Today, I am very excited to have Igor Ljubuncic, author of the grimdark fantasy series Woes & Hose and The Lost Words, back to Bookwraiths. Instead of answering all my questions as he did last time, I’ve given Igor the floor to share his thoughts on what drove him to write The Amazing Adventures of Dashing Prince Dietrich. So enjoy!
The Amazing Why
A question often comes up – well, not that often, but let’s pretend I have friends and fans, mutually inclusive – why did you decide to write The Amazing Adventures of Dashing Prince Dietrich? And then the follow-up question that allows me to elaborate more and actually write an article-worthy response: Why is it so different from your previous series, The Lost Words?
After spending roughly seven years writing the four books (from 2007-2013) that comprise The Lost Words universe, I felt I needed a break from its somber, multi-character, epic tone with a slow story development and tons of magic and gods. I think I probably had a similar moment that Steven Erikson had with Willful Child, without presuming any grandeur, talent or popularity on my behalf. He had spent two decades creating the ultra-massive Malazan Empire, and he must have been in a dire need of a sweet, quick and innocent distraction.
I know I did. So I thought, what now? And so Prince Dietrich was born. The Lost Words had magic and swords and gods, Dietrich’s world has gunpowder, no magic whatsoever, and a passing semblance of religion. The Lost Words chase a dozen people across the Realms. Dietrich – may we call him Dick – lives in a much smaller universe, and the action focuses on him, because he is a spoiled brat, me, me, me. He is also a coward, whereas you’d expect your protagonist to be somewhat of a hero. Not Dick. Between the rock and a hard place, Dick will choose a velvet cushion.
Humor was also quite important to me. The Lost Words is not a funny series. It’s grim, it’s brutal, it’s depressing. I wanted something lighthearted with just a speck of evil and dark. Let’s call it fundark. Or perhaps grimfun. Arguably, the humor that you encounter in the book – provided you find it funny, ’tis a gamble right – reflects the silly name of the novel and its nature. Fast-paced action revolving around a self-absorbed, indignant prince who lusts for the throne. Of course, it cannot be easy, and his father the ever-so-smart king will do his best to thwart Dick’s plans. Thus our adventure beginneth.
When you combine and blend and dice all these elements, what you get is a hopefully unique approach to storytelling. Dick is someone you will most likely despise. It’s not easy when your protagonist is an arse. But then, you will probably be entertained by all the plights and misfortunes afflicting him. After all, if he ain’t a hero, nor a tragic hero, he might as well just be tragic. Thus our plot thickeneth.
I immensely enjoyed writing the book. I had the most fun of any one of my works – save for the sequel, The Glorious Adventures of Glamorous Prince Dietrich, which yes, you guessed right, follows Dick on his deplorable quest of becoming the king – and it was such a pleasant release from the dark energy that I invested in the previous series. You may find the sentiment hard to comprehend, but when you write, you give it all. Stepping out, breathing out and then committing yourself to a story of a witty coward is an excellent holiday for the brain. As I said, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I hope you will, too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Igor Ljubuncic is a physicist by vocation and a Linux geek by profession. He is the founder and operator of the cool and highly popular website dedoimedo.com, where you can learn a lot about a lot. He really likes to write, particularly in the fantasy genre, and has been doing so since the tender age of ten summers. You can learn more at his blog.