Friday, September 4, 2015

To Fans of The Godling Chronices

Recently, I have heard from a few readers who are unhappy with the content of Dragonvein. Unlike The Godling Chronicles, I did not exclude profanity or sexual content. Though I did my best to keep the scenes tasteful, I understand how it might rub some people the wrong way. 

Let me first explain that The Godling Chronicles was the original concept of my son. Though I guided the story along, without his initial inspiration, it would have never been written. From day one I gave no small measure of consideration regarding content. How far should I go? How much adult content was too much? In the end I decided to allow my son to be my guide. It was his brainchild after all. If I didn't want him reading it, I wouldn't write it. Period.

Though I truly believed in the quality of the story, I had no idea at the time just how popular it would become. I didn't intend on making a career writing fantasy - or writing anything else for that matter. I had other ambitions and goals. But as luck would have it, circumstances manifested and the stars lined up in such a way so that I was able to focus all my attention on being a writer. By then, I was half way through the series and forced to think about future projects. I was now known as a YA fantasy author. Don't get me wrong. I love YA, but I was afraid that I would be unable to branch out into more mature stories. I wondered if readers would accept a grittier fantasy coming from an author they discovered through reading YA material. 

As The Godling Chronicles came to a conclusion, I needed to decide what to do next. I had a book written and ready for publication. But it included sex, profanity, and several situations inappropriate for young readers. This was definitely a departure from what I was known for. Frankly, I was terrified. I asked around, hoping to gain wisdom from fellow authors, but that didn't help. Some told me I was a fool and was endangering my career. Others said it would be fine. Sure, I would piss off a few people, but so long as the story was good, most wouldn't mind. My wife was no help either. She had sided with the less risky approach and wanted me to edit out the objectionable content.

In the end, I decided to gamble and went ahead with the book as it stood. Some of you who have read The Godling Chronicles will have seen the difference. And so far most haven't minded the change. Those of you who have only read Dragonvein may be wondering what the hell I'm talking about. The content isn't pornographic and the language, though harsh in places, only reflects the way people actually speak. Well, you'll understand if you read my previous books - and I hope you do. 

I would like to add that for those of you who are uncomfortable with the new content and miss seeing new Godling Chronicles books come out, I will be writing a sequel sometime next year. As with the original series, it will adhere to the same YA guidelines. I haven't abandoned YA. I only broadened my scope. I promise. 


  1. I have not read the Godling Chronicles. I enjoyed the Dragonvein books. I am headed over to check out the Godling Chronicles now. I hope they are as good.

  2. I have not read the Godling Chronicles. I enjoyed the Dragonvein books. I am headed over to check out the Godling Chronicles now. I hope they are as good.

  3. I loved the Dragonvein books and am eagerly awaiting the next one. I am now going to try the Godling Chronicles. I love your writing style and it's very satisfying to read someone who actually has a great command of the English language!.

  4. I have read the Godling Chronicles and have read the first two Dragonvein books. I must say I did notice a difference between the two when I started Dragonvein. Not that I am not a huge fan of the Godling Chronicles, but it's always refreshing to find fantasy novels oriented toward more mature audiences. I am a huge fan of your stories and your writing style and I am glad you took the risk on Dragonvein. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment.

  5. A couple of times a year I venture into the world of YA fantasy...I'm usually pretty good about picking the
    "great" ones before most people discover them...Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Maze Runner are a few examples....I described to my husband your first book Dragonvain as a youth R.A. Salvatore (Forgotten Realms)...a high complement... Looking forward to reading Book 2 and Godling Chronicles.

  6. I have read both the Dragonvein books and the Godling Chronicles and have loved them both. i'm waiting for the third Dragonvein book to come out soon.

  7. The consensual sex does not bother so much but the repeated highlighting of Jessa's abuse and the unwanted sexual situation with Kat/Martok has proven problematic for me. Perhaps somewhere in the middle would have been a better landing spot. Just my opinion.... some women need to not be sexual objects in the story.

