Other sites about my books and games

Welcome to my Blog!
Most of my posts will be to do with the books I write. Feel free to stop by my personal web page for how to obtain my novels.

Philip Blood This is a link to my personal web site.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nothing they do MATTERS!

As the title states: 'Nothing they do matters', well, that's the problem I considered when I finished reading one of my favorite fantasy book series, the Belgariad.  The problem, as I saw it, with a prophecy that has to come true, is that no matter what the characters choose to do in the story, does it really matter?  The prophesy says the way it will be, and so it is.  So when I started thinking about prophecies and how they are handled in fantasy, I got the idea for part of the story concept for the NexLord series.

If I was to put a prophecy in a book, how could I have a prophecy that would come true, and still give the characters choice that mattered?  So I tested the theory of self fulfilling prophecy in a table top game.  I wrote a prophecy, gave it to the players, then didn't force it to come true, and yet the players made every bit of it come true.  My conclusion was that when you think you know the future you make the future fit into your belief.

And that took me down the path of belief, and how a person uses a similar process in their belief system.  More than that, I considered how the power of a lot of people believing in the same thing influences others, and reinforces what the group believes.  At that point I applied my 'What if' principal (See Chocolate Manhole Covers in an earlier post) and said, "What if the power of belief could actually make that belief true?  Meaning, the more people that believed in something, the truer it became.

Then, assuming that was true, how would that work with a prophecy?  Once this power became known to people, how would they use it to manipulate the world?  And after a lot of consideration, along came Dark Prophecies, the first book in the NexLord series, and (among other things), my exploration of prophecy and belief as a real system of 'magic'.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chocolate Manhole Covers

A favorite author of mine, Larry Niven, wrote about one method he uses to comes up with ideas for stories (hence the Chocolate Manhole Cover reference).  It's sort of a 'What if?' philosophy.  You come up with something interesting, but not real, then analyze how that would affect the world if it was actually true.  How would it affect government, crime, relationships, history, laws, etc.

Before I even started work on the story of Cathexis, I thought, "What if there was a very rare metal, one so rare that you could never get more... like it came from a meteor, not from the earth.  And... what if that metal had a unique property?  It could take on a kind of psychic imprint.  In this case, the entire imprint of a person's memories and personality... or multiple people, as long as they kept it in contact with their body for a sufficient length of time.  That was my 'What if?'.  From there I started thinking about what this might mean, to a fantasy world.  After much more thought and many more 'What if' questions and answers, the Ardellen family story was born.

If you read my Cathexis series you will slowly come to realize that everything in the world is driven by this unique property of this strange metal, so rare there were only nineteen known items made from the meteor the blacksmith found.  That was 3,000 years before the story begins, and in that time Cathexis has changed the world forever.

Here is one dictionary's definition of the word Cathexis:

ca·thex·is definition
Pronunciation:  /kə-ˈthek-səs, ka-/
Function: n
pl ca·thex·es ; Pronunciation:  /-ˌsēz/
1 :  investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea
2 :  libidinal energy that is either invested or being invested

NexLord Covers

The three books in the NexLord series use images from the story, created within the MMO RPG gaming world on which I am the Lead Designer.  It was fun to setup the scenes from the books in the game world and then screenshot them for the book covers.

The first book cover for Dark Prophecies shows the four friends running the roofs of Strakhelm.  The second cover for Black Chains shows the mysterious attack on Aerin, Phoenix and Ricard at the Inn at Landers.  The third cover for Grim Realities shows the dragon outside the throne room of the Fortress of Fear.

Welcome to my new Blog!

I've been so busy publishing my books and working on my MMORPG game that I haven't had time to setup a Blog, until now!  I'm going to set aside some time now to post some information here now and then.

Right now I'm working on editing the third book of the Cathexis Series, which is four books in total.  The Cathexis series was an interesting experiment in stories for me.  I set out to write two trilogies that co-existed.  They both use the same characters, in the same world at the same time, but the first trilogy goes from book 1 (Necromancer's Dagger) to book 3 (Sorcerer's Ring), where it concludes in a big climax.  The second Trilogy begins in book 2 (Conspirator's Coin) and reaches it's big climax in book 4 (Desecrator's Sword).

The fun is that the reader gets to build to a very large climax... twice, as both book 3 and book 4 reach epic moments that resolve their story trilogy.  I can't tell you what those are or I'd spoil the story, but you do get a double payoff in these books.