I’ve tried my hand at several works of fantasy over the years, and they almost always come out the same way — pulpy, with swords, sorcery, monsters and bloody battles to the fore. It’s the way I roll.

I may start with good intentions, of writing high fantasy with political intrigue and courtly goings on but, as in the Watchers series or Berserker, or some of the stories in the Samurai collection, my inner barbarian muscles to the fore, says Bugger this for a lark, and starts hacking.

The blame for my enthusiasm can be laid squarely at several doors.

There’s Conan, of course, and Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon and the whole pantheon of Eternal Champions; there’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Solomon Kane, Jon Shannow, Druss, the princes of Amber and the shades of a thousand more by the likes of Poul Anderson, A E Merritt, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H Rider Haggard and many others.

I’ve just come out of a months-long stint on another one, a historical trilogy set in 14th C Paris, with Templar mysteries, desert magic and more swashes than you can buckle, and it’s off to my co-writer Steve Savile for him to weave some more magic into it.

Up next for me is another creature feature for SEVERED PRESS, but I’m already thinking ahead — this might be the year for my own fantasy epic, which will likely be dark, and feature my SIGILS AND TOTEMS mythos in a Stone Age fantasy setting. I’ve got an outline that involves tattoos, flightless birds, thylacines, lost cities, pirates, whale cults, crocodile gods, the dreamtime, a big black bird, mad sorcerors, sea battles and love lost, found, and lost again. It’s been in my head for years. As I say, it might be time for it to come out.

It’s fermenting. The warmer weather this summer might see it develop.

 

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