Friday, March 28, 2014

Martin and Me

Inevitably, there have been comparisons of my “Donzalo’s Destiny” books to the “A Song of Fire and Ice” series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. This, I understand, but I have gone out of my way to not read any of Martin’s books nor watch the television series based on them. And I’ve been working on the Donzalo saga for quite a while anyway — I wrote the first draft of the first novella somewhere around fifteen years ago. The actual world in which it is set, however, goes back quite a bit further.

Martin seems to have used the War of the Roses as a partial template for his novels and I will admit to drawing inspiration from the Thirty Years War myself (or, more properly, the century that led up to it). I have also most certainly drawn inspiration from every author I’ve ever read but I would have to say the influences of Michael Moorcock and Roger Zelazny seem the most obvious.

Indeed, Moorcock’s ‘The Warhound and the World’s Pain’ is a pretty direct influence, being set in a similar place and time. And my voice, I think, is much more similar to the two authors I have named here — or so I would hope!

Anyway, there was a new chapter from Martin’s saga posted online this morning so I decided it was, perhaps, time to check out his work. I found it clumsily wordy and plodding and not at all my cup of fiction. The novels, I think, will remain unread.

Which is just as well. When there are so many extraordinary authors of fantasy from the past to whom I can look – Tolkien and Cabell and Dunsany and even E.R. Burroughs – I most certainly don’t need Martin.

I have started, after a short hiatus to clear my mind, to write on the third Donzalo book, tentatively titled ‘The Sign of the Arrow.’ I really should be on other projects (such as some much-postponed illustrated work) but young Donzalo and his large supporting cast are pushing their way to the front once more. We shall see if I keep at it!

Incidentally, my Donzalo ebooks have not yet shown up at Kobo or Amazon but remain available at iBooks and Barnes & Noble, along with some of my other titles. Just search for Stephen Brooke. And, of course, they are also at

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