Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some Books Are Harder to Write Than Others

To celebrate her newest release,  Demon's Grip, the third book in the  Diamond Peak Series, I'm honored to feature a guest post by the exceptional author, Tahlia Newland, on the challenges and rewards of writing metaphysical fiction. As Tahlia has kindly noted, I've had the great fortune to work as an editor or her outstanding fantasy and magical realism novels and highly recommend her original and creative blend of adventure-filled magical fantasy and real world metaphysical reflection.

Some books are harder to write than others


Sometimes I wish I could write a story that is just a story, not one threaded through with philosophy like my stories, but I never could, because that isn't me. It would be a lot easier though, and that appeals to my lazy side, but it wouldn't satisfy me. I like novels with a touch of metaphysics in them, and authors always write the kind of books they like to read.

The most difficult aspect of writing metaphysical fiction is that you need to remain true to whatever philosophy you're working with without it being either didactic or extraneous to the story line. It also needs to be expressed in universal terms that relate to people of different world-views, otherwise it becomes religious fiction which has a different purpose.

I find myself faced with interpreting the technical language of my area of study, Buddhism into simple language that means the same thing but doesn't have religious overtones. Also, my books have teens as their main characters so the language has to be teen-speak.

Before you can simplify anything without destroying its integrity, you need to have studied the philosophy enough to understand it well. I can confidently say that I have done that, and I have no problem interpreting the simple concepts and weaving them into the story, but I was ambitious (sometimes I think foolish) enough to choose a theme for a series that required me to go deeper, and that's when things can get tricky.

Book one sets the scene with a simple idea, that of demons that are an external manifestation of emotions. My characters use skills learnt in meditation to defeat the demons, but before my central character, seventeen-year-old Ariel can do this, she must learn how. So, within this book are genuine and complete meditation instructions, and yet the word meditation does not appear even once. 

Yet this is essentially a new adult fantasy with all the elements of any great example of that genre ie romance, adventure, humour and life threatening battles!

I have just released book three, Demon's Grip, and it was the hardest book to write, because it had to explore the difference between wanting something and craving it. Why? Because the demon lord, Emot, bodyguard to the Master Demon, feeds on craving.

Finding the right words wasn't easy. Luckily I have a fabulous editor, Krisi, who by questioning the meaning of what I had written helped me to write it as clearly as possible.

All this talk about  concepts might make the book sound heavy, but it isn't. The demons are pretty sleazy, as demons should be, but all my writing has a light touch. There's a grumpy but amusing talking cat, a mysterious magician, a handsome young man, a gutsy nearly eighteen- year-old and a quirky but wise old man, and it takes place in our own time, in a realm hidden within our world.


Here's some perceptive things people have said about the series.


 “I can't even begin to describe all of the action you'll find in this highly imaginative journey. This is a fantastic depiction of a fight between good and evil.” Crazy Four Books.

"A magical world with an exceptional well-written ribbon of 'real world' weaved throughout."  Twisted Sense Book Blog

“This world is the context for Ariel, a young woman in the grip of a prophecy, desperately trying to rescue her mother before her mother is killed... or worse.” Ruthanne Reid, author of The Sundered.


A beautifully written, exciting fantasy-adventure with vibrant description.” Krisi Keley, author of Mareritt.


Its always best to start at the beginning of a series though, so to inspire you to do just that, book one in the series is only 99c until the 6th July on Kindle and Kobo, so pick it up and read your way to the top of Diamond Peak.


You can also pick up a FREE short story prequel to the Series here.

If you’ve read books one and two, you can find Demon's Grip at your Kindle Store , Smashwords & Kobo

Post by Tahlia Newland, the award-winning fantasy and magical realism author with a metaphysical twist. If you enjoyed this blog post, you can join her on Facebook , Twitter or Google+ You can even fan her on Goodreads. When not reading, writing, reviewing or mentoring authors you may find her being an extremely casual high school teacher or making decorative masks. Tahlia began writing full time in 2008 after twenty years in the performing arts and a five-year stint as a creative and performing arts teacher in a High School. In 2012, she set up the Awesome Indies List to showcase quality independent fiction. She has had extensive training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy and lives in an Australian rainforest south of Sydney. Creativity is her middle name!



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