Right. A blog.
I’ve been putting this off for a long time because it doesn’t come naturally to me. I am a man of few words (unless I’m drunk) and I don’t usually say anything unless it is really important or I think its funny. This is probably neither important nor funny, but hopefully it is marginally interesting, so here goes.
As you may or may not know, my first book (co-written with David Pilling), The Best Weapon, is an epic fantasy due for publication on 2 March 2012. There are two main characters (heroes, if you will) in the book: Fulk, a man raised as a warrior-monk on a freezing island in the north of The World Apparent, and Naiyar, a jungle warrior raised in the humid equatorial rain-forest. Of the two, Naiyar was my creation, while David dreamed up the north-man.
So, where did Naiyar come from, besides the jungle? You’re in luck, because I am going to tell you, hopefully without giving away what happens in the book.
This was my first fantasy novel. Naiyar was the first character I have invented and written seriously about, so I didn’t really have any idea where to start (this may prove to be a common theme if you continue reading my blogs). So I started at the most obvious place, with myself.
In my life I have fought a battle, a battle against my own rage, my own anger. I don’t know where the anger came from, I have blamed many things in the past – the deaths of two of my brothers, the police, society, my teachers, the odd brick wall – but all of them have proved trivial in comparison with my true problem. I needed to learn to control my rage or I would destroy everything I loved, including myself.
After many years of searching externally for a scapegoat, I finally realised the answer was inside me all along. My anger was part of me, and only I had the power to control it. Yes, I know, a big fat cliché, but bear with me.
I learned that, far from being a curse, my anger was a gift. I could channel it, I could be creative, and that has made me happier than I ever imagined I could be.
Naiyar’s “gift” is a little different, though not a million miles away from mine. We both have to fight our demons, we both find it confusing and enraging. We both experience deep loss and have to find a way to come to terms with it, and we both have to search inside ourselves for the answers.
The Best Weapon is, of course, a fantasy novel, but hopefully the fact that the characters are based on (or at least relate to) real people and real emotions will make it all the more believable. I hope you like Naiyar, he is flawed and vulnerable like a real person, but with a bit of a twist…