Originally a supporter-only post, posted February 2020.
I think I’ve always been fascinated by exploring and discovery. Whether Lara Croft visiting long hidden ruins or the portal fantasy novels of my youth where children were sucked into other worlds, I love the mix of the new and the old, and the sense that the world is bigger and more complicated than we know now — or even that we used to know, and have now forgotten.
And that has very much been a part of the novels I write, where even in worlds where magic already exists there characters discovering the truth of myths, digging up ancient forgotten magic, or pushing the boundaries of their universe and finding new magics, new worlds, new creatures.
With Tombtown, this has so far manifested in magic. The unearthing of the only existing Therianthropy text, thus bringing back a magic so long lost that most thought it was a myth. The Lich’s time-twisting magic and the unheard of toughness of Wandering Larry. There is, I hope, a sense that both necromancy and healing have a lot more to them than people really know, and that minions are more complicated than simply being unfeeling puppets, even though that’s the general consensus.
But the Tombtown presented in BOOKS & BONE is very much a traditional approach to fantasy and those specific fantasy elements, but with a twist. A certain amount of deconstruction, or looking at them from a new angle, but essentially all the tropes are very familiar.
THE BEAUTIFUL DECAY (Book 2’s working title) was originally intended to continue in the same vein. That the new elements introduced in this story (a new kind of creature, and of course the holy paladins) would be traditional with a twist.
The paladins arguably follow that. But the new creature has become something very different. But in a way, I hope, that will feel compelling and like an exciting new take. I don’t want to spoil it, but THE BEAUTIFUL DECAY plays with things beyond this plane of existence. Eldritch and fungal and terrifying. Which nobody in the world as it stands has yet had the chance to study or understand.
It’s going to be really fun to see how Ree and co deal with it.
After the book’s release, I’ll go into more detail!