Legends of Windemere and Crossing Bedlam: My Two Worlds

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

First, click on the covers for to go to the Amazon pages.  Promo done?  Good.

With Crossing Bedlam out and Legends of Windemere beyond the halfway mark, I’m left thinking about the two in comparison.  Not an easy thing to think about since I never really thought I’d move so far out of fantasy.  Sure, I toyed with science fiction, but this type of story never came up until recently.  Not a bad thing.  Just something I didn’t expect.

Compared to Windemere, Bedlam is way on the other side of my spectrum.  Both have a large amount of action and violence, but Bedlam seems darker at most points.  A big factor in this is how the characters react to killing.  The champions don’t take any joy from killing while Lloyd revels in it.  There’s a sense of amusement and glee in the action scenes of Bedlam while Windemere is more low key even when high adrenaline.  This might have to do with my own mentality while writing them.  I see Bedlam as an R-Rated action movie like Mad Max and Total Recall.  I think the addition of guns and a real world setting makes the action scenes grittier and more ‘visible’.  Windemere is closer to Lord of the Rings with a grandiose style of action that contains elements of the unreal.  For example, you can clearly imagine a battle with Cassidy and Lloyd in their jeep with more ease than Luke Callindor battling trolls in a jungle.  You have to put a bit more brain power into forming the troll in your mind than the jeep.

There is also a difference in language with Windemere only going so far as bastard and the occasional bitch and ass.  Bedlam brings out my inner swear fiend.  This was a choice of audience that I made for both series after some thought.  The earliest version of Nyx actually had her swearing left and right because the person who played her in the game swore a lot.  I changed this when I felt that it didn’t fit the fantasy setting and I remembered that I rarely ran into curse words in the stuff I read in my youth.  So I made up my own insults and kept the mundane ones that I felt would work for the world.  As far as Bedlam, I knew this would be more adult and society had collapsed, so Cassidy and Lloyd cursing often made sense.  Especially Cassidy who is pure survivor and has little patience for manners.  It’s weird because I feel off when I write the Bedlam crew yelling without curses and the same sensation comes over me if the Windemere cast drops a big swear word.

All of this is cosmetic differences though.  That’s what I see when I look at characters, setting, atmosphere, action, and the plots.  So is there anything similar?  Possibly only me and what makes up my writing style.  Both stories are written with high action and some humor in a present tense third person style.  There is a focus on character development at times, but Windemere has that more than Bedlam.  The latter requires that the characters not soften because the world is so dangerous.  Again, I find myself pointing out differences, which makes me wonder if I have created something new for myself.  A fresh playground to poke around in with these characters.

Keep in mind that I’ve been writing Legends of Windemere since 1999.  I outlined stories for other worlds and other regions of Windemere, but eventually everything stemmed from Legends.  Now I have Bedlam that can go on its own and let me flex a bit while I run toward the end of the big series.  Is that why the two series are similar only in style and not in substance?  As odd a question as it sounds, do other authors get confused when they write in two genres or worlds with such differences?  What do people think about an author that writes series that vary so much in ‘rating’?  I ask that last question because I’ve seen many authors go from a children or young adult series to an adult one and get backlash.  Makes one wonder if an author can easily step into a new realm after they’ve become known for one.

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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29 Responses to Legends of Windemere and Crossing Bedlam: My Two Worlds

  1. It’s probably because I’m not known, but it doesn’t bother me at all. I let the characters decide how they come across. I think your choices are good ones though. I’ve done the same thing, but like I said fame eludes me. Will O’ the Wisp is suitable for young adults, The Playground will not be.

