Thursday, February 16, 2017

Guest Post by Eli Freysson, Author of The War of the Usurper

The War of the Usurper By Elí Freysson 

Genre: Space Opera 

The interstellar Realm of the Glorious Dawn has endured for eight centuries, providing stability and law in the wake of the Long Darkness. Now the assassination of King Tunus has plunged the Realm into civil war, and through the years eleven very different people get caught up in major events.
An ageing royal guard, an opportunistic rogue, an inscrutable mystic, an ambitious mercenary, a weary partisan fighter... all these and more find themselves in a spot where great events must turn on their actions.

As the Realm burns, young Princess Maraka, sole rightful heir to the throne, must weather tragedy, assassins, and the pressure of being a living lynchpin for the loyalist war effort. Before her lies a monumental task: Becoming more than a mere symbol. She must become the leader her battered subjects need.
 The author is giving away 10 copies of The War of the Usurper {ebook} a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Guest Post


One of the questions the people in my life ask me the most in regards to writing is “How do you get these ideas?” In a tone of some bewilderment. It’s one that leads me to wonder in turn “How do other people NOT get ideas?” and makes me step back and think about the strange phenomenon that the creative process is. The human brain is a very odd and mysterious organ, and trying to figure it out is a daunting task.

I can’t speak for other writers, but I don’t really feel like I GET ideas, in the sense that they’re something that I seek out. It’s more a case of THEM coming to ME. My mind is just geared towards thinking up narratives and interesting set-ups, and this is one of the reasons I know I will never stop writing, no matter how long success continues to elude me: The ideas never stop coming. I do enjoy refining them and turning them into an entire novel, but I also just need to get them out of my head for the sake of peace.

Given that I was a bookworm as soon as I learned to read, I don’t know if I’ve ever not spun stories in my head, but of course it took a long time before I started actually trying to write, and more time still before I developed the discipline, patience, and skill to do it properly. But I was always creating scenes and characters in my head.

There is no one thing that I seek inspiration in. There is no specific time of day I sit down and think “Okay, idea time.” It can come from any direction, at any time. A work of fiction, a news story, or just something I notice in my environment; Any of these and more can set something off.

I have a lot of ideas rolling around in the back of my mind; a lot of settings and different things I could do with each one. New ideas get filed there, while I’m working on current stuff. They start as a setting without a plot or a character/scene without context, and gradually grow in detail and depth until the finished result often has little to do with the original spark.

One recent resident of that little greenhouse is a medieval fantasy setting, in which long-ago warriors were gifted great power to save the world. Now it’s centuries later, and the world is long since saved, but the warriors remain as the setting’s nobility class. With no great evil to stand against and gifts that set them above the rest of humanity, they’ve become supremely arrogant and have fallen into the petty power struggles of... well, historical nobility. I’m currently envisioning the whole thing as an ensemble piece, starring in equal measure peasants who are sick of being misruled, the corrupt nobles, and at least one noble who actually wants to live up to the glorious past, while still seeing things through a lens of privilege.

And what sparked this? A song. One I felt made a fantastic bit of soundtrack to an epic duel at the end of a mighty conflict. Two superhuman characters, going at it, in the name of old glory. Something in my mind, whatever it is that enables me to create, started adding a structure around that one scene, that one FEELING and a setting that could lead up to that moment slowly took shape.

I can’t guarantee this story will ever actually see the light of day. Some story seeds do eventually get left behind to make way for better ones. But perhaps, several years down the line, we will see a fully developed version of this little spark. And all it took was a song, heard when I was in the right state of mind.

So, what is creativity? I guess I would describe it as a certain openness; a mind that is a ready receptacle for those little sparks, and willing to turn them this way and that until finding something to do with them. Is this inborn, or does this develop from simply never giving up one’s childhood instinct of constant information absorption and interpretation? I don’t have the neuroscience degree to answer that, but boy do I love it.

Now... to any aspiring writer who happens to be reading this, I just want to say this: Keep at it. If you have stories in your soul, if little things from here and there plant seeds in your head, and there are narratives you want to weave, then keep at it. Your very first attempts won’t be great, but writing is like any other skill. It takes practice. And while my dreams of moderate success (I’m humble like that) continue to elude me, I am very glad I persevered through the early days while learning how to write. A line I read in a novel years ago has stuck with me ever since, and given me strength through my writing endeavors: If we don’t follow our passions, we die slowly.

About the Author in his own words:
I was born in Akureyri in northern Iceland in 1982. Aside from a brief spell spent in Norway in my very early childhood I have spent my whole life here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum in my teens, which explains a whole lot and makes me just eccentric enough to be a writer. I graduated high school in 2004, after which I dove into my first attempt at a proper fantasy novel. I finished the first draft a year later, but it took me until 2011 to get it published. I followed with a book a year for the next four years, before deciding to move into the English-language market. I translated three of my fantasy novels into English and self-published on Amazon, and then started writing original material in English. And here we are. My hobbies include swimming, weight-lifting, video games, tabletop games with my friends, nature walks, and wasting time on Youtube.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey there. I just want to say: Thanks for hosting my little think piece. :-)

    -Elí Freysson