I hope you’re all keeping well. I’ve come up with the idea of doing a short series taking a behind the scenes look at the books I’ve published up to this point. This week it’s going to be my first trilogy, Society of the Sword, which begins with The Tattered Banner.
The Society of the Sword trilogy is where it all started for me. It begins with The Tattered Banner, a book that was featured on Buzz Feed’s Best Fantasy Novels of 2013. It follows a young man, Soren, with an incredible talent, but who tends not to question good fortune when he encounters it, which leaves him open to being taken advantage by those with fewer scruples. He’s a bit player in events far bigger than him, but everyone is the hero of their own story, and this one explores how getting caught up in all of that affects him.
At the time of writing, I was going through a classic swashbuckler movie phase (The Mark of Zorro, Scaramouche, Captain Blood, The Three Musketeers among many others!), and I think the book clearly shows the influence of that. I was then, as always, very interested in Renaissance Europe, so that heavily influenced the setting and the world building.
Combining the two, I came up with the idea of a story set in a school of swordsmanship in great Renaissance style trading city. My initial plan was to keep all of the events of the story within the city, but as is often the case the story, the events led me to places I had not expected, which involved me doing a lot more world building, and fleshing out many areas of my Middle Sea world.
I’d still like to write something contained entirely within the city. There’s more than enough variety in it to sustain a full trilogy, or even longer series, and the city of Ostenheim continues to be a place that fascinates and intrigues me whenever I allow my mind wander its streets to flesh out the neighbourhoods I haven’t visited yet.
The Tattered Banner being my first book, I had no idea if there’d be a second, so although I had a good idea of where I’d take the story if continuing with it, I had nothing substantive written before publishing it.
If you haven’t read it already, you can check the books out here:
And all three books in audio, narrated by Derek Perkins, here:
I hope you enjoyed this little peak behind the curtain! I plan to do one for each of my other trilogies over coming weeks, so stay tuned!