From SCI FI Wire:
12:00 AM, 15-JANUARY-08
Fantasy author Alex Bledsoe told SCI FI Wire that his new novel The Sword-Edged Blonde
is heroic fantasy written in the style of noir detective fiction.
"The initial spark, cheesily enough, came from Fleetwood Mac's 'Rhiannon,'" Bledsoe said in an interview. "I first heard it during junior high in rural Tennessee, at a time when it was really hard to find information on things like the Welsh legends that inspired the song."
There was no Internet then and the closest library was too far away, Bledsoe said. "You had to get a ride to a library (my town was too small to have one) and hope they had the information you wanted," he said. "In this case, I found only a single paragraph in a huge book on Celtic folklore, but it gave me the bare bones of the legend, and it always stuck with me because of the effort it took to find it."
Bledsoe, who is now 44, wrote the initial draft of the story in high school, after ending up in a class with an attractive new teacher. "We all had crushes on her, and I expressed mine in the time-honored tradition of love-struck geeks everywhere: to impress her, I wrote the initial draft of the story that became The Sword-Edged Blonde
In the book, "sword jockey" Eddie LaCrosse is hired by his boyhood friend King Philip to find out if Queen Rhiannon really did kill their infant son. "The case takes Eddie unexpectedly into his own past before he finally unravels the mystery and faces a truth, and a villain, whose existence challenges everything he knows about how the universe works," Bledsoe said.
Bledsoe initially kept trying to turn Eddie's journey into a standard fantasy-style heroic quest, and the material simply resisted that, he said. "It wasn't until I decided to make it an interior journey that I suddenly knew both how the story should develop and what the proper tone should be," Bledsoe said.
An original story featuring Eddie LaCrosse, "Things that Flit," is available for free on Bledsoe's Web site
. Eddie's next novel-length adventure is scheduled for October 2008. --John Joseph Adams