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{December 1, 2012}   Guest Post with Gwen Perkins, Author of the Artifacts of Empire Fantasy Series–Why Write About Gods in Fantasy?

Why Write About Gods in Fantasy?

by Gwen Perkins, author of the Artifacts of Empire fantasy series

One of the aspects of my fantasy series, Artifacts of Empire, that has been commented on many times is the fact that the primary culture featured in the story is one in which the people believe that they have killed their god.  Although this plays a lesser part in my first novel, The Universal Mirror, it comes into play in the sequel, The Jealousy Glass, as the characters travel to a foreign land where the inhabitants possess a strong religious culture themselves.

Why write about gods or the lack thereof?  Personally I feel that although spirituality is a difficult thing to write about, it should not be ignored in any novel.  Humanity is set apart by its desire to understand where it came from and to seek out the unknowable.

That quest does not have to focus around organized religion.  I’m fortunate in that I spend my time with a wide variety of people, who practice a variety of beliefs.   From them, I’ve learned to respect religion but also to respect those who aren’t religious.  The Jealousy Glass was born in part from my desire to communicate the need for tolerance to others and my own lack of understanding about what it would be like to be a part of a system that didn’t believe in a higher power.

Religion doesn’t in and of itself denote morality—it is possible to be a deeply moral person and not believe in a god or gods.  It does, however, make it easier when writing a fantasy novel, I found, to have that as a basis for culture.

Consider for a moment all of the things in Western culture that are influenced by religion.  The name that you bear, the curses that you use, the references, even slang… many of these have some basis in faith.  It makes it difficult to work around if you’re writing about a culture that has no god but it can also be rewarding.

In the case of my own series, Artifacts of Empire, I perpetually have to recall that, for the Cercians, God himself is an artifact to them.  While religion is important to other nations in the series, it takes on a different meaning to a group of people that has deliberately forsaken their own.  Their basis for right and wrong isn’t based on belief in an afterlife but in the importance of a life well lived in this one.  It is a challenge but one that forced me to examine my own life in a context that I would not ordinarily have undertaken.

 Gwen Perkins is the author of fantasy novels, The Universal Mirror and The Jealousy Glass (Hydra Publications, 2012). She can be contacted through email at


The Jealousy Glass


“We came to stop a war before it came to Cercia.  And it seems the war has come to us.”

Responsibility and patriotism spur Cercia’s new leader, Quentin, to protect his beloved country at all costs and he assigns Asahel and Felix to serve as ambassadors and secret agents to Anjdur. Their journey quickly turns awry and Asahel and Felix barely escape a devastating shipwreck, walk a tightrope of political tension, and rescue an empress before they learn they must face an enemy closer to them than they thought.

Will they be able to uncover an assassin’s plot before it’s too late? Will Asahel be able to unearth a secret that is vital to their mission? Will Cercia survive its own revolution? In The Jealousy Glass, Perkins boldly continues a series of unforgettable characters and events that will leave you begging for more.


The Jealousy Glass

The Universal Mirror:



In conjunction with the release of The Jealousy Glass, Gwen is running a giveaway for an autographed, first edition paperback of The Universal Mirror through Goodreads at:  This Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!!!

The giveaway officially ends on December 21, 2012—the author’s birthday and supposed date for the oncoming apocalypse.



Gwen Perkins has always regarded the deep rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula as the one place that she feels most at home. Gwen grew up in small towns across the Pacific Northwest, going to slug races and strawberry festivals when she wasn’t scribbling on any scrap of paper she could come by. She boasts the dubious distinction of going to a public school with only eight students, learning Irish sea chanteys from a man who sang with the Clancy Brothers, and catching tadpoles during classes.

Her adult life is generally just about as much fun.

She lives in the City of Destiny (better known as Tacoma, Washington). Her hobbies include wandering beaches, baking pies and lampworking. In between all of this, Gwen has written two novels in the Artifacts of Empire series: The Universal Mirror and The Jealousy GlassThe Universal Mirror has been nominated for a 2013 Endeavour Award.

She is presently at work on future novels in the Artifacts of Empire series while working on another series in collaboration with Wilson Fabián Saravia.



Website & Blog:

Twitter: @helleder




Very interesting Gwen. I incorporate God into my writing also. In my fantasy books, Fracture The Secret Enemy Saga, and book two, The Hunted, God is universal to both plains, but the belief is different. Faith is a strong emotion for most people in our world. Why not carry it over to another and glimpse God through different eyes.

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