Thursday, May 17, 2012

GUEST POST: Sequels And Satisfying Endings by David Dalglish

Haern the Watcher is, without a doubt, my most popular character. I’ve had fans name their Skyrim characters after him, received numerous pleadings for more books featuring him, and even one man say if he wasn’t gay already, he’d go gay for Haern. I’ve written eight books now featuring him, yet to be honest, I screwed up terribly when I devoted a trilogy just to him.

It’s not that he can’t carry the story. No, the problem is that the focal point for his entire character arc, that of his rebellion against his father’s desire to mold him into the heir of a criminal underworld, gets settled outside the trilogy. Imagine if Luke and Vader, after the end of Empire Strikes Back, never saw each other again. This is my own fault in writing a prequel, of course, and I love my fans for having as much fun with the third book, A Dance of Death, as they did. The first book involved Haern’s emotional revolt against the underworld, the second detailing him fully grown and physically attempting to overthrow a culture of crime (think Batman and Gotham City). The third book took Haern away from his city, to face a copycat that exposed the dangers and hypocrisy of killing to create peace. My hope was the third, in focusing on just who and what Haern represented, and why he fought, might provide a satisfying conclusion.

But for a lot of readers entering into the trilogy prior to reading the Half-Orcs, I got the same response over and over: when does Haern confront his father? Why this side story? Generally I gave them a lame response and pointed at the Half-Orcs, but even then, there was one major problem: I wrote the climactic confrontation before ever going into detail with Haern’s backstory. Perhaps I’m just far too harsh a critic of my own storytelling, but in hindsight I feel I didn’t do it justice. I didn’t do it big enough!

Not anymore. With the Watcher’s Blade Trilogy, this is my chance to push everything to a head. I’ve got three different series taking place in the same world, and I’m tying them all together. This is my Avengers, if you will, my Justice League. Those who have stuck with me through the various storylines are going to be in heaven. The previous trilogy established these characters, and now with this one, I get to play. Haern and his father will get the confrontation I’ve always felt they, as well as my readers, really deserved. One where the whole damn city nearly burns down from the conflict, and there’s a dozen factions in the background trying to manipulate things their way.

Blood of the Underworld is my way of getting things started, and hopefully catching up any readers who are new to my world. In the Half-Orcs, two brothers nearly destroyed the world. In Shadowdance, a son rebelled against his father. With the Watcher’s Blade, I’m hoping for a nice mix of both in terms of scope and consequence, and I’ll gladly welcome anyone else to come along with me and enjoy the ride.

Assuming they don’t mind a few slashed throats along the way, of course!!!

AUTHOR INFORMATION: David Dalglish was born in Missouri and graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a degree in Mathematics. He is the author of the popular Half Orcs series, The Shadowdance trilogy and The Paladins series. He has previously worked as a manager and as a para-professional for Spec-Ed students. He lives with his wife and children in Missouri.

Official David Dalglish Website 
Read FBC's Review of “A Dance of Cloaks” 
Read FBC's Review of “A Dance of Blades” 
Read FBC’s Review of “A Dance of Death” 
Read FBC’s Interview with David Dalglish

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