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Sword of the Moon

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About Sword of the Moon

  • Birthday April 21

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  • Penname
    Stephen Brooke
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  1. Sword of the Moon

    What Media Did You Consume As a Kid That Influences Your Work?

    Loads of inexpensive paperback books, the greater part of them science-fiction, and especially all the re-releases of Edgar Rice Burroughs's stuff that coincided with my youth. That led to a great deal of wider reading and eventually fantasy (though I didn't get into--or maybe 'get'--Tolkien till I was older). The Ballantine series of classic fantasy novels was definitely big, and introduced me to William Morris, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, etc. Incidentally, the paperback rack was right down the aisle from the model airplane shelves in the local hobby store and I always had to make a choice of which to spend my money on. Those models definitely stimulated my imagination too and I could follow a thread from them to my shortly-to-be-released non-fantasy adventure 'The Dictator's Children,' which has it's share of 'vintage' airplanes. 🙂 If I go back a little further, books on paleontology and archaeology first evoked a sense of wonder in me. Especially paleo-anthropology (i.e. prehistoric man) eventually. That has stayed with me and I have not hesitated to drop a few 'cave men' into my stories.
  2. Sword of the Moon

    Three Act Structure Discussion

    I use a four act approach quite a lot. In the majority of my fantasy adventures, in fact. It lets me put a twist at the end of act 2 and introduce new problems/conflicts/subplots in act 3. I also try to have each act bring its own little plot arc with a bit of a resolution (or apparent resolution) before tackling the next one. It's nothing I hide, btw; many of the novels are formally divided into four named sections.
  3. Sword of the Moon

    How You've Changed

    I've gone more the opposite direction when it comes to pantsing/plotting. I don't write out near as much ahead of time as I used to and rely more on the story in my head. I think this might be a matter of greater confidence in myself to improvise, and not worry so much about the world-building. Not that my world-building isn't extensive anyway! And the writing certainly flows easier. Less editing is necessary. It's the old practice makes perfect thing, I guess, though I'm far from perfect. I'm also far more confident in my descriptive language. I've always tended to be spare with that sort of thing but now I can better see the places I need to drop in a few words to flesh things out.
  4. Sword of the Moon

    Quitting a book

    If I've gotten more than a couple pages in I will probably finish, More than a few have only taken those couple pages (or even a couple paragraphs) for me to say 'no way' and put them down. Or thrown them across the room. Very infrequently I might drop a book I've gotten further into. I'm usually too invested by that time, even if I've concluded they aren't very good and/or interesting. That is entirely likely to be something I've been assured is a good story so I keep looking for evidence!
  5. Sword of the Moon

    Comic Fantasy Club, anyone?

    I have to admit I find it hard not to drop humor into my work, even when I attempt to be so, so serious. I might blame it on Edgar Rice Burroughs. Most folks don't realize he would slip all these witty and sometime sarcastic bits into his genre adventures. James Branch Cabell too. That, i realize, is a somewhat different direction for humor than that taken by Pratchett (though I do appreciate both). A darker humor, perhaps, though it needn't be. Stepping outside of Fantasy, my 'idol' has to be Evelyn Waugh when it comes to incorporating humor into novels.
  6. Sword of the Moon


    I don't quite do a 'moodboard' and certainly not online, but I do have folders on my own PC with images that seem relevant to story creation. In particular, photos of people (actors, sometimes) who might resemble my characters. I find it easier to visualize and describe them that way. And landscapes and buildings and weapons and so on. It is long since I had a Pinterest account. It really never seemed that useful to me but then I'm not connected constantly to the internet as so many are these days (that is a result of living out in the boonies, with a satellite hookup and spotty cell coverage).
  7. Sword of the Moon

    Real World History Geek-out

    I am perhaps less into any period of history than I am into prehistory. So much happened before we started writing things down—so I figure, why not write 'em myself? 😉 Especially the cultures of Eurasia going back as the late Paleolithic, but also the Neolithic and Bronze Age. In several of my stories we are essentially at a Neolithic level of development. But I am a lover of history from any period (after all, I have a degree in it). I might be particularly fond of the Renaissance, with its new dynamic as the Middle Ages transitioned to more-or-less the Modern world. And I do intend to return to it and write a sequel to the tale I already set there (or in a fantasy analog, I should say).
  8. Sword of the Moon

    Goodreads Profile Links!

    I am found HERE. I, as many of you, do not socialize at GR but do put up reviews. And, of course, make sure all my own books are up.
  9. Sword of the Moon

    Is Pseudo-Medieval as a Setting Played Out?

