Secret Projects and the Wish for Style

HJ Sagan TreeMonday I briefly touched upon some secret projects and sparked some speculation. Rather than answering thedarkman’s question on that older post, I thought I’d open by touching upon it today. Yes, one of those secret projects is rich with old school sword-and-sorcery. So much so that your socks are going to be blown off when you get it in your hands. I am grinning with delight every time I think about the quality of the work involved, and the art I’ve seen, and other components, and when the time comes I’ll shout about project x from the rooftops and hope that you’ll help me spread the word about it so it can reach as wide an audience as possible. With a little luck and hard work more and similar things will come to fruition.

Yes, I wish I could say more. Soon I shall. No, it’s not a secret novel. And yes, the new novel project is definitely sword-and-sorcery as well, although it’s got more of a Zelaznian than a Howardian spin… and I’d like to say it’s got a Howard Jonesian spin to it as well. It would be nice to think that I’ve got my own style at this point, although maybe that’s not always apparent.

I mean, in the Dabir and Asim stories I deliberately use a formality to give it a faux “ancient manuscript” vibe, and relate everything through an unreliable narrator, and THAT’s not my style, just one that I use for those stories. And the Pathfinder books are a little pulpier — though in a good way, I hope — than what I might normally draft.

So maybe THIS series is more like a straight presentation of my prose stylings. I think you can see all of my favorite writerly influences, and my love of strong pacing and interesting characters. Perhaps the most common thread in my fiction is that I believe in heroes who will stand up and do the right thing even when no one is watching. As a student of history, I know that they have existed and come through for us in the past, and I know that heroes still live today among us. And I’m frankly a little tired of reading about the unhreoic ALL the time.

That’s not to say I like flawless, unrealistic do-gooders. Or that I never want to read about anti-heroes or rogues. Any frequent visitor to this blog knows how influential a lot of the Lankhmar stories were on this storyteller, and the tales of Leigh Brackett, and maybe they know just how much I love the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. There are scads of rogues in that there fiction, folks. But I like to write stories about heroes and I don’t see any sign of that stopping.