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The Lion of Senet by Jennifer Fallon
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The Lion of Senet

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The Lion of Senet by Jennifer Fallon
Mass Market Paperback $8.99
Mar 30, 2004 | ISBN 9780553586688

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  • Dec 18, 2007 | ISBN 9780553898569

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Author Q&A

Creating the Second Sons
By Jennifer Fallon

The idea for the Second Sons trilogy came to me while I was actually writing another, totally unrelated series, and drove me insane for the next eight months as it ate away at the inside of my brain, unable to find an outlet until the other book (which was under contract and on a deadline) was completed.

I’m not sure what started it. It was a stray thought, I think – something along the lines of “if something happened that everybody believed was a miracle, how would you prove it wasn’t?” That led to all sorts of other weird and wonderful ideas, many of which eventually were incorporated into the Second Sons trilogy (and some of which weren’t – they were just too weird and wonderful, even for me).

One thing I was certain of, from the very beginning, was how the story should end, so much so, that I originally intended to write the story in flashback. I dutifully wrote the first chapter, and then the next few… and then decided that having the ending carved in stone (as it were) was really rather limiting. So I cut that first chapter, put it aside and let the story unfold as it would. Interestingly, when I got to that part of the story – which turned out to be a about two thirds into the 3rd book, and not the ending at all – I was able to use most of that chapter, because I was still on the same path I’d been heading all along.

I wanted to write about friendship, and what happens when you end up on different sides. I wanted to write about how easily religion can be manipulated to suit the desires of mere mortals and I wanted to write about how we can never truly know what drives another character, and can only judge them from what they see us do and say.

And I have to admit, I wanted to write a character that does really bad things and have everybody sympathize with him and believe in him, no matter how awful he got. More than anything, it amazes me that I was able to do this, and that the mail I get about this series applauds Dirk Provin and what he does, rather than condemn him. It seems there are a lot of people out there who really do subscribe to the “end justifies the means” theory.

Some things didn’t go as planned. The character Misha Latanya, was supposed to die in book 1. I forgot to kill him off and he ended up alive and well and quite pivotal to the story by the end of it. The character of Eryk (named for a college friend of my daughter’s who wanted to be famous) was added quite late in book 1 to make the main character seem more empathetic – and the whole plot ended up resting on something he does. Marqel (probably my favorite character) started out with every intention of her being a good guy, but she finished up much more fun and much more interesting as – in the immortal words of my 4 year old grandson – a “bad dude”.

I call the Seconds Sons Trilogy my “anti-fantasy”. The purpose of the plot is to prove there is no magic. The power my characters wield is of the more tangible kind – political, sexual and intellectual. The magic is in the power of the human mind to conceive of, and execute the most incredible plans, motivated by everything from a genuine desire to improve the world to the most selfish, narcissistic need for self-gratification.

But most of all I wrote it because it was fun.

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