#NewRelease #Fantasy Curse of the Unnamed
Today on the blog, epic fantasy author Bruce Blake provides insight into his series, Curse of the Unnamed, and his writing process. There's also a giveaway, so read on!
What inspired you to write the book?
Questions about inspiration are probably the ones writers get asked the most. Sometimes, they’re tough to answer. Some stories kind of pop to mind without warning or explanation of from whence they came. The short story that got me back into writing is an example of that. I was lying in bed one night when a scene of two men having a discussion about the ins and outs of time travel came to mind and wouldn’t leave, I tossed and turned until my then hello-wife kicked me out of bed and wouldn’t let me back in until I wrote it.
The Book of Shadow has a more definitive beginning. It started out with me toying around with the old fable about the king who wants to marry off the princess, so invites suitors from across the land to undertake quests to prove their suitability. From that beginning, I simply asked myself questions. What if this happened? Or that? What if it wasn’t a king and a princess, but someone who had a more nefarious reason to send people on quests? What would they be after? Why?
I have the better part of journal full of questions and answers as I developed the story, but I like to think that, without having read this explanation, most people would never guess where the story began.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have a number of projects waiting in the wings. With the release of A Shadow Upon the Land, I’ve begun work on the fourth book in the Curse of the Unnamed series, In the Shadow of the Dragon. My goal is to have it released for April, 2023. After that, I’ll be picking from series centered around fairies, a one-off novel retelling the creation myth, or finishing the half-written fourth book in my Icarus Fell dark urban fantasy series. I’m leaning toward this last because I don’t like having incomplete projects languishing on my laptop.
Where did you come up with the names in your story?
Naming in books happens for me in one of two ways: a name generator, or naming with intent. Many of the character names were generated on one of a number of name generators I use. I simply press the bottom over and over, collecting a list of potential names, then I pick the ones I like best. Other characters (and places) are named with more intent, either with obvious meaning to their names (book 3 introduces us to a troll named Vyle), or with meaning one might need to search a little deeper to unravel (Vyle has an acquaintance who is a were-bear and is called Hispid, a zoological term meaning covered with stiff hair or bristles).
Who designs your book covers?
My book covers for this series were designed by a company called MiblArt. They are very easy to deal with and have done a great job at bringing my ideas for covers to fruition. They have also done the covers for my Icarus Fell urban fantasy series.
Tell us about your main characters. What makes them tick?
I’d love to do this, but I think part of the attraction of reading my books is to find out what makes the characters tick. One of the things I’m very particular about in my writing is only revealing things to the reader as they need to know, or as the characters find out themselves. I consider Llyris Fildarae to be the main character, and I’ll see that she is at first motivated by a need to do well at her profession, but also to care for her Unnamed. Beyond that, other characters are motivated by guilt, a need to prove themselves, jealousy, anger…all the good stuff!
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I like to think I learn something with every book I write. Sometimes it’s about the craft—sentence structures, paragraph constructions, word choices—other times it’s a development in my style, or realizations about how I need to organize my life to accomplish the goals I’ve set out for myself. Life is about learning and everything is an opportunity to.
What is your favourite part of the book and why?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Which of my children do I like best? I love them all the same, but if I were forced to choose, I’d say there are two types of characters I most like writing: those with a secret, and those who go against type. Using that as a parameter, I guess Viden Misk’s parts are some of my favourites. The third book introduces a troll named Vyle who I very much enjoyed writing, as well. (Sorry Llyris, Hinter, Tesfira, Rein, et al. I love you…I swear I do!)
Are your characters based of real people or entirely imagined?
If you are a human who writes, I think it’s impossible not to have characteristics of people you know creep into your story, as your own experiences inform what you write. Things that have happened to the writer will tend to creep in as well. We are all taught, after all , to write what we know. Having said that, I don’t have any characters who are taken whole-cloth from reality…only bits and pieces cobbled together with whatever my imagination cooks up.
Mind you, people who know me say there is more of me in the Icarus Fell character from my urban fantasy series than I like to admit.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or do you feel like you have the reins?
This is a more complicated question than it appears. This is asking me whether I am a plotter or a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants, hence the name), as writers like to refer to themselves. Do I plan out my story, or do I discover it as I write?
Honestly, I’m a little bit of both. I tend to do a fair amount of research and planning before I start writing, and that informs a great deal of the plot, but not everything. I like to discover things about my characters as I go, and the things I find out as I write partially determine the direction of the story.
So I guess the answer to both parts of the question is yes. Sometimes I’m the captain of the ship, sometimes I’m there as a ride-along.
The Book of Shadow
Llyris Fildarae is an outcast tainted by a sliver of magic in a world terrified of the supernatural. Loathed and distrusted, she uses her ability to control a magical Unnamed to survive. Caedric Carpera is desperate to save his son from a deadly illness. He enlists Llyris to locate a lost tome containing secrets capable of healing him, but its location is a mystery that’s already claimed lives. Thrust into a hostile world, Llyris and her companions risk everything to find the relic and return before the child’s sickness prevails. But who is the enigmatic old man who appeared out of nowhere to set them on this dangerous expedition? And what does he really want? Only a perilous mission to an untamed land can save the boy and reveal the truth.
Except some truths are too shocking to be exposed.
Get ready for an epic fantasy adventure full of twists and turns from the author of the Khirro’s Journey trilogy and The Books of the Small Gods. Scroll up to one-click purchase your copy and start reading right away! Florida Authors and Publishers’ President’s Book Awards Gold Medal Winner!
**On Sale for Only .99 cents!!**
The Book of Shadow was found, but the quest continues… Llyris Fildarae is still reeling with the news of her heritage imparted by an old man claiming to be the great mage Amnayel Prisma—doubtful, though he’s proven able to perform unusual wonders even a magik couldn’t. He cured a boy, yet now demands a stave to aid in healing a fallen knight. The quest she and her companions embark on requires them to travel to the Obsidian Fields, a place no one has visited since time immemorial. Even Prisma himself—if that is who he is—cannot tell them what it may look like or what to expect once there. What dangers will they face? Magic? Deadly curses? The undead again? No one knows. Not even a Shadow Scarred. Scroll up and one-click purchase to follow the exciting journey of Llyris and her companions as their adventure continues in Shadow Scarred.
A Shadow Upon the Land
A tome. A stave. The fate of the world.
When Llyris Fildarae packed up her Unnamed and took an unlikely group to locate the Book of Shadow and save a boy’s life, she had no idea the evil she’d encounter.
When she and her companions set out on a second expedition, this time to find the savior mage’s stave, they couldn’t have guessed the dangers awaiting them.
Separated, trapped, and navigating perilous lands, their only hope of survival is to find their way home.
But where is home if everything is left in ruins?
**On Sale for Only .99 cents!!**
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About the Author
Bruce Blake lives in a small town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest cafe to work on his short stories and novels.Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Bruce is the father of two amazing humans and does his very best to keep a bearded dragon alive and healthy, though he doesn't have much success at doing the same with house plants. He spends too much time work a traditional job and not enough time writing but hopes to change all that soon.