I have reached the first 40 pages of my third fantasy book. For months, I underwent a unique and severe case of writer’s block. I planned the whole story out, but I lacked the motivation to actually write it. Now, having conquered my writer’s block, I developed a new system of writing the story. It is similar to what I did with The War of the Gilded Beasts, where I wrote the battles first and filled out everything in between. This time, I wrote out the chunks of the story I had planned out and fill out the rest of the story later. Before these methods, I would write the whole story from start to finish and did not jump in between scenes. Now, I can write the sections that need to be written and worry about the rest of the story later without worrying about writer’s block. Today, I introduced the female lead of the third fantasy book. She may be a thirteen-year-old girl now, but she is already a shrewd, ambitious, and politically astute badass! These traits will intensify when she grows up.
When Henry VII of England married Elizabeth of York, they had eight children, but only four reached adulthood and only three had children of their own. Henry and Elizabeth’s firstborn son and heir was Prince Arthur Tudor, who married Catherine of Aragon before dying of an unknown disease shortly afterwards. Despite being the heir apparent before his death, Arthur is largely forgotten. In another life, Arthur would have been king and the Tudor Dynasty would have lasted longer under his rule. Henry VIII, who needs no introduction, was never meant to be king because Arthur was the heir and Henry was the spare. The daughters of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York had a brighter future than their brothers. Mary Tudor was married to the King of France and her descendants ruled France until the French Revolution. Margaret Tudor had the brightest future and legacy of all the Tudor children because she married the King of Scotland and her descendants eventually ruled both Scotland and England right up to the present day.
Because the Magnus Dynasty is my own fantasy reimagining of the Tudor Dynasty, I am thinking of basing the children of my new main character on these Tudor children. I also think it is more balanced in terms of gender: two sons and two daughters. I already have the descendants of these sons and daughters of Magnus planned out in a genealogical chart. Their story will be told in full in my upcoming third fantasy book.
When I visited my local comic book store, I pitched the idea of having a book signing at their store. They said they would be happy to have a book signing. Also, the filmmaker who made my documentary earlier this year would like to film the occasion as part of a larger documentary project she is putting together. Depending on when it happens and if it all goes well, it might become as successful as my WonderCon book signing in 2015. I will keep you updated on any further developments.
After much thought, I have decided to abandon the idea of hiring an illustrator for now. I spoke with my lawyer regarding the steps involved and I think it is not worth it. As much as I would love to give my world and characters physical form, what my lawyer describes seems too troublesome. Until I can properly navigate through the necessary steps, I think my books are fine just the way they are. Also, there was one instance in which one of the illustrators I contacted tried to steal one of my books. Until I can come up with a plan to counter this, I do not feel safe at this time. I will keep you updated if I change my mind about this matter.
Medieval Europe had its fair share of mad kings such as Charles VI of France and Henry VI of England. Their madness was often due to the fact that the European monarchs practiced incest with one another for centuries, which resulted in mental defects in their descendants. The monarchs of Europe had interbred with one another so frequently over the years, that they all eventually became blood relatives, which made mad kings increasingly more common. However, what if a monarch becomes mad not through any biological or mental defect but as a side effect of using forbidden magic? I always say that magic ALWAYS comes with a price. I am thinking of keeping with the tradition of mad monarchs in my fantasy series and their madness will be caused by a form of magic that grants them immense power at the expense of their minds. In their madness, my characters will be mostly catatonic with their hands and necks contorted, but when they are roused they would degenerate into mindless beasts that would attack anything that moved. In addition to believing he was made of glass, Charles VI would sometimes think he was a wolf so I thought of incorporating that into some of my crazy characters.
In some of my earlier posts, I talked about how the monarchs of medieval Europe feuded against one another. Another example is the feud between Francis I, King of France, and Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. These two royal titans were among the most powerful rulers of the Renaissance.
Their feud started because they both wanted to become the next Holy Roman Emperor. Being the Holy Roman Emperor was the most coveted title of medieval Europe because it not only came with immense wealth and vast lands, but it gave its wielders absolute power, which normal monarchies don’t allow. The only person who outranked the Holy Roman Emperor was the Pope.
Unlike other royal titles and positions, the role of Holy Roman Emperor was not inherited but awarded through elections. These elections were decided by a council of bishops and princes and their choices were often swayed by whichever candidate could provide the biggest bribes. Both Francis and Charles took sizable loans from the wealthiest banker in Europe, but Charles was the one who raised the biggest bribe, therefore securing his ascension as Holy Roman Emperor.
