Freedom

When writing my fantasy trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar, I listened to movie soundtracks as inspiration for the most touching scenes.  My favorite of all times is The Lord of the Rings movies.  The movies, the books and all things J.R.R. Tolkien inspired me to devote ten years of my life to create my own and very original mythology. The Lord of the Rings is a story of heroic sacrifice, the basic theme of all my favorite books and movies.  I own the entire soundtrack and have seen the symphony in person. To say I was awestruck and inspired is an understatement.  Nothing can compare to the sound of a live symphony with adult and children choirs, it is almost angelic and other-worldly.

One of my other favorite movies is Braveheart. If you have ever seen the movie, specifically the scene of the execution of William Wallace and the subsequent freedom of Scotland, you cannot help but be emotionally touched. The music to the scene heightens the emotions. Obviously history of the events is much different, but the objective of connecting with viewers and especially with men, is the key point to remember.  Many of us men want to be heroic and gallant for a cause greater than ourselves.  We will risk life and limb for our family and country. Unfortunately we are trapped in an unromantic age. Gone are the ages where war is waged with sword and armor.  We live in an age where life as we know it could end in a single mechanized and even remotely controlled battle.  We may never have to come face to face with our enemy, know of their own pains and struggles, or that deep down inside they are as human as we are.

In the final story to my trilogy, Last Stand of the Living, I wanted to capture the essence of the emotions of Braveheart as the world for Wallace was coming to an end, but that by his actions, even after death, victory is possible.  The hero of my trilogy, Arimar, is a reluctant hero, one that would rather have peace and spend time with those he loves. In the end he is given a choice, and that choice leads to the fate of all. A fate that will have you the reader, riding an emotional roller coaster from one emotional peak to the next, and the next, and the next, leaving you drained, breathless and pondering the world in which you live, the meaning of life, the resounding power of love, and the value of family.  For it is a struggle of good and freedom from evil, and one where there must be a victor. Maybe one day my story will find its way on the big screen, for I wrote it specifically to challenge a filmmaker, with its very own empowering soundtrack. When you are done reading the final book, play this song and let me know if I connected.

What movie soundtrack moves you?

CPA versus Author (Jeykll and Hyde)

Alien vs Predator, Cowboys vs Aliens, Pokey vs Gumby – you name it there is always some duel between conflicting forces, but none more serious than those in our subconscious.  Inside of me are two conflicting characters.  One is the logical and analytical, drab and uninteresting CPA whose sole existence is protecting the good of the public interest. Then there is the author, whose imagination  was unleashed from the mortal prison of conformity to create or destroy.  Oh the power!

The CPA

Since 1998 I have fought a battle over the complexities of the mortal induced madness called “The Code.”  Yes, that ridiculous collection of laws and regulations that bleed the unsuspecting turnip and even bloodless vampires every April 15th. Then there is the financial statement.  Yes the one that not too many read or understand.  The will buy a stock based on “coolness” factor rather than P/E ratio. I can spout off tax code and financial standards till I am blue in the face and my client crashes on the floor from a boredom induced sleep. I see myself as Dr. Jekyll, but my clients see me as hideous Mr. Hyde.

The Author

I have written stories, many still trapped in the dungeon of my mind, since 1976, but in 2011 I unleashed the product of a decade’s worth of plotting in my mythological quest with the trilogy – The Chosen One of Allivar.  Somewhere my other personality was dying to be set free and the words came easily, although not grammatically correct, which I blame on being a CPA.  Hey,  it’s a numbers thingy.  For ten years the hideous Mr. Hyde went to work plotting massive battles and evil deeds, while Dr. Jekyll said concentrate on tax returns and books.  I admit fully Mr. Hyde was winning within.  I wanted to break free and join the ranks of the deviously creative.

So what stands in the way of Mr. Hyde’s triumph?  You.  Yes you, the reader.  Here is your chance to cheer the Mr. Hyde in me.  Buy my books, review and rate me, then utterly and completely defeat, yes, defeat Dr. Jekyll.  Will you join me in my quest?  I need captains who will lead me to victory and seal Dr. Jekyll to the dark abyss forever.  So spread the word amongst the lands and across the seas.  Mr. Hyde shall soon be on the loose with more great tales of epic proportion.  Rise now!  Rise now!  For death and glory and new published story.

Dramatic – yes?

Why $2.99 for my eBooks?

For those that may not know, I am a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and an author.  Until I become widely known for creating great stories, I will remain an accountant.  In 2000 I began a journey of writing an epic fantasy tale.  Not just any tale, but one that had to be original with a premise that would touch the deepest human emotions.  Why are we here and what is our purpose.  The Chosen One of Allivar is such a tale.  Sure it is filled with adventure, romance and action, but the story has a deeper meaning. Consider the Tale of Two Cities, which at its basic theme is resurrection.

When I finished the three principle books it came to 273,000 words.  Although it will never be a literary classic, like Paradise Lost, or a Tale of Two Cities, it is a very involved story that requires careful attention to understand its underlying theme.  I had a decision to make, lose years looking for an interested agent and publisher, or take the self publishing route.  As a CPA I understand risk, benefit and the protection of intellectual property rights.  I reviewed the latest trends and followed the news on authors, publishing and eBooks. I am sure I will be chastised as a person of vanity by not going the traditional route.  Just know traditional publishers are all about profit, their name and thriving on the rights you allowed to pass to them under their model.  I could say the same about traditional authors, your vanity to be on a publishers list and sacrificing your rights also declares a sense of vanity.

