Monday, October 18, 2010

Author’s word - The Slaves

The Slaves, the second installment of my series The Janus Clan is my most violent novel so far, one that takes the art form of transgression far and beyond, I'm proud to say. A friend of mine told me that reading it had been an ordeal, and I said thank you. He said he had a hard time dealing with all the wounds it opened, and I beamed at him. I want my readers to have a hard time with it, want them to ask themselves the hard, the truly hard questions.

But it’s also, in many ways an upbeat tale, one about empowerment, liberation from enslavement, or at least the start of the long road to true Freedom.

It is extremely violent, an attack on the senses, both mentally and physically, but it has to be, with the story it's telling. It's a tale for adults, in all meanings of the word, one hardly subtracting anything from the horror that is the current human society.

I remember once when I discussed it over the phone with a representative for a publisher. «It’s so rough, so beyond brutal». I could virtually see him sit there and shake his head.

«So what»? I asked him.

He never really replied to that one, except in hopeless generalities. I discovered a startling truth that day, in my youth and naiveté: A story that explicitly revealed the horrors of modern life just wasn’t feasible to established publishers.

Eventually I would discover that a lot of stuff wasn’t feasible to any established publisher. They would speak a lot in public about the need for fighting censorship, but when push came to shove… they would turn away. The obvious reason for this is that they’re an integral part of the public censorship, one bastion of several erected to keep troublesome and truly alternative material from reaching the public.

I am a Storyteller, I want to tell stories, but I’m also a very engaged, passionate human being. I look at the current world and want to change it, change it dramatically, also through my art. Censorship, in all forms has always been one of many pet peeves of mine, and I certainly don’t hold back when I’m writing in fear of what timid, domesticated people may think.

Thanks to David Huxley for the crowd picture, one which turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. Thanks also to Obskur (not Obscure). I didn’t end up using his picture, but it still helped me in the process.


Nicki Elson said...

Huh, that's really interesting what you say about publishers being censors of what we read---that's totally true. They in large part get to decide what DOESN'T get published for the public to read. Glad to see your book is making it out there anyway.

Ooh, what an appropriate release date. ;)

Amos Keppler said...

Thank you, I thought so, too. All Soul's Night is such a great night.

Publishing my books is a great thing in itself, but it feels even greater when I can stick it to the system as well.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi Amos, Good luck on the book release. I'm curious what inspired you to write your most violent story--if you were going through a dark time in your life or something like that.

Amos Keppler said...

Thank you.

Well, i see the world as pretty "dark" or rather horrible (dark is really a positive word to me). As stated, to me it's mostly about realism, to properly portray the world as it is.

And i want to combat censorship by challenging it head on. You will find everything about the human condition in my works, good and bad, and unpalatable, because it belongs there.

Elise Warner said...

Hello Amos-I suppose most days I'm an optimist though each night when I listen to the news or settle down with the paper, I get downhearted. the world goes round.

Jennie Bailey said...

I understand that people read for escape. But the books that I choose to read can tend to be violent, though I didn't seek them out that way. I don't choose the most violent book. I choose the story that captures me. Life is violent and it always has been. There is nothing like a well written book and a hero that rises above the brutality to change things. Good for you for refusing to compromise your vision, Amos!

Amos Keppler said...

I am quite proud that I've stuck to it through all these years.

The violence isn't the main thing, of course. Realism is.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hello, Amos. Thanks for joining the bloghop.

It's good to see your passionate nature breathe into your writing.

That's why I love writing so much. I can make my characters do what I want when I want and how I want.

I happen to be a timid and domesticated person. I've lived one of violence before and don't wish to go back to it. I want to color my world and friends with things that warm hearts.

My philosophy is that there's enough out there that's hurting innocent ones and I want to do what I can to bring hope and love.

I'm not saying that your passion is one of destruction. I'm sorry. I understand that life is what life is.

It takes all kinds of people and writers to make this life interesting.



btw, I really like your blog!

Amos Keppler said...

I believe strongly that making it seem like it isn't there makes it worse.