As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Brenda J. Pierson
Make sure you check all of her books here: www.amazon.com/author/brendajpierson
Writing stand-alone fantasy novels by Brenda J. Pierson.
Epic Fantasy. It just screams of giant sagas, book after book following characters who become as real and beloved to us as family. We’ve all been stuck mid-series, desperately waiting to find out what happens next. That’s the norm, but it isn’t necessarily all there is. I write epic fantasy, sure as day, but vast sagas of five, ten, who knows how many books? Not so much.
My name is Brenda J. Pierson, and I write the ever-so-rare breed of stand-alone epic fantasy novels.
It’s a hard concept for some people to swallow. Epic fantasy, swords and magic and monsters, all inside one book? Yes. A normal-sized book? Yes. Really? Yes, really.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sprawling epics as much as the rest of you. I’ve devoted years to waiting for the next installment of my favorite series, and I get depressed when they’re over. I love reading sagas. But when it comes to writing? Stand-alones is where it’s at.
Writing stand-alone novels wasn’t a conscious decision for me. When I first started writing at the tender age of 19, I never doubted I would write a series. After all, that’s what fantasy is all about, isn’t it? I finished my first novel four years later, and voila—I had a complete story, terrible though it was. Everything was wrapped up. I went back and added an epilogue of “but wait, there’s more” because that couldn’t be the end, right? That was only one book. It needed more, even if the story was finished.
I had another idea so I started a new book. Lo and behold, once that one was finished, I had another completed storyline. No hanging threads, no half-completed quests, no lingering threats to continue writing about.
My publisher has all but begged me to write series, or at least tie my novels into the same world. My readers ask why I create new worlds instead of continuing the stories I already have. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not out of the question—in fact, I plan to start work on a sequel to my first novel sometime next year. But you can bet that story will be completely self-contained, and if I have my way you could still enjoy it without having read the first book.
I just love writing stand-alone novels.
Each new world is a clean slate. Fresh magic, different monsters, an entirely new host of problems. Characters even I don’t quite know yet, with their own unique skills and problems and insecurities. It’s exciting, folks. I love creating new creatures and being horrified or disgusted by them. I love discovering a character’s secrets, or that moment when their skills become vital to the plotline in a way no other characters’ could have. Dragons and elves and dwarves are great and all, following beloved characters through adventure after adventure can be wonderful, but sometimes I just want something different.
Stand-alones offer an excellent opportunity for a change. You get a great story, new and fresh and exciting, and then you can move on and try something new. No confusion over where to start. No leaving characters in perilous danger for a year until the next installment comes out. Just adventure and excitement and satisfaction. It’s instant gratification, fantasy style.
There will always be room in my heart for the long-standing series. Some stories need three or five or ten books. But not all of them do. Sometimes a great story can be a single volume, packed with everyone you love, and that’s it.
Give it a try. You might just end up liking it.
About the author:
Brenda J. Pierson is just a nerd living her dream. She’s the author of epic fantasy novels Soul of the Blade and No Hill Without Treasure, co-editor ofWings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology, as well as the senior editor for Incandescent Phoenix Books. Writer, bookworm, avid gamer, lover of tacos, and crazy cat lady, she’s living the good life with her husband in kitties in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona.
Buy my books here: www.amazon.com/author/brendajpierson
About the books:
The power to Create and the power to Destroy divide the magical world into Evantar and Varyah, good and evil. The two sides despise each other, eradicating their opposition at the first sign of contact. Tsenian Windrunner stumbles into this war in the worst possible way—he releases the Shahadán, monsters of congealed, half-sentient Destruction magic. His only hope of setting this monumental mistake right is to ally with Brinelle, a knight-priestess of Creation magic, and seek the fabled Remnants. These stones, imbued with pure Creation magic, are their best chance to stand against the Shahadán. Then Windrunner’s own magic begins to surface, and it isn’t Creation-based. It’s Destruction, angry and volatile, growing stronger with each passing day. But resisting the allure of Destruction magic, and convincing Brinelle he can do so, proves to be as much as a battle as anything the Shahadán can offer.
Aeo, assassin for the king of Arata, thought wielding the legendary Bok’Tarong would be the ultimate show of power. Instead, his soul has become trapped inside the enchanted sword, and his only means of contact with the world is a new bearer who despises him for his crimes. They are humanity’s only defense against the mind-eating parasites preying upon mankind, and the key to possibly destroying them forever. Doing so would mean putting their trust in new, dangerous allies … but if they fail, they’ll have to watch the world fall to the Coming Madness.