Contribute to the Die Klinge des Waldes Wiki Site

“Royce Buckingham creates new worlds in his books as I would have imagined as a child. With attention to detail, very exciting and entertaining – I’ve rarely been able to put it out of my hands.” — Karateka, Reviewer

German fantasy fans love the world building in my newest epic fantasy novel, Die Klinge des Waldes (The Blade of the Forest). Now there is way for English readers to join in exploring it too–the Die Klinge des Waldes fandom wiki site, built by the fans themselves.

Here’s the coolest thing I found out about about the Die Klinge des Waldes wiki site. Anyone can contribute. For German readers, write in your favorite quote, storyline, district–you name it! For English readers, check it out, add your thoughts and questions and tell my agent John Rudolph why you would love to have the novel available in the United States. 

The wiki site includes facts about all of the major or minor districts in the far off City of Filth, including primary character bios and quotes, as well as an entire page dedicated to all of the story’s characters. I loved creating this world and am gratified to see that readers love learning about it. Their comments (translated from German) speak for themselves:

“Each district is like a small kingdom with its own laws, customs, festivities, and methods of execution (Royce Buckingham is extremely creative, which is amazingly intriguing in a macabre way). In the course of the plot, you get to know quite a few districts such as the carpentry or the carnival district, but also over the other districts information is scattered over and over again, which I personally found incredibly exciting. This city looks like a mini-universe to itself…”  Miss Page Turner

“With “The Blade of the Forest,” Royce Buckingham reveals a fantasy novel set in a very different world from his trilogy for “The King’s Will” and his followers. And that’s exactly where the great power of the novel lies, you can completely explore the strange world and explore numerous different cultures, locations and connections.”  Poldis Hörspielseite

“World-building really succeeded in this novel. The map on the first page already gives an interesting insight about the individual lands. Among other things, there is the forest kingdom of Strata at the beginning, which impresses by the fact that the rich live in towers, which were built around trees and the simple people, who lives on the ground, are called Grundlinge (Grounders).”  Steffi R, Reviewer

“Let’s get to the world Buckingham created: it’s fascinating. Partly an ancient variant of our world and yet somehow different. On the other hand fantastic and yet not so fantastic that it could not have been that way.”  Daisy D

I’m excited and flattered that fans have created this site, and I’m eager to share it with you! Visit at: Die Klinge des Waldes Wiki.

Royce Writes: The Skype Visit

Technology is a beautiful thing. In June, I used it to virtually visit students 3,000 miles away from the comfort (and safety) of my living room.

Thank you so much!  The students LOVED Skyping with you!  I’m looking forward to the next discussion…” – Kimberly Bramfeld, Librarian Edmund J. O’Neal Middle School of Excellence

Skype visits have been a great option for me – a busy writer, lawyer and dad – to connect with fans without a lot of travel. And schools love it, because I offer them for free. The only payment I require is for students and their teachers to prepare by reading part or all of the book and creating a list of questions to ask ahead of time. 

Find out more HERE.

My lifelong friend’s book is coming out!

My dear, dear German friend Alexis’ first book is coming out. She writes fantasy books, like me!

Her debut novel, The Deathbringer, will hit German bookshelves in March/April of 2018.

The Deathbringer is the tender story of a princess…who becomes an assassin. Yeah!

She kicks ass. The book kicks ass. Everyone kicks ass! Including my publisher, who hired Alexis on my recommendation. I hope fans are as into her work as I am.

The rights will be shopped in the US soon (when the time is right).

Until then, good luck Alexis!

Interesting Concept for Branding an Author

It takes much more than a riveting story to grow a brand and successfully market titles. – Christian Smythe

With so much content out there, traditional and indie publishers are looking for innovative ways to market their authors. Christian Smythe suggests a few interesting concepts here.

 

MONSTERS! Are they scary anymore or just our BFF’s with serious issues.

I’m sharing this article  I wrote that ran a while back on Smack Dab in the Middle – a blog for Middle Grade Author. I encourage you to check out the site for great ideas on books for Middle Grade Readers, but I’ve copied and pasted below if you’d like to stay here to read it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

MONSTERS!

We have always had a fascination with monsters. From the time of the big three—Dracula (vampire), Frankenstein (zombie), and the Wolf Man (werewolf)—to the age of the pretty vampires and sensitive werewolves, Americans have literally eaten up the myth of the monster in all of its forms.

One of the interesting things that has happened over the years is the humanizing of these creatures. The vampire was originally seen as a shambling, grotesque beast returning from the dead to haunt Europeans in their myths and legends. In his movie debut, the vampire was Count Orlock of Nosferatu fame. Here’s a snap:

Compare this handsome young man (above) with a modern interpretation of the gruesome beast below:

Weird, huh? The same sympathetic treatment has been given to Werewolves (Patricia Briggs) and even Zombies. These perfectly good monsters who were once mysterious (ie. not understood) have been turned into our neighbors, our BFF’s, and even objects of desire who reveal their inner feelings and have been, it turns out, misunderstood. To that, my question is…where’s the scary?

I guess it’s no secret that many, many, many-many-many, modern YA monsters are not monsters at all, but instead just humans with issues.

When I set out to write a monster story back in 1997 or so, I had no idea that the trend was to personify monsters, anthropomorphize them, if you will. I thought they should just be scary and mysterious and kill you, preferably via eating. For my DEMONKEEPER series, I chose (you guessed it) demons. I took a traditional approach and made the bad monster bad. I had it eat kids, not date them. I chose demons because demons come in all shapes and sizes, and not all are evil; some are just annoying. Thus, I could have my monster and comic relief as well. In this way, I retained the traditional monster and tapped into our visceral, Neanderthal fear of being eaten alive by a wild animal (thank you ancestors), and I was able to play with lesser demons at a lower threat level (“hey dude, don’t virus my ipad”).
But was I watering down the monster myth too?

When I handed in my first draft of my subsequent book, THE DEAD BOYS, to my editor, John Rudolph (then at Putnam), he asked me if I really wanted it to be spooky. “Of course!” I said. He then proceeded to cut half of the book in the first edit. HALF! I just about had a heart attack. Talk about scary. But there was a method to his Mr. Hyde madness. He had cut all of the humor from the book. And the monster (a kid-eating tree) was delivered without any “softening.” It was relentless. It never winked and had a sensitive side. It didn’t joke around with you after school. It-just-ate-you. Period. Evil. Scary. No dating. No prom. No misunderstood-ing. It liked to eat boys. Yum! I rewrote half the book, and darn but if John wasn’t exactly right. It was spookier. Several book awards and fan letters about sleepless nights followed. Check the covers of the DEMONKEEPER series (above) vs. THE DEAD BOYS (below). Which is spookier?

The phenomenon of making monsters relatable and sympathetic is probably a spectrum. King Kong-mammal/sympathetic/less scary. Alien-insectile/not sympathetic/very scary. And so there is no right or wrong, just differences in approach and effect. Thus, as a writer, it is important to be aware that the more you understand the beast, the less scary it is. So make choices based upon the tone you wish to convey, before your editor cuts half of your book. As a reader, choose your monsters with this in mind. Do I want a drama with creatures? Do I want a genuinely scary story? I know which I’d choose. But that’s just me. I like spooky.

Boo!

Royce

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