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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Blog Tour Guest Post - Thoughts of Steel by Keith Edward English

Thoughts of Steel (The Ruination Gods) Book 1
Release Date:
February 10, 2016
Author: Keith Edward English
Keyword: epic, fantasy, medieval, steel, demons, gods, creatures
Categories: Epic Fantasy/Action & Adventure
Page Count: 405
ISBN: 978-0692625071
Imprint: Chimera

Book Description:
The world turns cold as steel when it begins to die, and the divine will answer for the plight of man...

Life, as the inhabitants of Zepzier know it, ends as things of myth become a harsh and terrifying reality. Everything that Phalax, a battle-hardened defender of the kingdom of Cavia, has cared for begins to slip through his grasp as nightmares begin to plague his world. When he loses everything, he is left with nothing but a need for revenge, and the road to vengeance will be paved by the blood of both friend and foe.

Phalax once upheld justice. Now, right and wrong have no meaning to him, and morality has no bearing on his actions. He worships no gods, not even those who imbue him with incredible power. He will murder the enemy of his homeland and leave no threat standing. Nothing will stop him--no mortal, no demon, no god.

ONE LINER:  Demons fight tooth and nail to destroy humanity for a twisted god, pitting five heroes against certain doom in a fight for their world’s survival.

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Guest Post
Things happen inside my head, stuff I sometimes wish was real or that I could somehow experience. I make it real and I live it by writing it. I’ve always been enamored with fantasy novels. As a teenager reading books definitely meant for adults, I became lost in the stories. The characters would draw me into their special world and I’d embark on this epic quest with them, discovering things about myself just as they did the same for themselves.

Very early on, I would think about the exterior motives of characters when none were given. I would make the story more real for myself, as good readers should do when a good writer allows them to draw some of their own conclusions. Eventually, I was coming up with my own characters and ideas and imagining them taking place in the different world of which I became familiar with.

I began my journey by setting a short story in Faerun, a land where the Forgotten Realms books published by Wizards of the Coast, exists. I chose this for one simple reason; my favorite author, Paul S. Kemp, set many of his stories here. I was familiar with the land and not yet ready to tackle the challenge of making my own. I was only a sophomore in high school when I wrote this, and it was nothing more than a terrible action scene. But from this poor writing, I took inspiration. I discovered that I loved doing this and that I needed to pursue it until I became a published author.

My motivation has always been my want to be like those authors who stole my imagination years ago, to write a book that could do the same to another. As to what inspired this book though, I cannot remember. And honestly, that is how most of my stories work. I’ve written over twenty different pieces and only a very few have any kind of reason for being written. The others just happened by accident.

I’ve had to explain it before to those who question how I come up with the things I write. Each time I tell them it is a simple as my mind being a farmer that strolls through his crops each day, looking for the ripe fruit. I’ll have an idea, analyze it before I pick it from the vine, then decide whether or not it’s rotten, needs more time, or is ready. My mind seems to work of its own accord when it is time to come up with something to write. I suddenly have a story, and most times, I have the entire thing and need to just do the easy part; write.

There’s never a time when I don’t have something to work on. When I begin working on something, I just sit down and do it. I don’t create an outline unless it’s to keep track of what the characters have done after they have done it. I normally grab either a beer or a cup of coffee and open the creative floodgates. I continue straight on through a novel, even if I have to leave something I don’t like, until it is finished. Once the first draft is done, I return to the beginning to read and edit. Writing is the easy part; making it good is where the real work happens.

For me, writing is as much a part of my life as breathing is.

2. Two of the characters from the first thing I wrote became the protagonist and the antagonist for my book, Thoughts of Steel. I finished the book as a freshman in college and sent it out to publishers in all its horrible glory. I felt goddamn good for completing the book, but overlooked the whole part where it was supposed to be good.

Rejection after rejection led me to think that maybe something was wrong. I gave up on the book and moved on to other things. In the meantime, I discovered a project called I joined and have published a handful of stories with them thus far. One day, something possessed me to go back to Thoughts of Steel. I found that I liked the story, despite it being poorly written and without much character depth. I must have had a soft spot for it. I sent it to my mentor for and he tore it to pieces like he does with everything I write. And it did both the book and me a whole hell of a lot of good.

I spent weeks revising the book, filling my cardboard characters with flesh and bone, restructuring the plot so that it actually worked. Eventually, I had something that I not only liked, but respected as a cohesive work.

I do know that I came up with Phalax and Zeraskyr first, then just needed some kind of conflict, so I found one. It all started with those two, then it morphed into Thoughts of Steel.

I did have a real defining moment for the story though. I was working at Panera, a freshman in college. Dishes, hundreds of them, came back to my sinks dirty then went up to the servers clean… okay, just somewhat clean. I had gotten stuck in a way. I still had more to write, but I didn’t know where I was going. Suddenly, as I was rinsing a bowl, it hit me. I understood why I was writing the book in the direction it was going and what was supposed to happen next. The series was born after that, paving the way for two more books following Thoughts of Steel.

I write in revelations, having that “ah-ha” moment well before I really need it, allowing me to never really get stuck. I think I’m gifted that way, and am sure that gift has paid off in Thoughts of Steel.

About the Author
Keith lives in Stockton, CA, teaching Krav Maga at American Martial Arts Academy. He enjoys a nice cigar on rare occasions but cannot exist long without good beer. He absolutely loves metal and rock, In Flames and Lamb of God his musical bread and butter. Besides teaching Krav and headbanging to metal, Keith also enjoys the outdoors, its furry and feathery inhabitants, drawing, and spending time with his loved ones.

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