Embittered by his loss, Francis attempted to form an alliance with Henry VIII of England in an attempt to supplant Charles. The alliance broke down before it began after Francis humiliated Henry in a wrestling match. Out of spite, Henry formed an alliance with Charles, who happened to be his nephew through his first marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Outraged, Francis went to war with Charles. Charles siding with Henry also gave Francis a pretext to seize land Charles had that he desired, which included the Duchy of Milan and the Netherlands.
As enraged and ambitious as Francis was, he was up against the largest and most powerful empire in Europe and the odds were stacked against him from the start. Even though France was wealthy, fertile, and powerful in its own right, it was nothing compared to the Holy Roman Empire during this time. In addition to the usual lands that came with the Holy Roman Empire, Charles possessed so much more. Charles was originally King of Spain, but with the death of his grandfather, the previous Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian I, Charles’s empire exploded! Charles V ruled not only Spain and the territory of the Holy Roman Empire, but he also inherited lands in Italy, the Netherlands, and all the conquered land of the Americas. It was a regime that came to be known as “the empire on which the sun never sets.” It was one of the largest post-Roman empires that ever existed. Compared to Francis, Charles was wealthier, more influential, and could summon much larger armies.
Francis tried to take the lands he desired from Charles, but he was defeated and captured. Charles eventually released Francis on the condition that Francis forfeit all claim to the lands he craved. To ensure Francis’s good behavior, Charles held Francis’s two sons hostage. Shortly after, Francis defied his pact with Charles and reignited his claim to his desired lands. In response, Charles stripped the captive princes of all forms of comfort. The conditions the princes were living in were so extreme that the younger prince forgot his native language. Eventually, Francis raised another army and tried to take his sons back by force, resulting in both France and the Empire reaching bankruptcy. Desperate for both money and peace, Charles offered a ransom for the release of the two French princes. After temporary taxes, Francis raised the money he needed to get his sons back and an accord was achieved between France and the Holy Roman Empire. Francis never got the lands he desired and his kingdom was bankrupt from war, but he secured the future of his dynasty when he got his sons back.
I like the rivalry between these two powerful monarchs. In my upcoming third fantasy book, the main character, who is the Emperor of Gradaia, goes to war with one of his vassal kings. The rebellious vassal king just happens to be one of the emperor’s cousins, which makes the feud all the more awkward.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a vampire. To be a vampire would mean to be immortal, but it would be immortality that would come with certain conditions.
Chief among these conditions are that I can only eat blood whether if it is human blood or animal blood. I would keep my pantries, refrigerator, and cellar fully stocked with bottles of blood. That way, I won’t have to hunt and kill prey. Some vampires need to feed once every four or five days. With this in mind, I will drink one whole bottle of blood once every four or five days. That way, I can make my blood supply last for a long time. The question is how would I acquire the blood if I do not hunt and kill prey. I would buy blood from blood banks and slaughter houses. That way, I can keep my belly full and not worry about becoming a predator. I would preferably buy blood that has high blood sugar. To a vampire, that would be like drinking maple syrup or chocolate milk.
I like the 30 Days of Night vampires because they could only be killed through either exposure to the sun or decapitation. That way, as long as I stay out of the sun and keep my head fastened to my shoulders, I will live forever.
Being immortal, I would literally have all the time in the world on my hands. I would spend my days sleeping and my nights doing whatever I pleased. I would have more than enough time to write books until my imagination was spent. I would see every new Star Wars film that will ever be made. I would read every manga and watch every anime. The sky is the limit as long as I do it at night.
When you are immortal, you always risk your loved ones growing old and dying in front of you. With vampires, you have the option to grant immortality to another person, making that person your eternal companion. However, I will allow a human to get to know me to the fullest before giving them the option to join me until the end of time. I am a social individual and I am always looking for someone to socialize with. I don’t want to risk driving a potential companion away by taking away the choice of whether or not they want to be human. If I turn the against their will, they will hate me and either kill me or run away into the night to become man-eating predators.
In addition, vampires sometimes turn animals into their familiars. Familiars are servants who are as long lived as a vampire, but not a vampire themselves. I could turn my pit bulls into my familiars. They would guard the house while I am sleeping by day and sleep on my lap at night while we lounge.
Overall, if I was a vampire, I would have civilized and a semi-human lifestyle.