Monday, 4 February 2013

Five Reasons Why ...

I'm currently undertaking the task of writing about 20 guest blog posts as part of the 'Beautiful Freaks' tour, which is somewhat of a task. The lovely book-bloggers have set quite a challenging range of tasks from play lists, to character interviews to this ... five reasons why someone should buy your book. 
When I first read this particular request, my heart sank; I'm typically English in my reserve about blowing one's own trumpet (or maybe that should be bugle) So I set about thinking how to approach such a 'showcasing' task - and boy was it hard. Not because there aren't a million reasons why a reader should buy my books, but somehow telling them why is ... well ... *Coughs and blushes* a little ....

I suppose I haven't really thought about what the reader might gain from my stories, other than the process of sharing in a human experience and a dream. When I write, I hope to write a magical fantasy, wrapped in the prettiest paper and tied off with a satin bow. I write stories as a gift to my reader - but I've never really considered what they might get out of this gift other than ... happiness, escape, love. That maybe it moves them in some way or other. It's a bit like asking a painter why another human should look at their painting. For some reason, that relationship between creator and viewer refuses to be bound by words. 

However, here is my attempt at offering you five reasons why a reader should buy The Knight Trilogy. I hope it doesn't come across as cliche or bugle blowing but that it shows you my deepest considerations about my story of Blake and Mina. 

Reason Number One: LOVE. This trilogy isn’t just a ‘true love’ story between two people, it’s about love as a wider concept; the love we have for our soul mate, the love for our family, friends and our home. It’s about how love offers us a sense of acceptance and belonging. The Knight Trilogy is a story that reinforces the motto ‘Amor vincit Omnia.’ That doesn’t mean that it’s easy, but that love is the force that can make us face unimaginable horrors and come out of the other side a survivor.

Reason Number Two: MAGIC: The belief in magic is important, no matter how old or cynical you are. Magic isn’t always the stuff of wands and potions – sometimes magic is a rare and precious moment that happens because of your own making; it can be the time you spend with someone special, who makes time stand still, the sun warmer, the air lighter and makes you shimmer with true beauty. In the Knight Trilogy, magic is an important aspect of the story but not perhaps in the conventional way of the fantasy genre; it’s subtle and sometimes invisible – just like I believe it is in the real world.
Reason Number Three: IMAGINED EXISTENCE. The imagined life is as important and relevant as the real life. Dream events are as much an experience as waking events. The world I have created in The Knight Trilogy is based on shared imaginations throughout time and myth. It’s a world the reader can access easily and feel at home in, because it is familiar and yet it offers a beautiful escape from the normal.  Mina’s divided life between ‘The Realm’ and ‘The Real World’ is symbolic of this. When she steps into the fantasy world of ‘The Realm’, she is free to explore who she really is, and this truth makes her a stronger person.

Reason Number Four: DELTA. The character of Delta has not only got a huge fan base of readers, but she has me as her biggest fan too. Initially quite a minor character, Delta (Mina’s unlikely friend) grew into something quite extraordinary. She is strong, intelligent, viciously funny, flawed and lovable, despite her outward walls. She is perhaps the true heroine of this trilogy. She makes her own journey throughout the story and in some ways it is a greater one than the two protagonists. It is because of Delta that the series is laced with humour. I can’t take credit for the laugh out loud moments (Delta is hilarious and so therefore nothing like her writer!)

Reason Number Five. NOT PERFECT.  These stories aren't perfect. They're no genius work of literature - but they are honest. The stories, the characters and the situations are all written with the desire to share a story and a world that I have created. 

You will either love this trilogy for its real fallibilities (yes, Mina is fickle - I was at seventeen. Yes, Blake is a bit contained - but it's his complex upbringing. Yes, some of the language - particularly in Book One - is a little flowery, because when I read the journals of my seventeen year old self, life was seen in metaphysical extremes.) or you will hate it for all of the very same reasons. The actual writing style of the trilogy is reflective of the growing up and maturing that the characters do. (I'd like to say that this was some conscious application of craft and that I've been clever enough to write a little weakly in parts of book one in order to reflect the weakness and naivety of the characters - but it wasn't.)

The trilogy charts my own journey as a writer. Starting off full of enthusiasm, passion, metaphysical and slightly extreme situations and develops into something more measured, controlled, stronger and accomplished. 

Reason Number .... because I know that I have a hundred stories to share and a million words to write, and when you invest those $3.00 by purchasing my trilogy, you allow me the time and situation to do that. It puts bread on our table and offers me a way to make a living creating my art. It's a slightly ugly reason to some, but it's a reason. When you invest in a writer or an artist, you invest in something magical and never, never underestimate the importance of  every single reader (lover or loather) to the writer. 


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