I thought I’d take a few minutes to discuss the fantasy series I’m currently reading.
A week or two ago I had something happen to me that I absolutely love – I finished a book from an author I’d never read, went back out to Amazon and discovered this was only Book 1 of a long series. Yeehaw! I really love it when I find that an author I’ve just found has a great many books out.
This time, the author is Lindsay Buroker. The initial seven book series is “Dragon Blood” but is also followed by the “Heritage of Power” series and a standalone called “Shattered Past.” These are all set in the same world with the same core characters.
I’m blogging about this series because it has a few attributes that I really enjoy in fantasy.
- Sex – no no no not erotica or porn, but simply the acknowledgement that sex is a part of everyday life and a normal thing to feel and think about. Most of the time it seems that fantasy (and sci-fi) gloss over this rather than acknowledging it.
- Gender roles and stereotypes – I actually think that fantasy handles this topic really well over all. Sure, there are a lot of “damsel in distress” stories in the genre, but there are also a great many stories where the female characters are powerful, capable and well represented. I always thought Robert Jordan did that well in Wheel of Time, and I think Lindsay Buroker handles the roles well here, too. She also isn’t afraid to put men in positions of weakness where they need to be rescued. In other words, Buroker is very “real” about the gender roles, which I appreciate.
- Social Issues – in these books one of the key social issue concerns deals with magic-users versus non-magic-users and I think that the concerns and feelings are well-handled. They give the reader something to think about without being as polarizing as “real world” social issues would be.
- Humor – I love humor in books. Humor in situations, in dialog, in the prose itself. My favorite character in the series is Jaxi – a smart ass magical sword. Her observations on the world around her are hilarious, especially when she discusses other characters that are “frolicking horizontally.”
Anyway, I won’t be giving any spoilers away about the books other than the general topics above. I sincerely hope you give the books a try.
Lindsay, should you happen to read this – thanks for hours of enjoyment! Good stuff and I look forward to reading more of your books. Your Amazon reviews from me will be coming. I hope you’ll forgive me that I’m more motivated to read the books than to comment on them at the moment! But the reviews will be there. For the rest of you who pick up these books – put your reviews out there when you’re done!
I would love to hear what other readers think of these books in the comments below!
Lindsay Buroker – Twitter web site
***2/27/2018 – as promised, reviews are up on Amazon. While my reviews aren’t real detailed, I wanted to point out the unique and fun aspects of Buroker’s writing. I encourage you to read the Dragon Blood and Heritage of Power books, then put up your own reviews. Reviews matter!
So I’ve decided to back off on flash fiction and drabble. I have a few pieces out there so I have a bit of a portfolio, but now I’m going to focus on something more substantial. I needed to choose between my WiP novel (working title is “White Dragons on a Blue Sky”) and a short story series I’ve played with off and on since college.
I’m going to do the short story series.
I am going to spend the next few months with a pair of rascals named Strom Coalbeard (“The Archmage of the Black Tower of Athar”) and Ash Brightspark (“The Red Dragon of Death”).
These two will caper through a fictional world with a demented carefree attitude in search of the home they’ve forgotten the location of. My vision is to have them star in a 5-10 episode short story series published by a single magazine (print or online). I’ll get to learn more about the query process and the short story world. And I’ll get to learn if they ever manage to find their home. Double win for me!
Strom, nearly a thousand years old (mostly thanks to magic), is hard-of-hearing, cantankerous and a bit perverted. By this point, his magical abilities are virtually limitless, but his imagination is a bit lacking and he’s just no longer impressed with the mundane things of the world.
Ash, his loyal companion, is equally grouchy and significantly older. Being near-sighted has led the pair to plenty of arguments about near-death experiences involving the sides of mountains or other flying beasties. He can transform himself into an elf for those rare times he deigns to take the shape of lesser beings.
Their names live on in legend but the world no longer pays them much attention. They’d taken a well-deserved hiatus from evil-doing and in the process forgotten any ideas of world domination. Now they look for cheap beer and clues as to where their lost Tower and treasure hoard might be located.
I’d welcome suggestions about publishers that would consider a short story series. I’ve got several of the stories written to near-completion status, so I’m ready to get the process rolling.
Well it’s been quite a month for me to kick of 2018.
- Two drabble pieces put online – The Guitar and The Moral Hypnotist
- One acceptance of my strongest flash fiction story, due out at Riggwelter in May 2018
- One acceptance of another flash story, due out next week at Who Writes Short Shorts
- I’ve also established my 2018 writing goals and begun to work on them.
- I am going to spend the next few months working on a short story series about a pair of rascals named Strom Coalbeard (“The Archmage of the Black Tower of Athar) and Ash Brightspark (“The Red Dragon of Death”).
- I’ve been reading Jeff Gerke’s “The First 50 Pages” for discuss by CSWriters, a local writing group and C.S. Lakin’s “The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction“
- I put a diagram of The Hero’s Journey up as my desktop background on my Mac to help remind me to provide more structure and process to my writing (something I think I seriously lack!).
- I’ve added a bunch more submissions sites to my reference page. The page is almost too big now to be practical and I’m trying to think of how to improve it (suggestions welcome!).
- I’ve hit about 1900 Twitter followers and established relationships with several of them.
- I got to beta read a great story from Melissa Carter
- I learned about Ko-Fi and Medium Lit Up from the wonderful Tanja Ramirez
So holy moly – things are cruising along well. I have to travel next week for work and so I’ll be stuck in a hotel room for hours with nothing to do. I sense a LOT of writing in my future!
I’d love to hear in the Comments below how your January went in terms of writing goals and milestones.
Looking forward to February…