Visiting Writers Activation, conversing with Russell Cornhill, a fellow fantasy writer and founder of Gold Coast Novel Writers. Then following day Colleen Logie, a close friend who is writing a book about a detective story set in 1920 on the Gold Coast, I found out something interesting. As I was going over my basic plot line of my books, something occurred to me. Making me realise that I have hidden messages about today society and my personal feelings about these subjects.
The worst thing about discovering this was that I wanted my novels to be light and entertaining to read. Heck, who wouldn’t be satisfied with a half-elven hero, magic, budding technology, swords and fight scenes, etc. You might have read in a previous blog my elevator pitch, ‘An average man stumbles upon a conspiracy in the Duchy that could lead to a civil war.’ Now this is the general plot of my book, how does my protagonist deal with this; you just have to read the book but back to thinking about the underlying storyline.
In past blogs, I have talked about how I created this world and some of my main characters. The main idea for my book ‘Lake Merrin’ was to have something that most people today would relate to, an average person who is a semi-pariah in society and has just left the army after a five-year tour. Is now dealing with normal society but has little money and skills besides soldiering to find ways to pay for food or a roof over his head. I have been desperate in my past, either from not having a job or the bills have piled up to an unreasonable size. So I can understand what someone would have to go through to survive. So the first book underlying theme is living from day to day as a broke person. Now that seems okay; my second book ‘Bloody Coin’ turns a little darker. Not to go into too many details, but I reflect on what is happening in America with this Brock kid if a woman was abused and used in this sort of way, is it alright for her to defend herself? Of course, it is, but I dive a little more into it. What if a group of women all come from that sort of abuse, start to see all men as evil and react violently to them. Now not saying some of these men are not deserving of this retribution but when does it go is too far? At what point do you become the monster? This book sways towards that grey area of thought, defend yourself yes, straight murder and torture, mmm. That is for my readers and my heroes the Rejects to decide.
The conversation continues to my third book, again not going into too many details; it follows something in today society, the treatment of native or indigenous people. In ‘Savage Rebellion’ this theme crops up, showing an indigenous population standing up to a more industrial nation. As I am of an Aboriginal descendant from both sides of my family and see myself as a duality of Caucasian and Aboriginal, I can understand both sides of the story. Again the blurry line between what’s right and wrong. I ask myself, is it wrong to fight for your rights of being a free people? No, of course not but as my life in that regard has not been great it can be hard for me to reflect on this events. I never feel that my Aboriginality causes my lot in life to be harder (but I have had some racism directed at me), but there are many, many people out there who struggle with this issue every day.
I do have two more books; I would prefer not to go into them as the more I talk about it, spoilers will come. Was this line of this line thought my intention to the underlying theme of my books? No, I just love grounding my fantasy world, Amsul with real world topics. I didn’t realise how these matters subconsciously affected me. I am glad it came out in my writing.