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Between the Covers Guest Post by Scott Eder, author of Knight of Flame

Since he was a kid, Scott wanted to be an author and explored many genres through high school and college. Fantasy, though, captivated his soul. Tales of Knights and magic, dragons and elves filled his dreams. After greasing the gears of the corporate machine for many years, he escaped the Information Technology vortex to focus full-time on writing. The stories he’d envisioned years ago—of nobility and strife, honor and chaos—demanded they be brought to life.

Scott lives with his wife, two children, and a giant Chihuahua on the west coast of Florida.

Visit him at http://www.scotteder.net

The Importance of Relationships in Knight of Flame

By Scott Eder

KnightofFlame_medI’m not a MMA or boxing fan. Watching guys beat the snot out of each other doesn’t do anything for me. And yet, I get chills watching the movie, Warrior. For me, the fighting becomes the backdrop for the development of the brothers’ relationship. And during the final scenes, when the action is most intense, it’s their eyes and faces that I watch. That’s where the real story lies, not in the punches, takedowns, and kicks, but in their brotherhood.

That kind of stuff gets me every time, like the “bonding of brothers” in Saving Private Ryan and the redemption of the father in Real Steel. (Okay. Real Steel isn’t of the same caliber as Saving Private Ryan. It’s more of a guilty pleasure. Not the best movie, but I really liked it; AND, it has cool fighting robots.J)

Relationships have always fascinated me. Growing up the only child of single mother, I found myself more often than not on the outside looking in. Brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, mothers and fathers – the nuclear family dynamics seemed so alien, like growing up in a house on a different planet. So I watched, and listened, filing my friend’s stories away for…now, I guess. At the time I wasn’t consciously planning to write about them, but they sure come in handy today.  

As a husband, and father of two—a boy and a girl—I get to experience those familial relationships first hand from the top of the food chain. Although some days I’m not sure who has the upper hand in my house, the parents or children, but that’s all part of the deal. Power struggles. Searching for identity. Placing blame. Holding grudges. Arguments. Drama. Love. Anger. Joy. Sadness. Pow—Relationships have them all. 

For us authors, it’s critically important to bring the messy, drippy, wonderful reality of relationships into the Story. We infuse our fictional characters with life, giving them history, emotion, goals, hopes, and dreams, but we sometimes drop the ball when it comes to the relationships. How a character interacts with the world and the other characters in the story makes them relatable. Their behavior enhances the reader’s emotional connection. And without that emotional connection, a reader quickly loses interest.

Being so keen on relationships, I explore many different types in Knight of Flame. In a way, the interactions and emotional development between the characters is the core of this book. Sure, the novel is also about the elemental knights protecting humanity from the depredations of the last Gray Lord, but beneath that conceptual arc, enmeshed within the action and magic, beat the relationships. The point-of-view (POV) characters go through their ups and downs.  Whether dealing with a current attachment, or struggling with an ancient pain, they must find their way. And it’s in these moments, when each mines his or her soul for life’s meaning, that the reader witnesses the true nature of the character.

 

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