Hooray for Fantasy
Recently it was announced that one of my favorite fantasy authors, George R. R. Martin, was going to release the latest book in his Song of Fire and Ice Saga entitled, A Dance with Dragons. I personally couldn’t be more pleased to see that he finally got around to continuing this series. I know, it was a very successful series, and I’m sure he’s been very busy, but for his fans, it was long overdue. The Fantasy community needed this.
That said, I owe George a world of thanks. He was one of my inspirations to get into the world of writing. A good friend and author of mine (no, not George) once told me years ago that it’s not good to read anything while you’re writing. The reason being, you don’t want to be influenced by that author’s style of writing. You need to have your own voice. Heeding his advice, I would only write in-between novels. This is far more difficult than you would imagine. Not writing while reading seems impossible, and it nearly is … if it’s the genre you’re writing about.
So, while George took his long hiatus between releasing books (A Feast for Crows was released back in 2005), I had plenty of time to write. Granted, I was reading, but it was more of the old classics. I read many different styles and authors from the past, ranging from Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth to Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. These were great authors whom I knew I had no intention, or desire of duplicating their writing style.
This is not because I thought they were bad writers, on the contrary, I think they’re some of the greatest authors I have ever read. The problem with their writing style though is that it’s from an older generation. It was a different time and they had a different way of writing. Long gone are the authors who spent paragraphs, if not pages describing or setting up scenes to their stories. That was the time of radio and it was critically important to describe what the listener should be imagining.
Now we have the Internet and 24 hour television. The generation of today is an impatient, give it to me now audience, and I’m guilty as charged. Due to the success of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, readers no longer want fifty page chapters, they want five page chapters. They don’t need to know how the garden looks, they want to know what’s being said and done in the garden. Is it wrong? Not necessarily. It’s the result of getting anything you want at the click of a button versus having to wait for the release of news. People don’t want to wait, they want answers now.
Where does that leave me? Well, I’ll be frank, I’m as impatient as the next person, but I suppose I’ll have no choice but to wait until July for Mr. Martin’s latest release. Until then, I’m asking you for your help. I’m looking for the next great fantasy author to read. If anyone can recommend a fantasy author of this generation, who writes a fast paced, action packed story with great dialogue, please let me know. To the person who’s author appeals to me the most, I will send an autographed copy my novel Mayhem Fountain to their attention. So I say to you, my friends, suggest away.