Aenya Newsletter 9/01/2017

Greetings, fans!

The question I am most asked about Aenya is the most obvious one: when the heck is the book coming out? All I can say is, be patient. I admit to being a bit slow, but it’s only because I abhor the thought of releasing anything but the very best possible work. I’d also like to point out that, as a struggling writer, I, among others, are embarking upon a new age of independence. The big publishers are bleeding money, and as a result, have become increasingly mired by conformity. Vampires. Zombies. Apocalyptic teenage romances. Gritty Game of Thrones wannabes. And when something like 50 Shades of Grey makes a bajillion dollars, we get inundated with bondage porn, and an entire new section at Barnes & Nobles. Now, I don’t really blame the booksellers for this. They are simply doing what they need to survive. As I put it in my new bio:

Since starting out on this journey, nearly three decades ago, the literary landscape has changed. My dream of dropping a manilla envelope at the post office, to have a cigar-smoking editor in New York scream with delight at having found the next great author, is just that, a dream. We are living in a time when bookstores are shutting down and publishers are going broke. People have more addictive things to do these days, like staring at their phones and Netflix. We may be living in the last days of the written word, before the novel goes the way of the play, and I am well aware that the demands of the writer are greater than ever. On the other hand, the stigma associated with self-promotion is quickly fading. This is largely due to things like Kickstarter and YouTube. We are fast discovering that, not only can an independent entertain us, but that they can often be more humorous, and more sincere, than what’s on TV. In the literary world, the advent of e-books has become a double-edged sword, delivering a lot of pulp but also, some pretty great out-of-the-box writing we might never have otherwise seen.

In other words, independents have an even higher bar to jump than your average published writer. The Aenya series must not only be as good as your Tolkien, Martin, Rowling clones, but superior.

OK, getting off my soapbox now.

This summer, I took the family to London, because frankly, it is the world’s capital of great fiction. Being the literary geek that I am, I was only too thrilled to pick up C.S. Lewis, and the late great Terry Pratchett in the original Queen’s English. I was also frothing at the mouth touring Oxford University. But it was in the British museum where I rediscovered my inspiration for Aenya.

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Hero fighting a centaur

This is part of the “Elgin marbles,” named after Lord Elgin, whom my people blame for “stealing” from the sculptures of the Acropolis complex. Greek politics aside, this frieze, which originally adorned the pediment of the Parthenon, shows a Greek hero, possibly Heracles, fighting a centaur, possibly Nessus. For those of you in the know, I first featured Nessus in The Dark Age of Enya. He is responsible for giving Xandr his scar. Unfortunately, I had to cut the scene from Ages of Aenya, but that doesn’t mean I retconned the story. Nessus makes appearance in The Princess of Aenya and will probably crop up in future novels. Notice, also, how the hero fighting the centaur is entirely naked. This is a big part of my heritage. The Ancient Greeks envisioned their heroes sans clothing. It was, for them, an ideal, what has come to be called, the heroic nude. This is something I have long tried to revive in modern culture, through my heroes, Xandr and Thelana.

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Hero fighting a guard

To be fair, you won’t find any women, naked or otherwise, in combative positions on the Parthenon, or anywhere else. But this had less to do with modesty and more to do with sexism, in that the Greeks could not conceive of women as heroes.

The following day, in the Tower of London, I made another inspiring discovery. Will you just look at that sword:

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Holy crap! It’s like 7′ long!

 

OK, this might not have been a real weapon, used by a real person in battle. The Brits, just like the Greeks, loved their legends. Either way, it compares to Emmaxis, the sword hauled around by Xandr, which I have long considered too big to be practical. But just like the heroic nude, the protagonist’s weapon is an ideal, a storytelling tradition, and I do not pretend to be a historian.

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OK, if this is just making you want the book more, I give you a sneak peak at nickalimonos.com, my upcoming author site. Once it goes live, you will be able to order the book directly from there, for yourself and your friends, and every person you’ve ever met, hopefully. Ages of Aenya will also be available on Amazon.com

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3 thoughts on “Aenya Newsletter 9/01/2017

  1. Greetings from UK. The sword is real and the Broad Sword is designed to used by both hands. The visibility was poor and it would have been better if they were nude, but our weather…. Hope you enjoyed your visit and that you’ll come back. We might be a small island but its far more than London and Oxford.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by, Reg.

      I know broad swords are real, and that the Scottish claymore came into fairly frequent use, but this thing is just ridiculous. If it was used, I imagine it worked much like the Japanese naginata, designed to cut the legs off horses.

      As for rushing naked into battle, I don’t really recommend it! Even the Spartans, who loved being nude, were sensible enough to don bronze plate, despite what that silly “300” movie showed. Like I said, Xandr and Thelana are classical archetypes. Their nudity works in a variety of literary ways, symbolizing innocence, nature, etc.

      As for merry old Englande, I love, love, love your country. The countryside is beautiful, but more importantly for me, your people seem to value the written word in ways Americans do not (maybe this is how we ended up with Trump). It’s not just Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, Tolkien and Rowling—my favorite book is T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King,” and I truly adore the late (RIP) Adams’ “Watership Down.”

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      1. You’re welcome.

        The broadsword and claymore are two different beasts, although let’s face it, we wouldn’t want to be struck by either. As I understand it the claymore was always held in one hand, where as the broadsword was originally used two-handed. I believe the two-handed broadsword was used by armoured knights on foot, it’s weight slicing through the opponent’s armour, hence the development and use of chain mail. Not only was it lighter, it resisted the slashes of the heavy sword better. Sorry, I’m giving the impression of being some kind of expert, which I am not.

        Yes, we have had some great writers, still do of course, but the US has had its fair share too.

        As for Trump, while would not be my choice for President of your country, I’m thinking of the words stone and glasshouses as we have a PM who elects to weaken her negotiating hand rather than strengthen it. Not that I think we have made a wise choice in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

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