As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. I am very excited andthe author of the Teutevar Saga
Into Exile: A Teutevar Saga Prequel
So go get your copies!
“No New Stories”
by Derek Alan Siddoway
“There are no new stories in the world anymore” – Dexter Palmer
Well, Mr. Palmer, that’s certainly a bleak outlook.
Even so, he’s got a good point. Whether you’re a writer or a reader, after you’ve read enough stories it’s easy to pick out the small variety of genre skeletons they’re built on. So what keeps us going back for more?
For some random reason, there’s this quote from the 2004 version of The Alamo that’s stuck with me since I saw it a dozen years ago. Jim Bowie (Jason Patric) and Colonel Travis (Patrick Wilson) despise one another for most of the film. Travis is portrayed as sort of a snide, by-the-book dandy and, in one scene, Bowie (who’s a rough-edged favorite amongst the defenders) gives him this long exasperated look and says “Sometimes…it’s just the way you say things, Travis.”
Which brings us back to our original topic. Maybe there aren’t new stories, but there are always new ways to tell stories.
Let’s look at a few recent-ish examples in the fantasy genre. The First Law Trilogy, while not the first to feature “morally grey” characters, certainly brought the grimdark sub-genre to the, uh… light. We got an uber-powerful wise old mentor in Bayaz who was a complete jack wagon and a Chosen One gone wrong in the spoiled, manufactured Jezal Dan Luthar — and that’s just scraping the surface.
Scrape away the surface, though, and you’ve basically got a traditional fantasy plot akin to Tolkien if — SPOILER ALERT — when Frodo threw the One Ring in Mount Doom, it set off a nuclear reaction throughout Mordor, giving Samwise fallout poisoning.
Game of Thrones is basically a ripped off version of the War of the Roses with dragons and ice-zombies. Avatar is cowboys and indians on a sci-fi planet. The Force Awakens is a retelling of A New Hope.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.
Great stories aren’t defined by the centuries-old skeleton you construct them from, they’re made great by the flesh, muscle and guts you slap inside and around the bones.
Give 10 writers that same outline of a book and they’ll each come up with 10 different versions, based on their beliefs, backgrounds and personal tastes. No two storytellers are alike. Take me, for example.
I grew up in a strange cauldron of influence. In my younger years it was a toss-up if you’d find me fighting outlaws with my cap guns, questing around our family farm with my wooden stake crafted into a sword or slicing the limbs of Battle Droids (read: Cedar Trees) with my lightsaber. In high school, this morphed into a mashed-up conglomeration of interests that found me just as at home in the library perusing the fantasy section as it did on the football field or track.
That’s right, nerd-hipsters, I’m numbered amongst the Game of Thrones Old Guard, waaay back before the HBO days AND I dated a cheerleader. What can I say? I bring balance to The Force.
Naturally, when I began writing my first fantasy series, Teutevar Saga (LINK), this blend of influences showed up in my work. The end result is a little subgenre of my own I call medieval westerns — traditional epic fantasy with swords and castles set in a North American landscape (if you’ve read The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron or Red Country by Joe Abercrombie you’ll have an idea of what’s going on). It’s my own little re-skin of epic fantasy, a world that no one but myself could have created because, while there may be no new stories in the world, there will always be new storytellers.
Derek Alan Siddoway
Derek Alan Siddoway is the 24-year-old author of Teutevar Saga, a “medieval western” series combining elements of epic fantasy with the rugged style and folklore of American Westerns (read: John Wayne meets Game of Thrones). His journey as a storyteller began over a decade ago with a particularly thrilling foray into Pokémon fan-fiction. Ten years later, Out of Exile, his debut novel, and the first book in the Teutevar Saga, was published. An Everyday, Undaunted Author, Derek spends his time reading, obsessively filling notebooks, adventuring outdoors and celebrating small victories. He’s a sucker for good quotes, peach lemonade and books/video games with swords in them.
Derek Alan Siddoway
War is brewing. The hunt begins. Exile is over. Revan Teutevar is the exiled heir of an extinct country fed up with a life in hiding. He’s also a boy on a manhunt with blood on his hands, tracking his mother’s kidnappers. Aided by a renegade leprechaun and a smooth-talking minstrel, the young Teutevar pursues his foes across a land on the brink of war. Faced with trials at every step, Revan learns quickly that, out of exile, the line between right and wrong is blurred in the best of times…and nonexistent in the worst. Out of Exile is the first book in the Teutevar Saga, an epic and historical fantasy series with elements of western sci-fi and action/adventure. If you like historical fantasy mixed with the Wild West such as Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country or Miles Cameron’s Traitor Son Cycle, then you’ll love this suspenseful and refreshing tale.
As shadows lengthen and darkness falls across Peldrin, everyone has a score to settle. Headstrong and impatient, the young, exiled lord, Revan Teutevar, has his heart set on returning to Athelon. Between him and his ruined homeland, however, lies Vhaleons: a city ruled by corruption and greed. Chasing the threads of a dangerous conspiracy, Revan and his friends soon find themselves entrapped in a game of power and deceit. One false move and the lives of the three drifters are forfeit. Captain Nikoma is a young woman desperate to prove her worth in a man’s world. She’s a loner, an outsider even amongst her fellow Simarru riders no matter how well she swings a sword. But war with the Imperium League is at hand, and with it, the chance to step out of her father’s shadow…if she can stay alive long enough to change her stars. With war looming, the west has forgotten about Arund. Even so, the one-time Hero of the Republic and would-be high king hasn’t been idle. East of the Heimwall, he’s rebuilding his capital and amassing a motley horde to stake his claim in the growing chaos. If he can hold them all together — fierce Jotun, barbaric Periwaneth and treacherous Emorans — the White Knight could very well make good on his vow to rule all of Peldrin.
Into Exile: A Teutevar Saga Prequel
Widowed. Hunted. Exiled. From the ashes of destruction, a saga begins.
When her country is conquered and her lord husband slain by his best friend, Guinevere, Lady of Athel, has only one thing left to live for: her young son Revan. Forsaking vengeance to honor her husband’s last wish, Guinevere flees with Revan — the last heir of the Teutevar line. Exile, however, will not come easy. Pursued by ruthless invaders and a wilderness full of bloodthirsty savages, Guinevere’s only allies are a loyal spearmaiden and a deranged mountain man. The Lady of Athel may not fear death, but should she fail, Athel’s last hope falls with her.
Into Exile is an introductory prequel that takes place before the events of Out of Exile in the world of Teutevar Saga. Fans of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country and Miles Cameron’s Traitor Son Cycle will enjoy the Teutevar Saga and its unique blend of traditional medieval fantasy in a gritty, American Western landscape.
Swords for Hire: A Frontier Fantasy and Medieval Western Story Anthology