March 17, 2015
So here I thought I would go over some basic things about Kings or Pawns and the series in general. I wish more authors would do this because as a reader, this is the type of information that I really want to know when I’m searching for a new book.
What I want is to define a clear audience (so as to save you money and myself, negative reviews). We both win. I mean, mostly, that is. If you aren’t part of this series’ audience, you ultimately lose. ;)
I’ll go over audience, pacing, style, and finally, the best part if you make it to the end: content. (But let’s be honest: you won’t like the last bit if you’re not ok with the audience, pacing, and style!).
The audience for Kings or Pawns (and the series in general) is adults. That means that there is adult content. If you wouldn’t see a rated-R movie, then this series and you were not made for each other: cussing, sex, and violence are included. Just as importantly, there are themes of emotional maturity that are not usually broached in a young adult novel.
“Even if you are done with the novel, I hope I am still of some entertainment use.”
The pacing for each book in the series will be different based on the style, content, and characters involved. You might not be so fond of one book and absolutely love another. You might only like one series but love the other. This may seem fairly obvious, but I state it none-the-less. In the case of Kings or Pawns, the first book in Steps of Power: The Kings, the pacing starts out slow (very probably the slowest book in the series, if this makes you feel any better. Though it probably doesn’t). Not only is this book laying the foundation for the rest of the series and events to come, but it is also a political intrigue high fantasy novel. The pacing picks up about 1/3 into the novel and the last third of the novel is very fast. The second, third, and fourth book in the series are action/adventure and their pacing is significantly faster.
If you require fast pacing or action quickly into the book, or you have low patience for story-building, this book is not for you. However, if you decide you want to give it a shot, I did have several beta readers who stuck with it and were extremely happy they did. Does it pay off? Yes. Absolutely. But if you are one of those people who requires action or fast-pacing at the beginning, I promise you nothing but misery. If you are one of those people who loves intrigue, character and world exploration, and action, I promise you joy.
“Yes. It sucks that much.”
Kings or Pawns, as well as the other books in Steps of Power: The Kings series, are written as several points of view. Not only is this necessary to tell the events of the story, but more importantly, it is a window to the characters. I strive to make each character likeable so that you do not leave one point of view and groan about the next. I try to keep the points of view in each novel (in The Kings part of the series) to around four characters. All of the readers I’ve had thus far have had different favorite characters—which I hope is a sign that each character will be liked and entertaining for each reader to come.
If you feel the over-whelming need to jump chapters if a point of view leaves off as a cliffhanger, this book is not for you: you will absolutely spoil content for yourself. As much as you want to know the answer, trust me, you don’t want to know it that much.
“Wait—they’re not even part of the same story!”
Forever (yes, forever), I have wanted to write books driven by characters with plots and situations that stick with the reader. That emotionally move the reader. In addition to carefully choosing the plot and characters for each story, I also enjoy telling a deeper story: through themes, motifs, and symbols. While these are rarely glaringly obvious, they are present in every story. Some span one novel while others expand over the mini-series they are a part of. I thoroughly enjoy writing grey areas and thus, grey characters. Rarely are things so black and white. And this allows for fascinating heroes and villains alike.
If you are interested in purely evil villains or purely good heroes, I can rarely offer you that. In general, my villains are as human as my heroes. We often choose to dehumanize evil. I believe the best characters have a thought-provoking story to tell: good or evil.
“Seven of these characters are legends. Six of these characters are heroes. Two of these characters will stab you in the back.”
And throughout the series, there is adventure, humor, tragedy, intrigue, suspense, and action! If you have made it this far, I hope that Kings or Pawns is as much a joy to read as it was to write! Thank you for your support!
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