What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
As an author, I can be totally comfortable writing some scenes while others will give me one, massive headache. For instance, writing a battle scene is something I love. I will imagine the scenes over and over in my head, until they play like a movie. I can even hear the music as my main character battles with a Deviant or a Sand Lord. They attack and parry, the blows heavier and heavier until Fel’annár somersaults over his hideous opponent and then lashes out with his long sword, slicing its head off while his shorter sword arches up and around, stabbing another rotten Deviant who thought to take him from the side… OK! I’ll stop, and I think you have the picture, right? I am incorrigible.
Sometimes, I will even reach for my industrial-sized toilet paper rolls and perform the moves myself – just as I have written them. Does it work? Is it logical? Would it really happen like that? Everything is ok as long as the neighbours don’t see me through the kitchen window!
I also love scenes with political intrigue. I love the rhetoric, the scepticism, the fleeting glances and knowing gazes. I love riling the reader and then giving satisfaction as the victim becomes the victor.
However, for me, the challenge comes in the guise of romance. I mean even the word itself is open to such a wide diversity of interpretation. What is romance? How do I understand it and does that coincide with what others expect of a romantic scene? I have always felt myself struggle with romantic scenes and yet the results I get are, surprisingly, not so bad. But then maybe that is because love is way more universal in its interpretation. You can have a romantic scene between two lovers who may never see each other again, a fleeting moment of joy, and then you can have a scene between two people who love each other. To me, there is a massive difference; the interaction, the emotions, the pain and suffering. I can’t do the former but I can do the latter.
Which brings me to chapter 14 of Road of a Warrior, the second book in The Silvan series. It was a massive challenge because this chapter has battle, heartbreak, love, magic and dialogue galore. I remember endless days with my beta reader, M.Y. Leigh, and my editor Andrea Lundgren (andrealundgren.com) – grinding out the scenes, fleshing them out, changing them and then changing them again until they were as good as they could be. I would be extremely interested in hearing from anyone who reads the book to lend me their thoughts, of course.
When I look back to my debut novel, Path of a Novice, the first book in The Silvan series, I still love it, but I can see just how far I have come as a writer in the year it took me to prepare book two. Part of that success is due to my own enthusiasm, naturally, but it has also been about finding the right people to accompany me on the journey. A brilliant editor and a marvellous beta reader have made such a huge difference and I truly hope to have them by my side for book three, Dawn of a Legend.
If you are a writer, what scenes do you especially love to write? Which ones do you hate and all-importantly – why?
Road of a Warrior (The Silvan Book II)
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy
“I have always hated my Alpine side. Idernon told me it was because my father was Alpine. I hated him and therefore that side of my blood, he said. I was angry at Idernon for his words. But then Turion told me the same thing and again I was angry. I have always been angry, Lainon. So much of my life has been spent feeling it, repressing it, ignoring it. It was on my first patrol, with you and Turion, that it began to change.” He smiled, fond memories resurfacing. “And yet it is only now that I feel complete, Lainon. I have always said I am Silvan at heart, and yet now, even that is wrong.” He smiled again and turned his head to Lainon. “I am Fel’annár at heart,” he said. “I no longer wish to perpetuate this racial thing, I no longer feel the need. What does it matter? The land of my mother, the land of my father. The colour of her eyes or of my father’s hair? All colours are beautiful, Lainon, given the right context, the right background on which to lay them. It is a question of perspective, I think.”
Lainon watched him, the soft words floating in his mind.
Fel’annár turned back to the horizon. “Ea Uaré, Thargodén’s court. Power and riches, the wish to control dictates the things they do, the people they are. They say there are even Silvan lords there that play these games, too, and the structure of the game is the same in Tar’eastór, no doubt. Power and riches, control, only there are no masses to control here, for they are all Alpine. How do you control a people who are not your own, in the lands you have taken from them?” He huffed and shook his head. “You do it by subjugating them, I think, and what better way than to do so by creating a fiction in which one is weak and the other is strong? One is wrong and the other is right, one is Silvan and the other is Alpine.”
Lainon drank from his goblet. “You wax philosophical tonight.”
Fel’annár smiled, for Lainon was right. “It is beautiful here. How could I ever have been ashamed to be half Alpine? Look at this place, Lainon. It is sublime in its dizzying heights, its quiet nobility. This place is in my blood, as much as the Deep Forest. I will no longer call myself Silvan in anger of my father. I will call myself Silvan, and I will call myself Alpine.”
Lainon turned once more, this time with a smile on his face. “How far we have come, you and I. I wonder what the future holds for us, for I cannot see it,” he said, the smile faltering.
“Who can say? I know it will not be an easy one, but with you by my side...” He shuffled upon the ground and then took a sip of his wine.
“With me at your side?” prompted Lainon.
“I wonder. I wonder if this is what it is like to have a true brother.”
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