For me, the journey that was the World Spectrum seems to be coming to an end. This may seem strange to you, as you’ve only recently been acquainted with the series. But I’ve been working on these books since I was a teenager, and while I still need to promote them, the creative part of the process seems to be ending.
Preparing Human Again for release is making me look back at the series as a whole. I’ve been taking stock of my failures and my successes.
In that spirit, I’ll be listing off the things that I’m most proud of. Lest you think me a pompous ass, I’ll be following this with a post on the things from the World Spectrum I most regret.
I’m going to try to keep this spoiler free.
I consider character to be my Achilles heel as a writer. I really don’t understand people, and my writing suffers for it. Creating characters is a struggle, and I feel my results are hit and miss at best.
But Leha’s different. Of all the countless characters I’ve created, I think Leha is by far the best.
The thing about Leha is that she always makes for a good story. She’s so intense and volatile, and she doesn’t do anything by half measures. She doesn’t get sad; she weeps and screams and destroys small objects. She doesn’t get angry; she embarks on epic quests for bloody retribution.
I think she’s a fairly balanced character, too. She’s obviously very heroic — her courage, idealism, and compassion are boundless, and she would do anything for her friends. But she also has some very obvious negative traits. She’s reckless, irresponsible, and overly neophilic. She can become consumed by the predatory aspects of her personality, and when she sets her mind to something, nothing can dissuade her — even if she’s wrong.
I love writing about Leha. I’m smiling just thinking about her.
There’s one thing that pretty much everyone who’s read my books agrees on: They’re exciting page-turners. This pleases me, because it shows I’ve succeeded in my main goal.
Ultimately, I’m an entertainer. I just want to create an exciting story. All other goals are incidental.
So I poured all my effort into making the action as intense and thrilling as possible, and for the most part, I think I’ve succeeded. The battle scenes in my books are visceral and brutal, and if I’ve done my job right, they should have you on the edge of your seat.
I’m particularly fond of the battle during the Tyzuan storm in Children of the Gods. It’s just so crazy.
The endings (still no spoilers, I promise):
I’m skeptical of the overall quality of my books as a whole, but I think the endings to both Rage of the Old Gods and Children of the Gods were excellent. Certainly, they hit all the notes I wanted them to.
They’ve got this perfect bittersweet feeling that I really strive for with my writing. Hopeful, but not a case of everything being okay and everyone living happily ever after. The scars of past trials are very evident. You know nothing’s ever going to be the same, and the victories feel all the sweeter when you consider how much was sacrificed to achieve them.
I like the endings so much that I had very grave misgivings about continuing the series after each ending. I’m still not entirely sure that writing Children of the Gods and Human Again were the right decisions.
Benefactor is just straight up awesome as far as I’m concerned. He’s such a great mirror to hold up to humanity. His way of thinking is so utterly alien, and even reading our thoughts, he can’t begin to comprehend half the things that humans do. And that forces us to question just why we do such things.
But yet despite his alien nature, he still feels very approachable as a character — to me, at least. He doesn’t feel like this bizarre creature up on a pedestal. He’s a friend and an ally, with a childlike sense of wonder and a fairly good sense of humour.
For me, Leha’s first meeting with Benefactor is where the series really starts to get interesting.
Some stuff in Human Again I can’t really tell you about:
So, um, yeah.
I guess I’ll just say this: I love Pirans.
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How about you? For those of you who’ve read the books, what are some of your favourite things? Try to keep it spoiler free, if possible.