Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Guest Post: Derek Alan Siddoway on Medieval Westerns

Out of Exile
Hi everyone, Derek here with a guest post for all you Kyra Halland readers. Below, I’ve painted a small picture of what you’ll find in my novel, Teutevar Saga: Out of Exile and how the genre I call “medieval western” came about. If you like what read, I’ve made Out of Exile free today [Wed. Dec. 17] on Amazon just for you guys. You can also get a free short story by signing up for my newsletter here. Thanks and enjoy!

Imagine it: wide, sweeping plains as far as the eye can see. In the distance, a herd of buffalo roams through the tall prairie grass. On the edge of a watering hole, a pack of coyotes hunker down, watching a group of mule deer as they drink. The wild mustangs surrounding the edge of the pond discourage them from attacking, for now.

It seems like a peaceful morning on the range but then, the buffalo alert. Their dark, woolly heads shoot up, their tails rise like flagpoles and the herd circles. An ominous thundering noise fills the distance. The mustangs and the deer are looking now as well, their ears pricked toward the coming thunder. It sounds as if the buffalo are stampeding, but they’re still huddled and alert.

In the calm morning air, a series of yips and whoops fill their air, but it’s not from the coyote pack. Were you on the Great Plains, you might expect a war party of Native American horsemen to crest the ridge. But you’re not in America, you’re in Peldrin.
Horsemen indeed ride over the hills and their ponies and shields are painted for war. Their hair is dark and braided. Tomahawks, bows and quivers of arrows are close at hand, but these aren’t Sioux. These are Simarru warriors from the Sube Lowlands, the northwestern edge of the Simarron Plain. In addition to tomahawks, the riders carry thick lances and sabers and wear leather and mail armor. They pull their horses to a stop and grow quiet. The valley below is empty now, the bison and other wildlife have fled.

The Founding of Athel
Over the opposite rise to the north, another line of horses appear. These, however, aren’t agile Simarru ponies. These are war horses, seventeen hands tall, and on them, Skaldean knights in plate armor. Behind them ride buckaroos, lighter horsemen in the service of the Cattle Barons to the east. Before the Republic brought peace, the Cattle Barons and their buckaroos waged endless war against the nomadic Simarru — their longhorn cattle against the endless buffalo herds.

The Skaldean knights form a wedge and sound their battle horns. The Simarru horse archers ride down the ridge and ready their bows. Behind them, the lancers shout war cries into the endless skies above. For a moment, neither side moves. And then the peace is shattered by the thundering of charging horses and whirr of arrow fire.

What do you think? Snag a free copy of Out of Exile to read more.

You get a powerful thing mixing epic fantasy, medieval historical fiction, mythology, American folktales and westerns all together in a book. The result, what I’ve coined as the medieval western genre, is a compilation of everything I love in a story. It’s my debut series: Teutevar Saga.

Picture Even as I devoured the works of Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis and more, part of me wanted something different, something closer to home. That part of me was fostered from countless John Wayne movies, L’Amour books and the landscape and culture of the American West where I call home. Much like Kyra, I appreciate the rich mythology we have here in the west and want to share it with the world. Why, I thought, can’t a book have all of these things: the power and awe of a traditional epic fantasy, steeped with the rugged, action-packed grit of a western?

Most authors get into writing because they’ve got a story they want to read that exists only in the realm of their imagination. I was no different. I grew up reading the greats, but when I came across books like S.M. Stirling’s Dies the Fire and Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country, I saw a glimpse of what was possible, what was brewing in my writer’s mind.

Although it took me over a decade to write, rewrite, revise and publish, Out of Exile was a realization of that dream. With each book of the Teutevar Saga, I hope I continue to build and expand the rich world of Peldrin, a world, I hope to be unlike any other. If you’re a fan of western fantasy, you’ll feel right at home in one of my medieval westerns.

Happy reading,
Derek Alan Siddoway, author of Teutevar Saga
P.S. Don’t forget, Out of Exile is free for you on Amazon. You can also get a complimentary, award-winning short story by joining my newsletter.
Out of Exile
:

War is brewing. The hunt begins. Exile is over.
Revan Teutevar is the exiled heir of an extinct country fed up with a life in hiding. He’s also a boy on a manhunt with blood on his hands, tracking his mother’s kidnappers. Aided by a renegade leprechaun and a smooth-talking minstrel, the young Teutevar pursues his foes across a land on the brink of war. Faced with trials at every step, Revan learns quickly that, out of exile, the line between right and wrong is blurred in the best of times…and nonexistent in the worst.

Visit Derek at his website: http://derekalansiddoway.com/

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Kyra sez: Thanks, Derek! It was great meeting you and finding out about your medieval westerns.
Click here to read my post on western fantasy on Derek's site.

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