Monday, February 9, 2015

JOHN GROVER talks five things learned writing KNIGHTSHADE

It is the year 1412 in the continent of Eurone. King Gravynmere has sent some of his best soldiers to investigate strange stories in the nearby border town of Faxon. The men will soon learn there is more truth than fancy to these stories, for something walks in the fields, something with cloven hooves and fire dripping from its hands.

The king will rally his son, Prince Quinn, his entire army and all of the Kingdom of Vanosia to confront the very forces of darkness in an epic tale of adventure, magic and mystery as the veil between their world and Perdition grows thin.

Join the Prince as he battles for his land, his people and his beloved on a mission that will take him to ends of the world and back, through pain and sacrifice, war and horror as what is below claws its way to above.

1. Research makes a better book and better writer.
When writing Knightshade: Perditions Bleeds, book 1 of the Knightshade Series, I wanted to make it feel as realistic and true to its history as much as possible. Even though it’s set in an alternate world, I modeled it after King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and that time in our own history. I was going for a world filled with knights and castles with moats, Lords and peasants, cavalry and infantry, witches and wizards. I spent a lot of time learning about medieval armies, the hierarchy and structure of soldiers, their captains and lords, what the groups of soldiers were called, how and why they were employed by their lord or king, and how the reporting structure worked. I studied different types of armor from chain mail to leather. I researched all types of swords and other weapons of the time. In the end I really feel it mad a much stronger book and a great tale of fantasy war and adventure. It made me appreciate the art of my craft and I think I’m a better writer because of it.

I have written a lot of horror in my writing a career but wanted to give fantasy fiction a try since I had always loved it and wanted to create worlds of my own. One thing I quickly learned when trying to tackle fantasy especially epic fantasy is that there are rules to follow and a formula its fans expect you to follow. Not that you can’t break those rules but I found by learning them first, I would write a better tale. I needed to read more of what was out there, immerse myself a little bit more in the fantasy circles, its current writers and fans. It’s very different than writing horror, there is a lot world building and magic rules and many other things I never considered. So, it wasn’t just running in and writing a great story or book in a month, it was learning the rules, learning how to build others worlds and knowing my market. I’m still a beginner at it and still gaining an audience but one thing I’ve learned is to have patience while writing.

An Editor is a necessity.
Whether you self-publish or go the traditional route, I still think having an editor, another person to set their eyes on your work and slice and dice for you is key. Self-editing is great, but I am very close to the work and I miss things. I will be the first to admit I am terrible at catching my own mistakes but that isn’t even half of it. I work with a few different freelance editors and the editor that went over Knightshade: Perdition Bleeds was amazing. She caught things I hadn’t even thought of. There were consistency questions, word origins, period research that she called out as well as grammar, typos and sentence structure. My editor made my story even better than I had hoped. So if you can afford someone else to edit your work do it, but even if not, it is such a great idea to have someone else, a friend or someone, read it and at least give you feedback.

Have Fun.
I learned that if I wasn’t having fun writing the story, the reader wasn’t going to have fun reading it. When I was writing Knightshade I was excited about it. I thought long and hard on the tale and its various plotlines and subplots. When I wasn’t writing it I was thinking about it, I was taking notes, writing down scenes in a notebook and getting excited to get back to it. I couldn’t wait. When I finished various chapters, especially battle scenes, I would go back and read them and they put a smile on my face. I loved what I was reading and writing and I hoped others would too. I got caught up in this alternate world and its mysteries and puzzles, inhabitants and beasts. I always try to write what I would enjoy reading...and if you do that you usually can’t go wrong.

Move on to the next.
Once the book was done and published I knew I had to let it go and move on to the next. I’m like anyone else, my work is my baby and I want to keep polishing it, keep going back to it and push it as far as I can but eventually you just have to leave it alone. I let Knightshade go out into the world and then I immediately started on my next book: The Ashes of Orum, the final book in my Song of the Ancestors Series. If I keep obsessing over one title I’ll never move onto any others. As most of my fellow authors say, publish your book.
About the Author

John Grover is a fiction author specializing in Horror, Fantasy and Sci-fi residing in Massachusetts. He completed a creative writing course at Boston’s Fisher College and is a member of the New England Horror Writers Association.

Some of his more recent credits include Knightshade: Perdition Bleeds, The Ashes of Orum: Book 4 of the Song of the Ancestors Series, The Fetch: an occult horror novel, and stories in Dead Harvest, Best New Werewolf Tales Vol 1, The Epitaphs Anthology by The New England Horror Writers, and The Northern Haunts Anthology by Shroud Publishing.

He is also the author of various chapbooks, short story collections, novels and more. Please visit his website or his facebook page

All John's fantasy titles 99 cents for a limited time.
See this list for great deals:
Knightshade: Perdition Bleeds:
Possessing the Grimstone:
The Song of the Ancestors Series:
Web of the Spider Queen:
The Human Condition:
Ballad of the Fallen:
The Ashes of Orum:
The Books of Braenyn Serial:
The Scepter of Namiss:
The Fallen Church of Ashburn:
Family Bonds:
Tarrow’s Tale:
Duel on Mount Vapor:
Barnes & Noble:

Knightshade: Perdition Bleeds:
The Song of the Ancestors Series
Web of the Spider Queen(FREE):
The Human Condition:
Ballad of the Fallen:
The Ashes of Orum:
The Scepter of Namiss: