Where did my trilogy idea come from?

Thanks to fellow author Victoria Grefer for posing a question she receives from readers asking her about her stories.  Where did your idea come from? Well here it goes. I had already decided to write a story inspired by my love of all things JRR Tolkien and specifically the Lord of the Rings. The story definitely involves an epic quest, war, love and sacrifice.  Then I was challenged by a group of men in a Bible study group, to include a creator in the story. As one stated there are plenty of stories where evil has a face, but good is some unseen and benign presence.

Let me explain that the Bible is a fantastic source for creating epic stories.  However, I believe in free will and not being judgmental or preachy.  This is a story about the near loss of all life and paradise to evil.  For this I referred to the historical account of the siege of Masada.  Those who are not familiar with the story, it is a story of a band of Jewish rebels who held off a Roman legion at Masada.  These rebels held off the Roman’s for months.  In the end, when the Roman’s had finally stormed the fortress, everyone had been killed by their own kind, with the assumption the final person committed suicide.  They did this to show the Roman’s they would prefer death over slavery and torture.

Now from this story, I formulated the following questions to my story premise:

  1. How was my fantasy world created and how was evil born?
  2. How would one react to be called the Chosen One?
  3. How would you react to those of different races?
  4. Would you lose your faith and denounce your creator if you were the last one standing?
  5. What was the creator’s test for this last person standing?
  6. What if this last person passed the test, what would the creator do next?
  7. What is the purpose an afterlife?

From these questions the chapter outlining began, followed by research and finally writing and editing.  In all, this epic effort took ten years. The core values of the story are contained in a fantasy realm, complete with monsters and demons, and unbelievable accomplishments of the hero.  I can promise you this much, remain faithful to the end and you will be touched.

One final point, this trilogy is about the human family, which includes all of us, our parents, our children, our races and our differences.  Evil works to separate us day and night, and the outcome of their interference is the destruction of us all. Evil leads us to hatred, bigotry, bullying and finally war.  It is the story of the reconciliation of our differences to come together to defeat evil. It is not only allegorical, but topical to our times.  How will we respond?  Will we make the stand for good over evil.  Read the trilogy, think it over and then let’s talk about it.

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What is your trilogy about?

I read a tweet on the dreaded question we authors are asked, what is your story about?  Well since I have three stories, it first is a trilogy and second it is a mythology.  If you do not understand the concept of  a mythology, then refer to Greek and Roman mythologies, Norse and others.  A mythology deals with creation, the conflict in the immortal world and the interference in the lives of mortals.  Finally a mythology deals with the end of times.  Many people believe religions are also mythologies. The Bible for example, has a creation and end of times story, and many of the stories are very similar to Hindu stories and the stories of other cultures, which appear to be passed around orally, then in writing.

Most of you may know of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Yet, when I ask people of the Silmarillion, they know very little.  This book was Tolkien’s creation and history story.  I’ve always been amazed at readers who don’t want to know about the origin of Elves, Dwarves, etc… In the movie, Gandalf names the Balrog as a demon of the ancient world.  What ancient world?  Tell me more!   Where the heck did Sauron come from?  I loved the opening scene of the Fellowship of the Ring with the first battle between the alliance and Sauron.  I want to know more, more, more.  My first story in the trilogy is titled Rise of the Fallen and the first nine chapters are devoted to the creation story and thousands of years of history.  If you do not read those chapters closely, you will miss many hints to be revealed and surprise you in books 2 and 3, and the story will make no sense.

Like Tolkien’s mythology,  I created my own races and demons, but inserted some characters we are accustomed to; namely races of men, giants and dragons.  I vowed the story line and ending would be unique, and that each book would be more fast and furious with each passing chapter and a cliff-hanger at the end of each book, and a satisfying conclusion.  The themes in this mythology are based on our human needs: peace, love, family, neighbors, and faith in something greater than ourselves.  I vowed when writing this story that it would touch a reader’s emotions, not only once but multiple times.  If you complete the story without crying, then I failed at the message of the story.  This is why the story took ten years to write and why I ran it through a focus group before release.

Be open minded, stories that might appear as a religious story in the beginning, can turn out to be an epic journey you find yourself wanting to read over and over.

The Final Battle – End of Times

When I wrote my final book of the trilogy The Chosen One of Allivar – Last Stand of the Living, I wanted to write the largest battle scene possible.  Since my story has to do with mortal and immortals, there are two battles taking place.  The one we can see and the one being played out in the ethereal world.  My story has been confused with biblical stories.  I have made some reference for those that are followers of the bible so that they can relate.  My story is a mythology, not a religious work, which relies on cultural organization and doctrines.  My story is allegorical and is intended to have a moral meaning, but not a religious meaning.  With this in mind, two particular issues in the Book of Revelation spurred my imagination.

The first issue is the coming dread of the armies of the north, in which the prophet proclaims, I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops.  Well I don’t know about you, but an army that large would fill the lands and shake its foundations, so I wanted my army lead by seven fallen immortals to destroy the final heavenly world, to be massive beyond comprehension.  In book one, Rise of the Fallen, I give a synopsis of how ten heavenly worlds were created and then how nine were destroyed.  When I say my story is epic in scope, it truly is.  I recall Peter Jackson saying Tolkien had thought the scope of The Lord of the Rings was such that it could never be made into a movie.  Well since this was proven wrong, I wanted to step up the scale for reader visual overload.

The second issue from revelations came from these two sentence “The sea gave up the dead that were in it” and “…the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released…”  One of the most interesting thoughts is a final judgment, where everyone who has ever lived is judged at the end of times.  From this thought, the spirits of the dead that were good in life are retained for some valuable purpose. Now consider the lives of nine other worlds and all that ever lived becoming involved in the final battle. What is their purpose?

Whether you research Revelation, Zoroastrian, Kali Yuga or Ragnarok, the battle at the end of times is essential to the cleansing of the world and the final destruction of evil. The fate of man and the heavens is the primary story.  What do we learn and what could possibly be the purpose of an afterlife?  In the end, no pun intended, I wanted a reader to have an exciting story, but also a thought provoking one as well.  If you were asked to stand for all that you believe in to your final breath, would you give your own life to save your world, or cower to the lies of evil? Will you run, or will you stand with the light of life, or be consumed by darkness unforgiving?

I am a mutt!

I love Twitter.  No where do I get as much writing material than I do from this one social media site.  Recently I was in a discussion with a British chap and we discussed lineage.  I have never contacted ancestry.com.  I do not want to know my heritage, because I am afraid it will reveal a sorted history of gene mutations.  I do know this, my great grandmother was full blood Cherokee, who married a man of Irish ancestry.  That makes me an Irokee Okie.  However, the rest of my lineage I am unsure of, as my mother’s father was adopted.  He may have been German with his blond hair and blue eyes.  That then would make me a Germirokee Okie.  Are you getting the picture now?  I don’t want to know my heritage.

My British twitter friend has a thing for Viking’s and the terror they brought upon poor Anglo/Saxons.  He also mentions being surrounded by Eskimos and that I might be a Viking in disguise.  Actually I think I might be part Pict because of my love for watching Braveheart and dressing up in a kilt costume for parties.  That just might make me part Scottish.  Heck I don’t know what I am!  I have some red tint to my hair, and was born with blue eyes, which are now brownish-green. OMG – I am a mutant!  I now believe in ancient aliens.  Prometheus was a documentary, not a science fiction flick.  Which means I am mutated alien.  DNA is sure a nasty prankster.

If you ask me about my heritage, I won’t belabor the point as I have above.  You’d need therapy thereafter because you’d start questioning your own heritage and find out your mother was a hamster and your father an elderberry, and that you came from the isle of hamberry.  To keep you from going insane, I’ll just let you know I am a mutt born in Texas, now living in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is next to Arkansas where DNA testing has proved impossible and the term “kissing cousins”, well, I won’t go there, as that creates a new species – mutated mutts.

Woof!

50 Shades of Grey Balls

Ha!  Caught you looking didn’t I?  This is a blog post about golfing, not about BDSM, whatever BDSM means.  Golf  ball makers usually add all kinds of logos, emblems, etc to their balls.  The balls themselves are usually white or yellow.  All of these attempts to help me concentrate never work for a guy like me who truly sucks at the game of golf.  What if, the balls were colored grey?  Yea, yea, that’s the ticket – grey balls, with little BDSM logos imprinted on them.  Sell them in 50 packs and place them near the ladies clothing section of the golf store.  You’d see tons of women in the corner snickering and gasping for breath. “I need these balls,” shouts one.

You see, every so often something astounding happens that impacts the way we see life and market the heck out of it.  50 Shades of Grey has spurred a new round (not golf) of inflamed female hormones.  Therefore anything with “50 Shades of blah, blah, blah” next to it will catch their attention.  I just want in on the action, cash action that is.

Imagine how lively the old country club scene would be if all the ladies in the bridge room were talking about the balls.  Men would be walking by and hear nothing other than “blah, blah, blah, BALLS, blah, blah, blah…”  The men would stop dead in their tracks, ripping up the new carpet just to see if they could hear more.  Really make it interesting by placing bets with your balls.  Nothing speaks volume when you trump somebody with your balls.  Think of all the gossip that old club would generate.  Why balls would be the hot topic at the Christmas ball.  Bring your personalized balls along and show them off.  You will be the envy of those who forgot to bring their own balls.  Show off the personal imprints on your balls and talk about how much your balls cost.  Take photos and post them on Facebook and Twitter, because there is nothing more satisfying than sharing your balls to the masses.