When it came down to publishing  my works, I had a choice, make a name for myself, or stubbornly hold on to the belief that my book was worth more.  Then I had the matter of age to consider.  I am 53 years old.  Should I waste years wading through rejection after rejection?  The answer I came up with was a resounding “no.”  I’ve always been a risk taker and will continue to the day I die.  I’ve dealt with compliance all my adult and professional life.  These are rules established by someone else, because they felt the rules were absolutely needed, when in fact many of the rules were written to protect their own kind.

Writing a book based on my imagination belongs to me and me alone.  Not a guild, union, or a Manhattan publishing group.  In the end it is the consumer who decides the value of an author’s works.   As a CPA, I also know that with volume profit can be made with lower prices.  At $2.99 each, the lowest level I would accept, I retain 70%, or $2.09 per eBook sold.  You do the math.  I have three books, netting me $6.27 per the trilogy.  Assume 1 million copies sold worldwide.  That’s right, $6,270,000.  I’m not greedy, this is more than I would ever need in my life.  I love to write, it is my hopes that this story will take readers by storm.  $6.27 is far less than a movie.  Again, allow the consumer to declare whether the story is worthy.  It is not a literary masterpiece, I do not care for any literary awards, I just want to simply entertain a reader and give them thought.

I have over 35 books in premise phase.  The Chosen One of Allivar is my most ambitious project.  It consists of the completed trilogy and sixteen more “chronicles.”  Whether I am financially successful or not, is of no concern to me, I want to write, give you the reader a bargain and one hell of a story.  So as I take a risk to fulfill a dream, I ask you to take a risk by reading my trilogy and then to send me feedback.  You see, we authors do not exist because of the method or price we publish our stories, it is because of the reader and that is all that matters.

Dragons of the Marog

Ever since I was a small child I was fascinated by monsters.  Whether it was those that appeared in B-rated movies, or in novels, the battle between mortals and these monsters enthralled me.  Usually I felt it was impossible for the hero to defeat such forces, but somehow they always found the way.  In particular, dragons have always been my favorite monster.  Part dinosaur, part flame thrower.  Some are winged and terrify from the air, some earth bound, or hidden in the crevices waiting for an unsuspecting victim.

When I began developing the plot for my mythological trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar, monsters had to be present to heighten the adventure and danger.  I began book one, Rise of the Fallen, by giving the reader hints of the history of my created worlds and the wars once held against dragons.  In one narrative, Arimar the hero as a young boy listens to his caretaker’s stories over a campfire about the dragons of the Marog (Forbidden Lands) and how they were bound to those lands in a previous age.   The hero is told to avoid the Marog at all cost.  An event in the first book leaves no option open for the reluctant hero.  For him to return home, the Marog is his only path.  This is a clue to the reader where the plot is bound to.

In book two, Bound to Forbidden Lands, I play around with two meanings of the word “bound.”  Bound to the Marog are four guardian Dragons that watch over the northern and southern entrances. In the Marog is Gold and other resources that people covet for greed and power sake.  The creator placed the watchers, the Gregoron, to watch over the gold.  Like the tale of the Nephilim the watchers kidnap and imprison mortal women, to give birth to their offspring, the Luminars and Luminags. Evil forces also experiment with creating giants, also bound to the lands. The Marog is heavily watched and guarded, none that have entered ever leave.  But Arimar has no choice, it is his only path home with five hundred thousand followers. So, his company is bound to the Marog.

I ratchet up the adventure in book two, with the battles the company engages with their enemies inside the Marog.  When the remnants of the company are almost safe they come to a dead end where the guardians converge upon them with fiery wrath.  How does it end or do they escape?  This is the hook, the catch, the cliff hanger.

In book three, Last Stand of the Living, I bring the reader into the frenzied pace of all out war.  A war which includes the unleashing of all evil forces bound to the Marog and the underworld, and yes all of the dragons.  I recall in the Simarillion, the battle of the sudden flame, where Dragons, Balrogs and Orc are unleashed upon the lands.  The imagery of that simple narrative inspired me to the unleashing of my imagination and the monsters of my mind.  If you are up to the challenge of this story, book three is intended to exhaust you emotionally.  And like the imagery witnessed in the movie version of Lord of the Rings, my narrative should capture your imagination of the greatest battle ever fought between the forces of good and evil.

In December we will all be able to see how the narrative of The Hobbit is played out on the screen, and get a glimpse of Smaug the Golden.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.  In the meantime, if you are up to an epic adventure, give my trilogy a try.  Be forewarned, you must invest time in the first nine chapters, which deal with creation and history. There are many clues embedded in the narratives that will explain the following 2-1/2 stories.  You may find yourself rereading to uncover those clues.  Then, all the compressed history of those nine chapters shall be unleashed in the sixteen stories to follow, the Chronicles, with even more battles of dragons and monsters.

Are you ready for dragons?