I'm honored to be joined today by a very talented Fantasy writer, Stephen Zimmer. I'm deeply impressed with his storytelling skills. His books are beautifully written and flavorful. If you consider yourself a fan of Fantasy genre, you should definitely pick up Stephen's books! You won't regret!
Guys, please give a warm welcome to Stephen, author of The Fires in Eden Series...
Born in Denver, Colorado, Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning fantasy author and filmmaker based out of Lexington, Kentucky.
Stephen has two series being published through Seventh Star Press. One is the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series, which was launched with Crown of Vengeance (winner of the 2010 Pluto Award for Best Novel). Book 2, Dream of Legends, was released in January of 2011. The other is the epic urban fantasy series The Rising Dawn Saga. The Rising Dawn Saga launched in spring of 2009 with The Exodus Gate (nominated for a 2009 Pluto Award). The next step was taken in June of 2010 with The Storm Guardians. Highly prolific, Stephen is adhering to a release schedule that sees a new book approximately every seven months!
Another recent addition to his published work was the short story "In the Mountain Skies", in the Dreams of Steam steampunk anthology (edited by Kimberly Richardson), from Kerlak Publishing.
As a filmmaker, Stephen has credits in fantasy and horror, including the supernatural thriller Shadows Light (feature), The Sirens (horror short film), and Swordbearer (fantasy short film). Swordbearer debuted in early 2011 and is currently being exhibited on the convention and festival circuit. Featuring a special appearance by former WWE wrestler Al Snow, the film is based upon the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant.
In addition to his busy writing and filmmaking endeavors, Stephen appears regularly at conventions, bookstores, and a range of other events, maintaining a thorough, year-round personal appearance schedule that is one of the most active in the industry.
Updates and information about Stephen can always be obtained at www.stephenzimmer.com His blog can be found at stephenzimmer.blogspot.com, and his Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/sgzimmer
Our Epic-Scale Lives and Their Relation to Epic-scale Books
a guest post by:Stephen Zimmer
I’ve never been the hermit kind of author. I tend to get out and about quite a lot, whether it involves visits to genre conventions, book fairs, or bookstores. I strive to meet my readers in person, as often as I possibly can.
At these events, I regularly find myself getting a little friendly razzing from fellow authors, and some readers, about the size of my novels. I’ve heard it all … “door-stoppers”, “tree-killers”, “those big bricks”, and many other creative descriptions used for epic-scale novels.
I can’t avoid this, as I do write epic-scale stories. There are two series that I currently have out in publication: the Fires in Eden Series, which is fantasy in a medieval-style setting, and The Rising Dawn Saga, which is fairly unique, in that it is true epic-scale urban fantasy. I currently have two books out in each series, with the third Rising Dawn Saga book slated for release at the beginning of August.
I enjoy all kinds of fiction as a reader, and have written many stories that are not epic-scale; as those who have been meeting my steampunk characters Solomon Maccabee, and his faithful feline companion Harvey, have discovered. But it is epic fantasy that I am most passionate about, in regards to a particular mode of storytelling.
So what draws me to epic fantasy? Why do I like telling this kind of story more than any other?
It is true that the casts are larger, the plots are more complex in nature, and the work involved becomes immense when it comes to the research and development of a series of this type. The read is not a lighter one, meant to be skimmed on a beach, or dallied with alongside 3 or 4 other books at the same time.
Then again, the best things in life don’t come easy. A little effort brings a larger reward, and I like to think that the richness and depth in these kinds of tales do offer great rewards to the reader willing to immerse into them. They offer new, wonderful discoveries the second and third times that they are read, and they build solidly upon their foundations, until a striking edifice is created.
The epic-scale story encourages you to look at the world with a broader perspective, the proverbial “big picture”, as much as it beckons to an understanding of the role that everyone plays in the greater fabric. This, in a very profound way, reflects the lives that each and every one of us have.
In my stories, there is no single dominant character, but instead a range of individuals who each bring something of intrinsic value to the plot. The contributions of each character is vital to the larger fictional story, just as everyone in a given community has a special, and integral, role to play in our own living story. The teacher, the solider, the sanitation worker, the nurse, and the food server all represent contributions whose absence would be quickly noted in any given community.
In a similar way, the absence of various characters in the principle ensemble of my books would be sorely missed for their own important contributions. In the Rising Dawn Saga, the teenaged Seth Engel’s inquisitiveness, the older radio host Benedict Darwin’s open mind, and former marine Gregory Andreas’s fortitude all lead to major contributions to the overall plot, and the absence of any one of them would be a severe blow to the resistance to the malignant Convergence. In the Fires in Eden series, Lee Chen’s life experience, Erika Laesig’s assertiveness, and Derek Decker’s discipline all contribute to the survival of modern day individuals finding themselves in an utterly foreign, medievalist world.
The epic-scale story also allows writers the broadest range possible in the telling of a story. You can zoom in on the most intimate, interior thought of a given character, as much as you can pull back to a perspective that takes in the face of the world, and even universe, itself. As in Crown of Vengeance (Book One of the Fires in Eden Series), Janus Roland’s interior struggles with the loss of his father, and the vivid dreams he experiences, can go side by side with events involving massive invasions of Saxany and the Five Realms; both attacks instigated by an enigmatic figure with ambitions to corral all realms in Ave. The bickering between two college-age women, friends who are no longer seeing eye to eye, can go side by side with the dramatic launch of flying monstrosities, which are used to unveil a new, very destructive method of war. In the Rising Dawn Saga, Arianna Darwin can take a casual trip to see her uncle, while a powerful Avatar can pronounce a terrible doom upon an ancient world.
The cosmic and the individual walk in the same procession, seamlessly, as threads of many are used to weave a much larger tapestry. The tale is therefore explored from many different angles, giving a reader the advantage of many sides to the main story.
It is this juxtaposition of the grand scheme with the personal and intimate that I find really compelling about epic-scale stores. Character is not lost, while plots can soar without boundary. The uncanny relation to real life is also fascinating to consider, in the interwoven threads of individual lives that make up the greater world as we know it.
So, when all is said and done, I guess I’ll take the jests and quips about my “big books” in stride, and continue to be very satisfied with my choice to be an epic-scale storyteller. If you haven’t dived into an epic-scale adventure yet, I strongly encourage you to give it a try, as fascinating worlds and a host of vibrant characters await you!
Isn't that just one awesome post? I loved it! How about you, guys?
Both Stephen and I would love to see your comments!
Stephen, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us here today! I'm looking forward to reviewing your books!
On a night that begins no different from any other, strange mists engulf Janus Roland, Erika Laesig, Mershad Shahab, and several others going about their lives in a quiet midwestern town. When the mist dissipates, they all find themselves looking up into the bright skies of a new, incredible world.
Without explanation of why it has happened, or any notion of where they are, they embark upon a grand adventure within the fantastical world of Ave. Some find themselves in the lands of the Saxan Kingdom, while others have emerged within the lands of the Onan, one of the tribes in the Five Realms confederation.
Storms of war loom over both Saxany and the Five Realms, as invasion forces mass under the inspiration of The Unifier, a mysterious, captivating figure whose influence has swept across the surface of Ave ever since His rise to power in the Gallean duchy of Avanor. It is a war that will be fought in the skies, upon the seas, on land, and even in places non-physical in nature.
A majestic, epic fantasy that begins many adventures and journeys across a diverse and enthralling world, filled with races and creatures both familiar and new, Crown of Vengeance lights the flame of the Fires in Eden series, bringing to life a bold, far-ranging, and grand new venture within the realms of fantasy literature
Other books by Stephen Zimmer: