After teaching literature, philosophy, history, and religion for more than a decide, Brian Staveley began writing epic fantasy. His first book, The Emperor’s Blades (forthcoming from Tor on January 14, 2014), is the start of his series, Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne. Tor.com has been good enough to release the first seven chapters as a teaser. Brian lives on a steep dirt road in the mountains of southern Vermont, where he divides his time between fathering, writing, husbanding, splitting wood, skiing, and adventuring, not necessarily in that order. He can be found on twitter at @brianstaveley, facebook as brianstaveley, and Google+ as Brian Staveley.
When it comes to exposition, the question facing a writer at the start of a book is: “How much of this shit do I really need?” There’s no right answer, of course. Too much can destroy the plot’s momentum, while too little can leave the reader feeling as though she’s watching a bunch of stick figures carom around inside a poorly glued up diorama. Every author makes her peace with the balance, and by the end of the novel, when that balance has generally shifted toward all-out action, the challenges of exposition are largely forgotten. Then, if you’re writing a series, you start volume two, and the question becomes, “Do I really need to do all that shit again?”