous existence. Çeda hatches a plan to return to Sharakhai and free the asirim, the kings’ powerful, immortal slaves. The kings, however, have sent their greatest tactician, the King of Swords, to bring Çeda to justice for her crimes. But the once-unified front of the kings is crumbling. The surviving kings vie quietly against one another, maneuvering for control over Sharakhai. Çeda hopes to use that to her advantage, but whom to trust? Any of them might betray her.
In A time of Dread [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] the Ben-Elim, a fierce race of warrior-angels, burst into the Banished Lands over a hundred and thirty years ago. They were in pursuit of their eternal enemy, the Kadoshim demon-horde. On that day a great battle was fought, the Ben-Elim and Kadoshim joined by allies from the races of both men and giants, and a great victory was won. Now, much of the Banished Lands is ruled by the Ben-Elim, who have made this world their home, extending their influence and power as they swallow ancient kingdoms into the protective grasp of their ever-extending borders. But peace is fragile within the realm and the Kadoshim that remain are now amassing on the edges of the empire….
Snakewood [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] tells a story about mercenaries. They had no quarter, shaking the pillars of the world through cunning, chemical brews, and cold steel. But now, their glory days are gone. They’re in hiding, and someone is hunting them one by one. This is a story of betrayal, treason, and brews.
I enjoyed the evening, and now I’ll enjoy the book I got. I can’t wait to attend more fantasy events at Waterstones. For the time being, I’ll imagine what would my tattoo do if it detached from my skin and went playing around. I don’t have a raven, but a swan. Maybe dancing?
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Copyright: Images on this post (C) depepi.com (C) Waterstones (C) Gollancz/ Top image made by dePepi with (C) Gollancz (C) Ed McDonald official images.