Inside every person who reads epic fantasy is the plot of an epic fantasy story. I’m no different.
A few years ago, I was reading a few CrossGen comics and they put out a call for creator-owned properties. Fascinated with comics and with creating new things, I came up with a fantasy setting where two sides fought a war using mechs–giant robots. CrossGen fell apart, but I’d managed to come up with several interesting characters, so the story didn’t leave my thoughts, though it eventually transformed into a novel instead of a comic book.I wanted to have a story that was truly unique and would capture the imagination. As much as I might like things like the anime Escaflowne, I couldn’t embrace that as the kind of mech that I wanted.
I wanted to do something even more different, something totally unconventional in the realm of western fantasy writing. I had recently been watching the anime Gasaraki which features a very different sort of mech. A mech that’s alive, moves like a samurai, and can’t be beaten by even the best modern warfare has to offer.
Actually, this kugai (the ancient mech from Gasaraki), is one of the main things that inspired the Idai Heishi (“Great Warriors”) in my fantasy story, Ashes of War. I was also fascinated with other mech anime and took elements from each of those as well. I might take some time to address the characters individually, but, over the years, I wanted to add more interesting dynamics to this story.
Now that I’m getting a real sense of momentum behind Ashes of War, I find I’m thinking about giant mechs/stone golems, women who’ve never had their hair cut, blood magic, and prophecies. All are amazing things and worth writing about. Maybe I should do that.