Now that the Falconsbane Tour of Phen is over, it’s time to explore other aspects of the story! I’ve just learned about this neat new writing related blog linkup from a fellow author that I follow, and I thought ‘this’ll be great!’ So we’re going to join in and blog a bit with some more in-depth story awesomeness.
This linkup is going to be a three-part series, and starting off in October we have the Introductory, basically introducing your novel. Part two, in November, will be Within the WIP; and part three, in December, is titled Writing and Beyond. (Visit Christine, the master of this linkup, on her blog, Musings of an Elf, for more information, if you want to read others’ or participate yourself!)
So, without further ado, lets dive in!
What first sparked the idea for this novel?
Falconsbane had humble beginnings, and rather vague ones, now that I think on it. A couple of years ago I watched through the original A-Team TV series, and I loved Murdock. The concept of a questionably insane, silly, but capable character planted the seed, which settled and sprouted roots in the back of my mind for a long time, waiting. The original idea for Falconsbane centered around this Murdock-inspired character, called Jōb (who took forever to tell me his name, by the way. For the longest time he was known only as Our Sage). But hey, an oak from an acorn, right?
Share a blurb!
I have the hardest time coming up with these things, but here’s the latest:
Caution to the Sleepers, and woe to those they keep, for singing Death shall find you when come the shadows fell and bleak . . .
Roscha, a young warrior from the small town of Elbyrk, has been training for as long as he can remember to defend his homeland from the threat of the Federation of Eastern Nations, but unlike his peers, he isn’t very spirited about it. Caught in an endless cycle of substandard performance rates, he fears that he will spend a meaningless life in the army and die there. But then a Druyd who calls himself Jōb appears and requests his aid on a cryptic quest across the country. Harried by doubts of his ability to be of much use, Roscha obeys his orders and ventures out for his fist assignment. But when the Druhydren catch up to them, hunting Jōb’s head, he realizes new depths to his shortcomings.
All the while the whispers of another war carry across the isolated hills, and though Jōb seems to know far more about what’s going on, he’s unwilling to reveal the truth, insisting only that they press toward his unnamed goal. Surrounded by secrets and vagarities, one thing is clear: if Roscha can’t master himself, they’re all going to die.
Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?
It’s set in a country called Phen, which shares about the same square mileage as the state of New York (so much math . . .). Phen is surrounded by five much larger nations, and while relations with those toward the west are peaceable, they are at war with those in the east, who formed a federation against the Phens. Much of the strife is based in religion, centered largely around the Phennish Druyds ─ who have powers no one else has ever laid claim to.
There are a couple of aspects that I enjoy about this place, one being the landscape. Being bordered on one side by mountains, much of the land is hill country, which I am very familiar with (we have a great big rolling drumlin in our back pasture). I also wanted the culture, architecture, and (yes) cuisine to have a mix of traditional Japanese, rural English, and old Jewish influences. It’s been interesting.
Tell us about your protagonist.
Meet Roscha. He’s a soldier in the Phennish army, is a keen reader of people, and has an almost crippling metabolism. He enjoys climbing trees, fruit pies, and the occasional craft beer ─ when he can afford it. But, while on the outside he might look like a warrior, the truth is that he doesn’t feel it’s his calling. He’s a rather quiet soul, wry in humor, and frustratingly resigned to his fate.
His unit mates would say that he’s clumsy, weak willed, and hopeless. His best friend, however, would argue that he can be scary smart, darns socks better than anyone else on base, and fights like a man possessed ─ when he’s not worried about being watched by the instructors, that is.
If you asked Jōb, he’d tell you that Roscha was special, terribly important. But if you asked Roscha, he wouldn’t have much to say, and he certainly wouldn’t agree with Jōb.
Who (or what) is the antagonist?
Well, there are a couple groups and individuals that serve as antagonists at certain points in the story. There’s the Federation of Eastern Nations, who are trying to invade Phen and dissolve it, and there are the Druhydren, who have made it their life’s mission to exterminate the Druyds. The biggest antagonist, though, just might be Roscha himself.
What excites you the most about this novel?
Oh, that’s hard to say! I’m excited to work on this new project after spending six years on my first writing project, and I’m enjoying exploring a different world and writing style. I loved the idea of the Druyds, too, which is a phenomena more akin to superpowers than magic. Medieval superheroes, I call them.
Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else?
This story is supposed to be a standalone. This time for sure. If it kills me. (That was the idea for my first big project, too, you see, but it turned into seven volumes. I’m hoping to avoid that with this one). That isn’t to say that there won’t be other stories set in the same world as Falconsbane, BECAUSE THERE WILL. There’s too much to explore in there that one story can’t cover it all.
Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plantsing?
I’ve always liked to think of myself as a plantser, having an outline but letting the story and characters go as they will, but I fear that, the more I look at it, I might be more strict about the course of events than I realized. Some things are just set in stone, I guess. So I suppose I’d be more of a ‘plotantser’. Or something like that.
Name a few things that makes this story unique.
The Druyds! I’ve not yet come across a fantasy where the supernatural powers don’t actually have anything to do with magic. Another thing would be that the main character isn’t the actual target of the Big Bad Powers of Evilness. He’s the one who has to protect the target from the Big Bad Powers of Evilness. Also (and this might be a mite of a spoiler), Roscha’s Big Moment isn’t a joyful one. The truth, while it brings hope, can also be painful, and perhaps not entirely what we want it to be.
Share a fun “extra” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).
I don’t know about you, but I love listening to music, particularly instrumental, and especially when I’m writing. Music tells a story, except with sound instead of words, and sometimes these pieces inspire and bring to mind certain characters, scenes, or themes from my stories. I’ve got a progressive playlist of songs that inspire Falconsbane, and here’re three of them:
Where is My Place in This World, from Soundmopi. When I heard this song, the first thing that popped into my head was “This is Roscha’s theme”. The melody and undertones of loneliness it provoked seemed a perfect match for him. I just hope that, by the end of the story, his can end on a higher, and happier, note.
Zen Killer, by Two Steps From Hell, the composers of most of the music that I listen to. It’s dark and kind of scary, and it brings to mind the Druhydren, the Druyd hunters. Their purpose, deeds, and methods are all dark and scary, so it works as their kind of ‘anthem’ rather well.
Revival, from Fearless Motivation. This is a special piece that makes me think of a particular scene that happens later on in the story. I’ll call it Roscha’s Big Moment, but I won’t say more, because SPOILERS.
And there you have it, an introduction to Falconsbane! Check out Christine’s page and scroll to the bottom for links to other participating blogs to read about more stories, and if you’re writing one, too, join in the fun!