    Though it is certainly possible to bring something new to any setting, including a medieval-like world, I have avoided it so far. Maybe I'll find a reason to use that setting someday, but I think maybe I feel a little uncomfortable walking that much traveled terrain. I might fall into one the very deep ruts. It's that cookie-cutter medieval that bothers me. Probably bothers a lot of us. Shoot, it bothered Cervantes enough to spoof it hundreds of years ago. But people keep writing it, don't they? I have set tales in periods that would correspond to those just before and after the middle ages, so I can get a little of the flavor without being strictly medieval. My Donzalo books would correspond to the late renaissance, so there are still men riding about in armor but they are more likely to carry wheel-lock pistols than lances. My WIP and those related to it are similar to late antiquity, just before the dawning of the medieval. Ha, maybe I'm zeroing in...
  10. Sword of the Moon

    A Greeting

    It undoubtedly has and will help. By the time I had the degree I realized I would rather create art than teach about it, so I chose to be a painter.
  11. Sword of the Moon

    A Greeting

    She is trying to avoid adventures and enjoy her retirement, having escaped (literally) the responsibilities of leading pirates. Unfortunately, having a demi-god infant son has brought complications. He is kidnapped in the first novel in which she has the lead, and her attempts to retrieve him eventually lead her to his father's world of gods (the father himself is absent, as he is at the time a rather mindless gigantic crocodile swimming the seas). The new WIP is focusing more on the boy's growing abilities, including his penchant for drawing little monster playmates to their house. And Daddy has returned. And the new Pirate King is trying to scuttle the treaty she helped set up in the previous book, as it would be bad for the piratical business (that's actually the central plot element).
  12. Sword of the Moon

    MC Genders

    I like the concept of co-main protagonists, male and female. Did that in a couple novels. But otherwise, males have definitely predominated—at least in my earlier work. Since the first seven books, I've pretty much alternated male and female leads, including a couple with women narrating in first person. Do I worry about pulling that off? To be sure, but I felt more confident about attempting such things after I had more experience. And, indeed, human beings are human beings and there is more to a person than gender.
  13. Sword of the Moon

    A Greeting

    Greetings to all. In that someone was thoughtful enough to provide a template (and I am lazy enough to use it), here goes: Name/Penname: Sword of the Moon obviously is not my name, right? I kind of chose it off the cuff when I came here. It's the name of a blade that appeared in my epic Donzalo's Destiny . The name is Stephen Brooke. I was Steve Brooke when I wrote non-fic articles age ago but went to Stephen when I first got online because the domain name was available! I also use a different pen name for contemporary 'women's fiction' but we need not get into that here. Age: I can admit to (gasp) sixty-eight years of age. But I don't look it. Honest! State/country: Florida, USA Education: Bachelor in Art History. Very useful... What are your hobbies? The divisions blur between hobby and work when one is in the arts, don't they? I'm only semi-professional when it comes to painting and music these days, so maybe those have become hobbies. I still surf. I still bodybuild. Those are definitely hobbies. What is/are your favorite book(s) and authors? I love Thackeray. I consider Vanity Fair to be perhaps the peak of novel writing. Also other British writers in a similar vein, Austen, Trollope, or Waugh more recently. In fantasy, most of the 'classics,' Tolkien, Dunsany, etc. A fan of Cabell, who is certainly an influence. Moorcock for sure. How long have you been writing? Since I was a very little fellow. Say sixty years. What was the first story you wrote that you remember? (Is it finished, and has anyone read it?) Something about pirates when I was seven or eight. Long disappeared into the mists of time. I do have poems I wrote at ten or so. Tell us a little about your favorite character to write about. Right now I am working on another book about Qala the (former) Pirate Queen. She is certainly a favorite. This is the second novel in which she stars after appearing as a secondary character and proving too interesting to not use again. A bit of a depressed nihilist who has finally found (or at least seeks) meaning in her infant son (fathered by an incognito god) and a new life on her country estate. Tell us a little about a fantasy world you've created. All my writing centers around the infiniverse concept but I have primarily focused on one alternate world. I call it the D-World for my own use, as my first fantasy novels, the four books of Donzalo's Destiny, were set there. I have covered several millennia of stories set there, from a more-or-less Neolithic stage up to something resembling the Late Renaissance. It is not so different from our world in some ways but magic (which involves access to other worlds) is somewhat easier to accomplish there. And as there are more 'gates' from world to world in it, more strange creatures are likely to be found. Tell us a little about your current work in progress. How's it going? That would be The Crocodile God, starring the aforementioned Qala the Pirate Queen. Chugging along, as usual. Qala's lover, the Lady Galana, is about to be kidnapped and set up events to come. Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? If so, how has your experience been? No. I already churn out three or so novels a year so there is not much point. How did you find out about Worldsmyths? Found my way from Mythic Scribes. What made you decide to join? Purely a whim. What do you hope to gain from Worldsmyths? That is the sort of thing I will learn as I go along. I'll get out of it what I get out of it. 🙂
  14. Sword of the Moon

    Where Do You Get Your Books?

    I download a LOT of free ebooks from Project Gutenberg. There is enough material there to keep me busy reading the rest of my life, if I desired. But I never buy ebooks. Print comes from here and there, but mostly online vendors. Not Amazon if I can help it but one must sometimes deal with the devil.