    1. Jassa's abuse is meant to highlight the cruelty of the antagonist. Her ability to remain psychologically intact gives further depth to Shinzan as a character. And I merely told of the abuse. I did not write about it in graphic detail. I felt that to do so was unnecessary.
      The situation between Kat and Martok was for a me a way to highlight Kat as a woman of conviction, strength, and yet not invulnerable. She is young and in love. But she is also inexperienced. Martok, like many powerful men, see women as trophies; conquests rather than meaningful pursuits. He is intrigued by Kat's strength. Her ability to resist him causes him to want her that much more. This is in keeping with my intention to make the characters in Dragonvein more like people we would meet in reality than I did in The Godling Chronicles.
      Sexuality is important part of life. I felt that to tell a more realistic story, it needed to be included. Though it may seem a bit too much when compare to my previous work, out of the more than 300k words written in the series, roughly 2000 are sexual in nature. And I did my best to be as tasteful as possible without losing the fire of the moment.
      I truly am sorry if you are unsatisfied. Let me assure you that I am only telling the story in a way that makes sense to me. I am not after shock value. And I am certainly not emulating Martin.

  8. Brian,

    Thank you for the response. I've pulled my Amazon review and will resubmit a more moderate, less over the top one later. After reading that review, I realized that I had made some assertions regarding motivations that really weren't fair, I sincerely apologize.

    Brian, as I mentioned in that review. I am a fan. I also don't expect you to write every book in the style or with the type of content in Godling. I have absolutely no problem with sex in books, as you note, it's part of life, a very enjoyable and natural part of life. This was not a "sex vs godling" issue.

    My issue, one I hope to better explain, is no matter the question for female characters in this story, how to challenge them seems to be the same.

    Want to demonstrate a female characters resiliency
    Want to demonstrate a female characters vulnerability
    Want to demonstrate a female characters commitment to the greater good or strength
    Want to demonstrate a female characters character flaws

    Control of her lady bits...

    This jumped out to me in this book, not because of your Godling history but because I had read your post about Women in Fantasy. In that post you discussed the new women of fantasy, strong, self determined ect. The thing you may have not have noticed, the other reason they are so popular and well received is that their challenges, struggles, failures.. have nothing to do with loss of control of who uses their bodies sexually. They get to fight the big fight, face the big issues, move beyond protecting their lady bits..just like male characters.

    One huge exception in this book, Keira, she gets to face the sacrifice of her father, constant attacks, being the leader of her people, the knowledge the may be leading them to their doom... all without her lady bits being the topic. She's actually most like the women from your Woman of Fantasy post. Not sure, is it because she came into the story later than the other women?

    So to read that post, then read the book where the challenge each of these woman face seems to put then in the same old box was disappointing. Right or wrong, I expected what you posted , your desire to be a leader in this area to manifest in the book.

    Somehow men in the book were able to demonstrate resiliency, vulnerability, ethical challenges, crisis of faith through other story elements without every being gang raped. It's like taking away a woman's control of who has access to her body, how she's used it he fantasy magic bullet to express anything.

    This post and conversation is really about the next series and those after. The die is cast for this story, you can't unring that bell. But I hope that in the future find ways to demonstrate the full gamut of potential female strengths and vulnerabilities without making it about sexual you do with men.

    By the way, the comment about Game of Thrones wasn't intended as a cheap shot. The parallels between the rape of Sansa stark and Jassa were shockingly similar in form and purpose.

    Sansa is raped by Ramsy Bolton while Theon Greyjoy is forced to watch. The entire scene the camera focuses on Theon, his reaction to the event. The scene demonstrates how much of a monster Ramsey is, Sansa's strength in not letting it break her, and motivates Theon to finally break though his fear to take action later in the story.

    I remain a fan and hope this conversation has at least stimulated thought on the topic.

    Best of luck!

  9. Hi Brian,

    I've only read the first two Dragonvein books and enjoyed them quite a bit. I just wanted to say that I hope you continue to continue to challenge yourself and write the books you want to write. I thought the Dragonvein books were pretty tasteful, anything potentially graphic was left largely implied.

    Would you ever consider writing books in the forgotten realms universe?


  10. Read both series, loved them. Will continue to buy and read your books. Hope that you never again feel like you have to write to please a crowd rather than telling the story that you want to tell.