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  2. Mr. Bill says:

    A few thoughts:

    It depends, if you market the book to your existing readers you are much more likley to receive backlash….after all they are reading one type of book vs. another for a reason. That is, unless you clearly differentiate between the two (which you have done very well). Some authors write the second type under a pen name just to avoid the questions you pose. I personally have no issue with the cross over, I read everything from YA coming of age to dark fantasy….and everything in between. As long as the author is transparent in their dealings, don’t sell me YA then deliver DF, I’m fine. The bigger issue IMHO is execution. There is a particular author (who will remain unnamed) who made their mark with YA and wanted to delve into more adult fantasy. The issue was, in reading the book, I got the impression the author was so intent on breaking away from their YA roots, they went into content they were actually uncomfortable writing about…which then made me as a reader uncomfortable reading. I guess I’m saying if your going to do it, let the characters drive the story, have it be organic and don’t make it feel forced. The final product ended up reading like a YA book with a bunch of ugly slapped on, here and there, ugly inconsistent with the characters personas and general tone of the story the author had written. There needs to be a consistency of tone within the book.

    Your point ” The latter requires that the characters not soften because the world is so dangerous.” is exactly the what I mean…that’s dead on!

    Harry Potter and Mad Max don’t mix… nor should they.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point. You either go all in with a new genre or don’t. Readers can tell when you’re pulling back or straying from the new path. Still, I will admit that it is a little scary to step out of the comfort zone like this. There are instincts that have to be ignored and new ones to develop. Perhaps the wisest way for an author to handle such a jump is to treat it like they are a first time author. The person who did the previous series was someone else and now you’re back to the beginning with nothing. I mean, whatever it takes to avoid the wrong old habits from getting in the way.

      I now have this image in my head of Harry Potter characters riding brooms while wearing cookware and screaming about guzzoline. Reminds me about how often you see Mad Max references in cartoons too.

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  3. sknicholls says:

    I don’t think I could write YA. Maybe, but it would be a strain. I grew up really fast. Had to. Not certain if I have enough normal childhood to relate to youth. I have my children and grandchildren and the world seen through their eyes, but it’s not the same as personal experience.

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    • To be fair, fictional childhoods are usually anything but normal. I think what you describe could still be part of a YA book since a big part of it involves coming of age. One where a young protagonist has to grow up quickly would be something that those in similar situations could relate to.

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  4. L. Marie says:

    Authors who can write for more than one age level or genre are to be commended. So congratulations on having two series!

    I’ve read about the backlash some authors receive. It’s so easy to criticize, I guess. I have favorite authors who write for more than one market demographic and genre. I never once thought, “He/she should only write for one age level/genre.”

    The only time I might be tempted to complain is when an author makes a public declaration that he or she is only switching genres for the money. Yes, I’ve read interviews where authors stated that their agents told them to switch over because of the high sales factor of the new genre or age market. Sure, authors write to hopefully generate sales. But a reader needs to know that an author really loves the genre or has some affinity for the market. We all know that you love what you do. That’s why we’re happy for you in your series choices.

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    • I’m holding off on the congratulations until series #2 proves it has staying power. 🙂 Funny that you mention how easy it is to criticize because that might be part of the problem. A reader who loves an author for one genre will do a comparison from Page 1 and then criticize. This is actually easier than ignoring the expectations created by the other genre. At least it seems that way for some people.

      I’ve met so many indie authors that do the genre jump solely for the money. They keep following the trends and churning out whatever it popular. If that’s the way a person wants to go then fine for them. Yet, I don’t think I have it in me. Really need to love the story that I’m writing to make it public.

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. Marie says:

        Good for you!
        I’m not one who can churn out book after book based on current trends. I’ve tried some subgenres. My stories wound up going the parody route. I eventually abandoned them.

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      • There is something to be said for those that can jump genres so easily. Takes a lot of skill to do it effectively, which does happen. Maybe when you focus more on the story than the overall setting.

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  5. I think you will build an audience for Bedlam with or without your current fans. It will take time.

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  6. Helen Jones says:

    The thing with being a writer, I find, is that the stories come to you. I suppose we tend to stick to genres because that’s what we enjoy, but if a different type of story comes your way then I hope you wouldn’t be penalised by readers for exploring something new. I certainly wouldn’t feel that way, anyway. I say this of course in the knowledge that I’m currently writing a Ya fantasy series, but my next two (unrelated) books are a lot more ‘adult’ in tone. 😀

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