Saturday, August 22, 2009

The DVD extras of The Wounded Guardian

When you buy a DVD, these days you expect to get a few extras ... a bit of commentary and most certainly some deleted scenes.
I always enjoy watching the deleted scenes, seeing how it may have changed the story and if it improved/detracted from the flow.
So why not get those with a book?
If you've read a few of my earlier posts, you'll be aware I had to slice about 30,000 words out of The Wounded Guardian to make the 180,000 word count that is the upper limit for a Harper Voyager book.
Now that wasn't a bad thing. In fact it meant I tightened up some rather flabby scenes and cut back excess that didn't need to be there. But there were a few things that it was a bit of a wrench to leave out.
One of the problems I faced with the book was giving the main characters time to develop a relationship. Martil and Karia needed time to get to know each other at the start, while in the second half, Merren and Karia needed time to develop a relationship - for events in the next two books would swiftly overtake them.
This meant I had Martil spend time training the Norstalines and then undertake quite a detailed campaign against Havrick and his soldiers - and this area took quite a trim when it came to making the cuts.
There were also some other scenes, such as Martil and Karia meeting a rude wizard's assistant in the town of Wollin (a wizard who plays a part in book three), which also had to go.
So, in the spirit of DVD extras, I'll be posting some of these scenes on the blog over the next few weeks - and would like to know if you feel their removal from the final manuscript made it better/worse.
But the order in which they appear will be by request.
So, out of the following:
a) Martil and Karia try to talk to a wizard in Wollin
b) Martil trains the Norstalines
c) Ambush in the forest
d) Defeating a cavalry charge
e) Fooling Havrick's forest search
What would you like to read (if any!)
Add your thoughts here or on Facebook and I'll post the first next week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adelaide Advertiser book review

The Adelaide Advertiser, the leading newspaper in South Australia, reviewed The Wounded Guardian last Saturday.
While the reviewer didn't like the villains, he did enjoy the story - giving it four out of five stars!
Here's the review, for those unable to get South Australia's finest!
BTW: I'll be talking more about his point about Gello and Onzalez later.

Martil is a war hero – or a war
criminal, depending on your
perspective. But now all he wants
is to settle down quietly. That’s
not going to happen, as fi rst-time
Australian author Duncan Lay gives
his Dragon Sword Histories series
an enticing start. Martil made a
decision which won a war against
aggressive neighbour Berellia, but
blackened his name and put a price
on his head. His plan to leave fame
and notoriety behind is complicated
when he is burdened with fi rst a
feisty young girl, then a magical
sword and an endangered queen.
Martil is an enthralling character
but, having given us a complicated
hero, Lay stumbles slightly with his
villains, who are totally, ridiculously
evil. Ignore that and The Wounded
Guardian rolls along beautifully.
Scott Moore ****

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Risen Queen back page

Perhaps not the absolute final back page blurb for The Risen Queen - but pretty close!

Martil and his Rallorans are trying to gain control of the north for Queen Merren but winning the hearts of the people is proving impossible when the bards have painted them as murderous barbarians.
King Gello the usurper is planning to lead a massive army to crush the budding rebellion but, even if a way can be found to defeat him, the Fearpriests stand ready to come to his aid...
Karia is trying to persuade Martil that she has all the answers, while Merren is considering desperate solutions to the problems facing her and Norstalos.
Perhaps the vilified and despised primitive race of men to the north, that the Norstalines call ''goblins'' might be the answer.
But on Dragonara Isle, the dragons have their own plans for Martil and particularly for the Dragon Sword...