Having the Decency to Acknowledge Quality
When I was invited to take part in the Discover Fantasy Tour I had no hesitation in accepting. Not only do I enjoy blog tours but this one had the luxury of being alongside two brilliant indie authors – Jeremy Rodden and Jonathan Gould. I’m not the sort of writer that scrutinises the work of my peers and wonder how it compares to my own work. Any book I read is judged on its own merits and I think writers should never hesitate to acknowledge quality wherever they find it.
Jeremy Rodden’s Toonopolis: Gemini is an unusual fantasy, putting a young boy in a world of toons rather than up against wizards, dragons and goblins which you may find in many fantasy novels. Rodden is still clearly a kid at heart and his world will leave many readers nostalgic for some of the classic cartoons that they grew up with. That’s the effect it had on me. Some aspects of Toonopolis such as the ability to walk off the edge of a cliff and not fall until you believe that gravity should have come into effect take me back to childhood favourites such as Road Runner. As well as displaying an impressive imagination and grasp of modern trends, such as the love of vampires and internet trolls, Rodden is a naturally funny writer and you will seldom be without a smile.
Jonathan Gould is a unique writer as well. If someone told me he was the son of a member of Monty Python I would believe you. The magic of Gould’s writing is that he can come up with ludicrous names, characters and ideas and on the surface that’s how they appear but dig deeper and you realise that this is a writer who knows exactly what he is doing. Doodling has its main character fall off the earth because it is moving too fast, while Magnus Opum puts a peaceful Kertoobi in the middle of a war between the fair Cherines and the hideous Glurgs. Sounds completely random, doesn’t it? Like Rodden, Gould is a funny writer as well but it is the subtext and deeper meanings of his crazy worlds that make them stand out as some of the best work I’ve come across from any indie author.
I’ve never compared my writing to that of Jeremy or Jonathan. I have read books by both authors and loved and admired them. Though the three of us are fantasy writers, our styles and storylines are completely different. There is no reason to compare us. This was one of our motives in partaking of the Discover Fantasy Tour, to display just how vast this genre is and the array of possibilities that can be found in writing this way.
Being an indie author has given me the opportunity to meet some great writers and bloggers, all with a passion for writing and for books. The indie community is often a warm and friendly one though not all treat it with the respect it deserves. I believe in the idea that you get from the community as much as you put in. It’s not a place for writers with big egos that think they are better than everyone else and I’m pleased to say I have seldom come across such a writer since publishing my first novel more than a year ago.
As much as I want to reach out to many readers and hear their thoughts on my work, I take as much satisfaction in knowing that my peers, such as Jeremy and Jonathan, are also doing well with their books too. That’s what the indie community is all about – everyone pulling together to help and support one another through the highs and lows. It’s a great place to be and this tour is further proof that the majority of us are not out to steal the limelight for ourselves, we are happy to share it.