Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Heart Of Empire Of Bones


The Dragon Sword Histories was, at its heart, about a man in a dark place, coming back from that through the love of a small child. One of the themes it explored was how children can alter our view of the world and how their innocence can change the loss and regret adults carry.

For the Empire Of Bones, I wanted to explore this from the other side – how fathers can affect children and how so many of us seek to either live up to or grow away from the way we were raised.

In a primitive society, childbirth becomes hazardous to the health of women and babies and both are at high risk of dying. In such a society, fathers become the constant and even more important – or at least they do in this fantasy world.

All the major characters and indeed many of the minor ones explore this issue from all sorts of angles. Even King Ward, the brutal ruler of Forland, struggles with his two sons, who he sees as not fit to carry on his work of uniting the countries and forging an empire.

Interestingly enough, I was touring for my last book, The Radiant Child in July 2010 and was down at Shellharbour, on the NSW South Coast. Sadly the Angus & Robertson store there has now closed but a strange thing happened.

It was one of the more challenging store appearances I’ve had, competing against a cheerful spruiker at the chicken shop next door whose amplified offers to the shoppers to come and check out his ``lovely legs’’ wasn’t funny the first time round, let alone the 10th.

Then an older Aboriginal lady stopped by to have a chat with me and told me she knew I was writing my next book (I had just begun the first draft of what was to become Bridge Of Swords) and encouraged me to keep going, because it would help me get the darkness out from inside me.

I have to admit the hair went up on the back of my neck and I believed every word she said.

Although whether I have written out my darkness is another matter …

No comments:

Post a Comment