Well now that I am done with my latest genius marketing plot, I decided to finally look up BDSM on Wikipedia.  Oh my!  Pain and submission, well that certainly describes my golf game.  As for my 50 pack, I just like displaying my balls in a collectors case on the wall.

Geez, get your mind out of the gutter and your balls out of the sand trap!

Ghost Stories, Part III

In 2010 we moved to our new home in Norman, Oklahoma.  All our neighbors stated to us the house was lived in by a local legend.  The previous owner was a paraplegic, local restauranteur and entertainer. He was a gymnast who at one point was Olympics bound when he suffered an injury that left him a paraplegic.  He apparently loved this home  and put much effort into its upkeep and design.  He even constructed an outdoor stage where musicians would play in the spring and early summer, as people sat around the pool and patio. He had a cabana added to the house along with a wine cellar.  This man died in his home at an early age from the complications of his injuries.

Now later the house became a rental and it fell into disrepair.  We moved in and began a serious remodeling of the home.  Now this owner was also very concerned about the outside world as he had a very extensive and expensive security system complete with motion detectors at all doors and external cameras around the house.  Soon after moving in the motions detectors started going off around 2 am or 3 am, always exactly on the hour.  I am 6’1″ and 225 pounds and a former weight lifter, so I am not easily physically intimidated.  Yet, being awakened during the middle of the night to the sound of these sensors, has you immediately into fight mode.  You have the choice to flee or fight, and I’ve never backed away from a fight. These senors ring twice, once for when a door is opened and again when it shut.  All we heard was a one ring sensor tone.  With a heavy long flashlight I’d inspect the inside and outside readying myself for a fight with an intruder.  To date we have never found a reason for the sensor going off.

I suffer from insomnia anyway, so after being awakened I would listen very carefully for any movement.
The hallway floor is wooden so it creaks whenever anyone walks on it which by itself is a motion detector.  One night I heard the floor creak more than once as though someone was walking towards our bedroom, then the walls creaked and popped as well.  Obviously I was out of bed in a flash with heart racing.  Yet, nothing was visibly there.  To get any sleep, we contacted our electrician to determine how to shut off the sensors.  He has been to the house three times and still cannot locate the main box for the security system, so he just clipped the wires in the senors and capped them off.

To conclude this story, my wife met a person who knew the wife of the owner and mentioned she thought the house was haunted, and that she hired another friend to perform some sort of “sage” healing on the house. Now I am skeptical of just about everything, but I do believe there are some events in our lives we cannot explain, whether the feel of dead animal walking on your bed, or a woman’s voice wailing on a freezing and deep snowy night, or the inexplicable sound of alarm sensors going off in the night.  Sleep well.

Ghost Stories, Part II

In 2008 I lived in the mountain community of Alto, New Mexico.  Our house rested at 7,200 elevation and we frequently saw bears, racoons and other animals.  Racoons have a bizarre scream. It’s almost supernatural and hideous.  I have insomnia so I hear a lot of noises at night. Each time I heard a  raccoon scream I’d try to wake my wife who wanted to hear the sound I described to her. One cold night after 18 inches of snow, I awoke to the sound of distance noise which I thought was a raccoon.  I woke up my wife and we listened.  The sound came closer and closer to our house, but as it did, it wasn’t a raccoon, it was the sound of a woman wailing.

Now I jumped out of the bed and looked out the window.  It was five degrees that night and anyone out in the 2 am air could get sick pretty quickly.  I could not see a thing even though the moon was shining,  yet the wailing was right outside the window.  Suddenly, our neighbors house lights went on and the wailing ceased.  The neighbors had rented their cabin to guest and they too were looking for the sound of the wailing.  In the morning I search around the house and found no footprints, which would have been impossible not to leave.

We told a realtor client of mine the story and she stated she and her husband lived three houses down many years ago.  One night she awoke to the sensation of being choked.  Another night her and her husband saw the figure of woman moving through the house.  There was a history of a woman who had strangled in the house. Well obviously we flipped out.  Wow, we just might have heard the ghost of a woman. Yet we never heard or saw anything after that night.

Alto is not far away from Roswell, NM and we all now about its history.  One late afternoon over the White Sands missile range we saw a contrail from what we thought to be a missile.  Then from out of the blue another object came from nowhere.  The first object curved and turned away and we lost sight of what happened in the tall pine trees.  Needless to say strange things are happening in NM.  My wife believes that aliens definitely live in New Mexico.

With the economic collapse of 2007-2008 we lost more than 40% of my client base and had to make the hard decision to leave the place we had so thoroughly enjoyed to make a living.  So we made the move in 2009 to Norman OK.  The events in that house will be told in part III.