One of the benefits of living in a major city is when authors come to town and you have the privilege of being able to exist in their presence for a short time. In February of 2016 I had the utter delight of basking in the literary genius of Pierce Brown, the author of the Red Rising series.
For those of you not familiar with the Red Rising series (you poor, poor souls) the three books in the trilogy, Red Rising, Golden Son and Morning Star, tell the story of Darrow, a lowly Red miner whose heart-wrenching loss leads him into the very midst of the high-society Golds to claim his revenge. What started out as a quest for redemption driven by the words of a young girl soon morphs into the reforging of an entire society, stretching across stars and planets to sweep even the most unwilling into its unfolding.
I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi, I will be the first one to admit it. The mechanical and planetary backgrounds of sci-fi novels have often turned me off in the past, but this series is so much more then spaceships and stars. Each character is insanely fleshed out to the point where you are emotionally invested in several of them for entirely different reasons, the story telling is flawless and flows without a hitch, and those plot twists, oh be still my heart. And being the historical nerd I am, I can’t help but give a nod of appreciation to the Roman, Viking and other historical goodness woven into Brown’s world and characters.
I could remark on the obvious reality that Mr. Brown is most certainly eye candy, but I was much more impressed with the wealth of knowledge he possessed, how easily he interacted with the crowd (many of which were obviously die hard Red Rising fans) but more importantly, the wisdom he imparted for those writing their own stories who wanted to dig a little deeper into his creative process. Here are some of the highlights that I took away from my evening with Pierce Brown…
- Brown revealed that many of his characters were inspired by a specific song. When he needed to think, Brown would drive around in his car listening to different kinds of music, pulling inspiration from different genres and sounds. Sevro came to being after hearing a Notorious B.I.G song – and for those who have read the first book or all three of them, and have mad respect for Sevro, it makes complete sense.
- He’s not aiming to write an all-encompassing world, such as that of George R.R. Martin or Tolkien. He’s not interested in anthologies filled with maps and family histories. Everything he needs to know about the world is in his head and that’s how he wants it.
- One of the best pieces of writing advice he gave was that if you can’t fit the most important traits/major story line points/beliefs of a character on a post-it note, you aren’t ready to write that character yet. Short, sweet, simple.
- He writes to entertain himself. And Brown is just insanely grateful that other people find his story, and the nerdish and sci-fi references embedded in his stories, as interesting as he does.
- THERE IS ANOTHER TRILOGY COMING! Same world, some familiar characters, some new ones. Gory damn. And the Red Rising series has been purchased by Universal Pictures to be made into movies. Double gory damn.
I am sure there are countless other comments I could make about Brown and other people likely walked away with different favorite moments then mine, but either way, there’s no denying that Brown is a down to earth guy with a wicked mind for story telling. I personally cannot wait until we have another piece of Brown’s work in our hands and I have no doubt, with a slight homage to Sevro, shit will escalate in the most glorious of ways.
Devon – a1000booklife