I have another great guest post for you today, this time by Australian fantasy writer Shane Porteous. He is the author of How Gods Bleed, an alternative Dark Fantasy Actioner, which has been called the most original werewolf story ever told by more than one reviewer. In this guest post he talks about the process by which How Gods Bleed came about, and I must say the post alone convinced me to get a copy of his book. I hope you feel the same.
My Writing Journey
by Shane Porteous
I really wish there was a book that I could point to and say that is the reason why I write. I see so many great writers cite Lord of the Rings, the works of the Stephen King and various classics as the reason why they write. For me there is no such book, I have simply written and told stories my entire life. That isn’t to say that there hasn’t been influences over the years, but there is no one book that can lay claim to being the reason why I write.
This often poses the question why I write as a difficult question to answer. The best one I can give you is it is simply who I am. Regardless of what else is going on in my life, if I am not writing or thinking of ideas to write than I feel incomplete.
As far back as I can remember I have always told stories. Before I could write I would draw. As a very young child I would draw everything from robots to dinosaurs. As I grew a little older and was able to spell a handful of words, I realized that I didn’t have the patience or talent to tell my stories through drawing. That is when I turned to writing; early on my stories were very generic action and fantasy stories. Ripped off directly from the cartoons and video games I would watch and play. At the time the quality of my stories didn’t really matter to me, I was just having fun writing.
A few years later I saw something that would forever change the way I wrote and thought about stories. I saw an anime called Guyver: Bio Booster Armour. Still a child I was mesmerized by this cartoon that was filled with violence and swearing. But beyond the bloodshed and language Guyver had represented its story in a way I had never seen before. The straight forward black and white way of storytelling was rejected, replaced by a complex world of grey. It went beyond a simple battle of good and evil and presented a struggle for existence and a quest for identity. It was like nothing I had ever seen before, there was a beauty to its brutality and it was the first story I had seen that required deep thoughts to understand its true meaning.
The greatest thing that Guyver taught me is the brilliance that can be achieved when a writer isn’t bound by the traditions of genre. That isn’t to say that tradition is a bad thing, it certainly isn’t. Some of the best fantasy books that I have read have been very traditional. But when a writer isn’t bound by anything they can achieve great things, and Guyver was the first story to show me that.
It also reminded me of something that I had always loved, originality. In school I remember when I had to draw a picture of a movie or a play the class saw, I would draw original characters, because I didn’t want anyone else to have drawn what I had drawn.
Because of these factors I have always strived to write original stories or at least stories that haven’t been done to death. Beyond the actually stories themselves, I strive to tell them differently, to ensure that nothing I write is by the numbers. Many a night I have lost sleep trying to come up with tales that no one has heard before.
These feelings have never felt more satisfied than when I wrote my FREE full length enovel How Gods Bleed. Now I know what you’re thinking, werewolves? Really Shane, have you been living under a rock for the past couple of centuries?
I understand this sentiment; there are literally millions of werewolf stories out there. However as far as I know NO ONE has ever done what I have done with the werewolf. More than one reviewer has stated that How Gods Bleed could be the most original werewolf story ever told. One of my favourite quotes from the reviews is,
“This isn’t thinking outside of the box, it is dousing the box in petrol and setting it on fire.”
I am very proud that the reviews so far have praised How Gods Bleed for its originality. It is one of the reasons why I made it completely FREE. (Just in case you didn’t know already, the ebook is FREE.) Because I wanted to see what readers thought of such a radical retelling of an iconic horror and fantasy archetype.
I feel How Gods Bleed has allowed me to accomplish what I set out to do, to tell an original story and represent a tale that hasn’t been done to death. That doesn’t mean my writing journey is over, far from it. Even as I write these words my mind is telling me to get back to my current work and continue the journey.
So before I return to my current created world allow me to say this. How Gods Bleed is NOT an urban fantasy, paranormal romance or horror story. I have nothing against these sort of stories, I just want to make it clear that is not what How Gods Bleed is about. If I had to label my work than it is best described as an Alternative Dark Fantasy Actioner.
It is my sincere hope that those reading this blog post shall get themselves a copy to read. You may like it, you may hate it, but I guarantee, you will remember it.