Today’s blog topic comes courtesy of a reader email I received this morning:
I finished Hat Trick over the weekend and needed to vent a bit. Number 1, why in the world didn’t Jack and Rumil have bigger roles in the story? I love those two so much. Number 2, what’s the deal with Beowulf being evil? Hasn’t he always been presented as a hero?
Despite my gripes, the story was fantastic and can’t wait for the next one to come out. JJ and Kelsey are excellent replacements for Jack and Rumil (even though I miss them!).
First, thanks for the email Stacey. Your two venting points are actually things I struggled with during the writing process, so let’s go over them together, shall we?
When I decided to return to the mythical world of Asgard after Game Over, I was torn on how to approach it. I tried to outline a story that included Jack and Rumil a lot more, but it felt pressed to me. In all honesty, their story was over. I, too, really love those characters (as they were the first ones I ever came up with), but I wouldn’t have done them justice by creating crap. So that’s why instead of their continuation, we get JJ and Kelsey.
Stacey, I’m so glad you asked about Beowulf. What a lot of readers probably don’t know is that coming up with a good, engaging villain is the hardest part of a writer’s task in creating a book. Let’s face it, the heroes all fall into one of the pre-programmed stereotypes that are out there. Villains, this is where the creativity really needs to shine through.
In the first trilogy, we had Azmodeous and Frejya running amuck. Both had their reasons for committing the crimes they did and both were well liked by readers and reviewers. That meant for this story, I had to up my game, do something even more creative.
That’s when I settled on Beowulf. A lot of us know his story, so I won’t be you with a history lesson. And Stacey is right – he’s always been portrayed of the Hero of the Danes, the great warrior king who drove evil out of the land. But what if the stories got it wrong? History has a way of sugarcoating things and making them look a lot better.
Having a character is good, but having the backstory is even better. This gave me a vehicle to bring Odin back in some capacity. It’s not hard to imagine that Beowulf, becoming arrogant with his own power, would rebel against his patron god, the Allfather. Odin, being just as arrogant, wouldn’t take too kindly to that and ta-da, we have Beowulf’s reason to become the tyrant king he is at the start of the book. There’s more that goes into it, but I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t read the story yet.
Hat Trick is one of my favorite stories. I know Norse mythology isn’t exactly a hot plate genre, just know if you join JJ and Kelsey on their adventure, you won’t be disappointed.
We’ll be back on Thursday with the first in our series of blogs about The Negative Man as we start the countdown to Legends Can Die.
You can get all the info on Jeremy’s book at http://boltbookspub.wix.com/home