Friday, July 16, 2021

Guest Post with Bradley P. Beaulieu - A Desert Torn Asunder


Photo Content from Bradley P. Beaulieu

Bradley P. Beaulieu fell in love with fantasy from the moment he began reading The Hobbit in third grade. While Bradley earned a degree in computer science and engineering and worked in the information technology field for years, he could never quite shake his desire to explore other worlds. He began writing his first fantasy novel in college. It was a book he later trunked, but it was a start, a thing that proved how much he enjoyed the creation of stories. It made him want to write more. He went on to write The Lays of Anuskaya series as well as The Song of Shattered Sands series. He has published work in the Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies. He has won the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award and earned a Gemmell Morningstar Award nomination. Learn more about Bradley by visiting his website, quillings.com, or on Twitter at @bbeaulieu.

        
  


ON FINISHING THE SONG OF THE SHATTERED SANDS by Bradley P. Beaulieu
One of the more common questions I receive from interviewers and fans, now that I’ve reached the end of a long epic fantasy series, is this: How does it feel to finally be done with the entire saga?

It’s a fair question. A good question. But there’s no simple answer. Not for me, anyway.

Even before the first page of Twelve Kings in Sharakhai was written, I knew how I wanted the grand arc to end. I had already envisioned a good portion of the series finale. But the simple truth was I had a lot of pages to write before I could fully explore that ending. It took eight more years before I could do so. Let me tell you, after six tomes and eight novellas, it was immensely satisfying to put those words to paper. A great weight was lifted from my shoulders on completing the first draft of A Desert Torn Asunder.

So that’s my first answer: simple relief.

Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, that relief wasn’t so simple after all. It wasn’t only that pressure had been building within me to finish the series; it had been building within the characters as well. Çeda is our main character, our hero, and I really put her through the wringer over the course of the series. The same was true of Çeda’s best friend, Emre, King Ihsan, the schemer, Ramahd Amansir, the lord from the southern kingdom of Qaimir, and Davud, the brilliant young collegia student who became a powerful blood mage. All of them were searching for resolutions to the grand tale and the mystery of what the gods of the desert had worked so long to achieve. Simply put, finding resolutions for them was every bit as satisfying as it was for me, the author, to finish the series. (Whether those endings were happy or not is another subject entirely, one I leave to readers to explore on their own.)

I’m not too shy to admit that pride factors in here as well. I’m not merely satisfied with how the final book wrapped up the series, I’m delighted. I think it put the perfect notes on each of the main characters’ threads. I hope fans of the series agree.

At the same time, it’s impossible to write about characters so intimately for so long and not feel sad that I won’t be with them any longer. I’ve been done with all aspects of the book for a few months now. I find myself feeling listless at times. I miss writing about the desert and sandships and the grand mystery Çeda uncovered in Twelve Kings, and I know that feeling will continue for some time.

All that said, I’m excited to write something new. I’ve enjoyed my time in the Great Shangazi, but I’ve had other story ideas bubbling inside me for years. In fact, I have a new book coming out this December, a deco-punk story set in a reimagined Roaring 20’s Chicago called Absynthe. (If interested, you can read more about it on my WEBSITE). I have two other trilogies as well, both sold and waiting to be written. I have an idea for a short novel project beyond that. I’m excited to write them all!

As I begin to dip my toes in those new projects, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about A Desert Torn Asunder’s release. This is hardly news, I’m sure. Most authors are nervous about the release of a new book, but it’s especially strong this time because it’s the end of a six-book series. I hope people like Desert—I think they will—but I simply don’t know what the reception is going to be like.

This is a roil of emotions, I know, but they’ve all been a part of the experience for me.

I leave you with this final one: unbridled excitement. The full arc of this story has been in my head for so long. I’ve been dying to share what the big secret is, what the fireworks in the finale were going to be like, but of course I couldn’t. I’ve been forced to keep everything under wraps from the very beginning. Now, at last, it’s finally time for everyone to know what the gods wanted when they granted the twelve kings of Sharakhai so much power four centuries ago and, on learning those secrets, what Çeda, her friends, and her allies are going to do about it.

In short, I hope readers enjoy this grand, sand-fueled epic as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. 

The final book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series closes the epic fantasy saga in a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.

The plans of the desert gods are coming to fruition. Meryam, the deposed queen of Qaimir, hopes to raise the buried elder god, Ashael, an event that would bring ruin to the desert.

Çeda and Emre sail for their ancestral home to bring the traitor, Hamid, to justice. To their horror, they discover that the desert tribes have united under Hamid's banner. Their plan? A holy crusade to annihilate Sharakhai, a thing long sought by many in the tribes. In Sharakhai, meanwhile, the blood mage, Davud, examines the strange gateway between worlds, hoping to find a way to close it. And King Ihsan hunts for Meryam, but always finds himself two steps behind.

When Meryam raises Ashael, all know the end is near. Ashael means to journey to the land that was denied to him an age ago, no matter the cost to the desert. It now falls to Çeda and her unlikely assortment of allies to find a way to unite not only the desert tribes and the people of Sharakhai, but the city's invaders as well. Even if they do, stopping Ashael will cost them dearly, perhaps more than all are willing to pay.


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15 comments:

  1. "Is there something you've dreamed of doing for a long time?" Yes, being independently wealthy and escaping to some beautiful house!

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  2. I would love to buy a beach house. Thank you

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  3. Probably more travel. We haven't had a big trip in quite a few years no. It might be time.

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  4. I always dreamed of going to Hawaii

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  5. I’ve dreamed of visiting Germany, home of my ancestors.

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  6. I really want to travel to England.

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  7. I dream of going to Europe.

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  8. I've dreamed of touring Ireland.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  9. I would love to see a Broadway musical-on Broadway!

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  10. I have dreamed of visiting Iceland for awhile.

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