David had been writing fantasy shorts for some time and sending them to me to read. They were excellent, especially the stories he wrote about a character called Hasan al-Asim, a mysterious assassin who was apparently based on me (small, thin and aggressive). One of my favourites was a story called Shunned (click the title to read it for free).
My idea was merely a seed: a child who was the last of his people, special in some way as yet undecided, and sought after by many powerful people. I wrote a short prologue and showed David. Thankfully, he liked what I wrote, if he had said it was crap things since then may have gone a bit differently. Writing is thirsty work so, without further ado, we headed to the nearest pub. Over a few decent ales we got talking about writing something together and our fantasy novel The Best Weapon was born (see Co-Writing an Epic Fantasy Novel to find out how we did this), which turned out to be the prequel to Sorrow.
Of course, I may have come up with the name “Sorrow” but the rest of it, like The Best Weapon, was an equal collaboration between the two of us. I think that our fantasy writing benefits from the natural, organic way we work. We talk about it. We get drunk. We get excited. We get animated. We get asked to leave. It is in our nature to come up with a very simple concept and elaborate on it, bouncing ideas off one another until it is unrecognisable and ridiculous.
The child Sorrow fitted perfectly into the world we had created for The Best Weapon, and continues the World Apparent saga. Sorrow Part 1: The Ring of Steel is now available from Musa Publishing. Each part of the serialised story will be released monthly. Sorrow Part 2: The Burned Earth is due for release on 19 October.
Meanwhile, The Best Weapon has received another great review, this time on Dianna’s Writing Den, a great literary blog written by writer Dianna L. Gunn, whose work I eagerly anticipate. David’s historical fiction series, The Chronicles of John Swale continues to rumble on with Part 11: Dupplin Moor now available from Musa Publishing. You can read a recent review of Folville’s Law, the novel which started this series on historical fiction author Darlene Elizabeth Williams’ blog.
Time for me to finally get some work done on another fantasy short, The Moment of Silence, which at this rate will be finished sometime before Armageddon, but I’m not promising anything.