The initial spark for The Band of the Crow, my newly-finished fantasy novel, came to me in 2006. I was really getting into metal music at the time, especially the doom, death and black varieties.
Ah, black metal. So much to be admired, so much to be despised. It occurred to me Christianity isn’t really a “foreign” influence on Scandinavian culture. At least, not any more. You could no more eviscerate Jesus from Norway than you could chop off your own head and expect to survive for very long. And no amount of church burnings is going to accomplish that end in the first place. Sorry, Varg. That idea, and The Sword‘s debut album were really inspirational to me. Something just sort of clicked.
Giddy with excitement, I set about fleshing out my world – the cultures, the languages, the history, the religions… until finally, five and a half years later, I realized I hadn’t written a single word of the actual story. I gave myself a year to write it. A year and a half later, I was done.
Now the scary part begins. It’s easy to sit around and dream about the wonderful story you’re going to write. Actually writing it, facing up to your own deficiencies, is when the going gets tough. Harder still is shoving it out into the cruel, cruel world, for everyone to rip to shreds. I’d like to say I don’t care about rejection, or negative reviews, or indifference, but I do care. A lot. If I didn’t, I’d have to find another line of work.
I’ll post updates on my quixotic quest right here, of course, so stay tuned. Whatever happens, I know Band of the Crow is the absolute best storytelling I’m capable of, and that, in itself, feels like a victory. Thanks to my brothers, my wife, my parents and of course Ben for all of their support and their terrific comments.