The Circle of Tivedon by Ryan Shorten

Welcome to Author Ryan Shorten

Ryan Shorten was born in the early 1970’s and grew up in Southern Ontario Canada. From a young age he was introduced to the world of Fantasy Fiction by the likes of Tolkien, Pratchett, Brooks, and Salvatore.

His love of reading turned into a passion for writing shortly after finishing his post secondary education at Ryerson University in Toronto. While studying Media Arts at Ryerson, his visual imagination was further developed through the use of film, video and digital imaging.

His recently published first full length novel ‘The Circle of Tivedon’ is Book One of a planned trilogy.

Guest Post: Life after Potter…

By Ryan Shorten

Recently I approached a book blogger asking for a review. Their polite, yet dismissive reply was; “I’m sorry Ryan but Harry Potter look-a-likes (for lack of a better word) do not do well on my site. I’m sorry. Best to find a book review site with lots of guys reading it or writing it.”

I could have taken the blogger’s reply in a few different ways; rebuked, misjudged, unfairly maligned, or even honored to be likened to an undeniable ‘juggernaut’ of Fantasy writing. Yet what it really did was bring me to think on the following question: How do (new) writers avoid being judged (or worse, accused) as writing ‘knock-offs’?

For me, I started writing ‘The Circle of Tivedon’ in the summer of 2001. At this point in time J.K Rowling’s debut novel was already receiving wide spread accolades. However I had yet to know much about it, let alone read it. It wasn’t until much later that I read her books (and yes, I did like them). Timing however is everything.

It took me the better part of ten years to complete ‘The Circle of Tivedon’ (for lots of different reasons) and it wasn’t until October 2012 when it finally made it into print. As much as I can honestly say that the Harry Potter series had nothing to do with my story (or vice versa), the parallels may always be drawn. Yes, my book has a school in it (as a backdrop for the first half of the story) and yes, my characters are young adults (no, they aren’t wizards or witches in training), but beyond that, the comparatives lie only in good vs. evil and magic. And doesn’t almost every Fantasy story contain those elements?

For me, the answer lies in having originality of voice. Do your characters ‘speak’ to the reader? Do they hold their attention? Do they make them laugh or cry or shout out? I believe a story can have the greatest plot lines ever, but if the character’s ‘voice’ can’t evoke emotion, then the story really can’t be judged differently from any other in the same genre. Westerns have cowboys, Sci-fi has aliens, and Fantasy has magic.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as a personal rant, or an attempt to cast dispersions on dismissive bloggers. I think the world of book bloggers. Without them, there really wouldn’t be any opportunity for the self-publishing author to get valued feedback or exposure.  In fact, you’re reading this post because someone has devoted their time to sharing their passion, and for that, they deserve a ‘BIG’ thanks!
So if you haven’t virtually hugged a book blogger today, do so! Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I try to scrub off this lightening shaped mark on my forehead. : )

The Circle of Tivedon

Attending Tivedon should have been the most exciting time in Jayl’s young life. However, when inexplicable things begin to darken the hallowed halls of of the school and he’s accused of murder, Jayl finds himself thrust into a quest to save himself, his home, and ultimately all of Tiertyn itself.

Tour Sign-Ups: The Circle of Tivedon by Ryan Shorten

Giveaway Details
1 Kindle copy of The Circle of Tivedon
Open Internationally
Ends 1/23/13

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