Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yoshimi and the Shadow Clan

For the past year I've been following Pat Dilloway's devotion to his Scarlet Knight series on his eponymous blog.  The more I became aware that it was a series the more Pat's devotion intrigued me.  At first it was just about the one book, A Hero's Journey, but then he unveiled the rest of the books, which he is currently in the midst of releasing.

Now, there are certain parallels to what I've been doing.  Yes, Seven Thunders as I've been talking about it is very similar.  And the book this post is about is the first of a trilogy.  Yet I should note for the record that the complete Yoshimi trilogy was written well before last April, when I read Pat's blog for the first time.

Yet Pat is still something of an inspiration, and when I read A Hero's Journey for the first time, I didn't realize how closely it resembled Yoshimi and the Shadow Clan.  When I read Journey earlier this year, I called it, along with Martin Ingham's Curse of Selwood, I came to see it as a kind of young adult adventure, and when I reviewed it I'm not sure I expressed that well enough.  Young adult fiction is not something to feel bad about reading.  Even I've struggled with this perception in the past.  Most of it is inspired directly by popular fiction meant for anyone, though with themes that younger readers will appreciate.  Journey in fact features a young adult of a different kind, one who's moved on from high school but in her own mind maybe doesn't feel like she has.

When I wrote about Yoshimi, I wrote very specifically for the traditional young adult market, and yet while I was editing it I was surprised to find language that was in places very similar to Pat's and even Ingham's, characterizations that resonated in exactly the way I'd planned.  I tend to write very esoterically, and the whole point of Yoshimi was that she'd be my way to suppress that instinct.  This works really well in Yoshimi and the Shadow Clan, though in the concluding volumes I shift a little more into more familiar territory.  Which to my mind is a good thing.  If you like what you see in the first book, hopefully you'll be that much more interested and invested in what follows.

Pat spends the Scarlet Knight series deepening his mythology, which is exactly what you want to see in a series.  We're both budding writers looking for a way into the hearts of readers.  His dedication to Scarlet Knight was one of the main reasons I was finally able to overcome the dejection of what Yoshimi's original publishing fate was supposed to be.  Ingham plays a part here, too, because he released Selwood himself, the second in a series.

Yoshimi's story is all about finding a sense of forward momentum when everything seems to work against her.  Her publishing history has turned out to reflect that.

You can find Yoshimi and the Shadow Clan available at Amazon as a paperback and ebook.


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