WHICH TALE TO TELL IN A SAGA
Every so often, I’m asked how many books will be in the Gorias La Gaul series. Well, frankly, I dunno. Unlike many writers, aka Jordan or Martin, I didn’t conceive of Gorias’ life as an epic five, ten or if you believe the faulty memory of George Lucas, nine installments. Since I want to explore his long life, the idea is open ended.
“Which book is first in the series?”
Well, THRALL was released first, but it is technically one of the last. To quote Robert E. Howard (and why not?) the tales come to me out of sequence and I don’t have a set agenda in my mind for all of them. Gorias is 700 years old in THRALL and that leaves a great deal of wiggle room. In the new release BORN OF SWORDS we see Gorias a bit before THRALL, after the events of OVERKILL and get a glimpse of him at 24 years old. Not every Gorias novel will be a “SEE WHY HE’S SUCH A JADED PRICK?!" justification work, but each will be a standalone time. Each yarn is good unto itself and one doesn’t have to get all of them to GET the one you pick up. I do recommend getting them all as they are fun stuff, but I digress.
I oft recommend folks start with OVERKILL as I think that work gives you a Gorias tale in a nutshell. Action, adventure, demons, dragons, humor, magick, monsters, and sex. BORN OF SWORDS gives one a deeper peek within Gorias’ nature, but I show that hand every so often. I really enjoyed writing that one as well.
Yes, I intend to flesh out the tales hinted at in the pages already published. Not every idea comes up fast and ready. USURPER, the next Gorias novel, has festered with me for ten years. It’s probably the closest thing to a barbarian Romance I will ever write, but don’t get worried: It’s more like Game of Thrones meets Clive Barker than any romance work conceived. I’ve labored for years on this one, just unsure of how it will run…but at last I found the key and the ball is rolling like a freight train.
There are a number of concepts and folks running about in the works that I intend to give a bigger life to. Many ask if I’ll get to a sequel to THRALL and yes, I do have that figured out…but that won’t be the book after USURPER. I may just do a complete novel about Gorias’ daughter. That does sound like a challenging work to me as a few have thrown a couple spitballs my way that the females in some of my works get short sheeted. I disagree. Goliath’s mom in PHILISTINE is the only one he bowed to. His sister was…well, hell. Appra in OVERKILL? A real bad ass gal. Queen Garnet? A fierce lady. Wait until you all see Tancorix and Cerian in USURPER. His daughter will be epic…indeed.
The adventures and aspects of Gorias will continue until I don’t care to share them anymore, or one of my sons understands him and wants to carry on. Suffice it to say, I think I have enough ideas about him to last me for a number of years. He’s a fun guy to write about and live on through, and he still speaks to me, every so often. Clearly. The next tale is determined from what he decides to tell me next. Sometimes, he’s quirky and ya know, he drinks, so, ya never know what’ll pop out.
But it all will, in time…deliverance shall come, as it’s said…
About the author:
Steven L. Shrewsbury lives, works and writes in rural Central Illinois. Over 365 of his short stories have been published in print or digital media since the late 80s. His novels include WITHIN, PHILISTINE, OVERKILL, HELL BILLY, BLOOD & STEEL, THRALL, STRONGER THAN DEATH, HAWG, TORMENTOR and GODFORSAKEN.
He has collaborated with other writers, like Brian Keene with KING OF THE BASTARDS, Peter Welmerink in BEDLAM UNLEASHED, Nate Southard in BAD MAGICK, Maurice Broaddus in the forthcoming BLACK SON RISING and Eric S. Brown in an untitled project.
He continues to search for brightness in this world, no matter where it chooses to hide.
Book Synopsis for Born of Swords:
Deliverance will come... But that is another story. What makes a legend but the stories told about him? Interviewing Gorias La Gaul, the biggest legend of them all, is a dream come true for young scribe Jessica. Where other girls her age would swoon beneath the steely gaze of the warrior, Jessica only has eyes for his mouth, and the tales that come from it...when he takes a break from cursing or drinking. Unfortunately for Jessica, Gorias doesn't really have time to babysit. She's found him in the midst of an annual pilgrimage of sorts, and though he agrees to let her come along, it's not without a warning: You may not like what you see and hear. Just don't come crying afterward. Whether viewing past visions with magical gemstones or jumping into the fray alongside the barbarian, Jessica's about to get firsthand accounts she won't soon forget...and discover legends are far from reality, and just as far from being pretty. You wouldn't expect a youth of love and friendship from the greatest killer to walk the Earth, would you? These are tales of some of Gorias' earliest days, back before he'd found his swords, to a time when a dragon needed killing. Tales back before his heart had hardened. Maybe. For most men, the future is not certain and the past is prologue. For a legend like Gorias La Gaul, even the past is up for debate. One thing is for certain about these tales. They will be bloody. Such is always the way for a man... Born of Swords...
Amazon Links for Born of Swords
Barnes and Noble Link for Born of Swords