Monthly Archives: August 2014

Why I like to write fantasy novels

There is plenty going on in the real world to write about, but somehow I am increasingly drawn to fantasy. It is not because reality is boring. On the contrary, I think reality might be too much to deal with. The frenetic pace of technology, politics, crime, international relations and the general hubbub of life is enough to wear anyone out. There is something about escaping to a different world, perhaps one where right and wrong are more clearly defined, or at least where a person can immerse his or herself in unexpected experiences without facing the day-to-day concerns of real life.

It is also heartening to see heroes overcome obstacles and defeat their antagonists, which is not so easy to accomplish in the real world. Our protagonists can have special abilities or be surrounded by others to help them through the most arduous circumstances. Again, not all of us can count on such beneficiaries, or at least it does not feel like we can. In our real lives, the path forward is often difficult even though the obstacles may seem mundane by fantasy standards. We hear the stories of others who have been supremely lucky and ended up with massive wealth. While we would never begrudge them their success, often their paths turned out to be quite simple (at least in our minds). In a way it is like the lottery. All of us can pitch in our one or two dollars per ticket. The winner is not a better person than us, or more deserving, or smarter. They were lucky, and that luck often evades us.

In a fantasy novel, the hero deserves the reward. They face insurmountable challenges, and through a combination of smarts, unique powers, and the help of friends, they overcome the challenges and win. That reward for hard work and being good makes us feel warm, happy and satisfied. I sincerely hope all of us can experience that in our lives, but in the meantime, I can make it happen for a protagonist in my writing, and then pass the warm fuzzies on to me and anyone willing to read the words.

For me personally, there is still a bit more to it than that. I have a life-long love for science fiction and hard science. I enjoy reading books and watching programs on cosmology, theoretical physics and quantum mechanics. Crazy, right? Something in the scientific community has been grating on me for a while. Perhaps it is just some of the science television programs I watch, but there seems to be a kind of zealotry brewing. To be clear, I am not a scientist, and they may be 100% correct in what they say. My issue is dark matter and dark energy.

For clarity, based on observations, galaxies are rotating at rates that should cause them to fly apart, based on the calculated mass of the material in each galaxy (hundreds of billions of stars plus planets, gas and black holes). Since the galaxies are not flying apart, there must be A LOT more mass that cannot be seen, which is labeled dark matter. It is estimated there is 5 times more dark matter than the matter we can see or account for. So far, it has not been seen and cannot be detected, but according to science, it is there.

Similarly, according to observations, space-time expansion is still accelerating 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang. In a typical explosion, after the energy is expended, things slow down and eventually stop. That happens with a firecracker in a couple seconds. In the universe, it is continuing to go faster 13,800,000,000 years later. For the observations to make sense there has to be another source of energy out there, which is dubbed dark energy. That stuff makes up 70% of everything in the universe. So the breakdown is: Dark Energy 70%, Dark Matter 25%, the galaxies, stars, planets, you and me, and everything else detectable 5%.

I am not saying any of that is not true, although the descriptions provided to date are very unsatisfying. I just saw a program stating that the expansion of space generates dark energy. That means the vacuum containing absolutely nothing is generating power. Hey, energy crisis solved! The zealotry I mentioned is the certainty some express regarding the nature and effects of these undetectable or measurable things. I was always taught to say “I don’t know” if that was the truth. Obviously, others are more confident in their knowledge.

While I have no better answers, these less-than-scientific theories are incredible fantasy and science fiction fodder. Everything we have known or detected since the dawn of time accounts for 5% of reality. What is the rest of it? Phantom planets in parallel dimensions? Invisible demons moving through us and changing our minds? Perhaps.

I have enjoyed weaving my own theories into stories and plan to continue to do the same. No one can tell me I am wrong? But I am not saying I am right either. I am a storyteller after all, not a scientist. Read one of my stories or write your own. The Dark stuff has given us a whole new genre to exploit.

Two Doors Cover Reveal

TwoDoors-ebookcoverHere it is! After months of work on my new novel, I am happy to share the cover with my friends. Two Doors is the first book in the Modern Prophet series. These books tell the story of young men who discover abilities far beyond those of normal people. They are then pounced upon by new foes who will do anything to control or kill them.

Two Doors tells the story of Peter Smith, a man who finds himself caught between two powerful families (but they are a lot more than that).

Now you’ve seen the cover, just wait for the book! Join the Adventure!

Get Ready for the Modern Prophet Series

I am thrilled to announce that the first book of the Modern Prophet series is about to be published. Two Doors will be available in paperback and e-book versions. First, a bit about the series:

These novels tell the tales of young men who discover they have very unique abilities. Their talents bring the unwanted attention of others wishing to control them, and failing that, kill them. The stories are very fast paced and the action builds as more and greater hazards befall our hero. They will encounter friends to help them as well as foes trying to stop them. The plots are generally set in our time with current events as a backdrop, although as things devolve, the actions begin to stray into fantasy.

Two Doors is the story of Peter Smith, a recent college graduate who moves from Iowa to New York to build a life and find his fortune. All his life, Peter has suffered with terrifyingly lucid dreams. Now, some of those dreams are starting to come true. As his talent grows, he gains the attention of two powerful families, each trying to control his gift. Emmanuel Prospect and William Satori each offer him incredible wealth and safety if Peter chooses them, but it is all too good to be true. Why are they so interested in him and his dreams? But all is not as it seems.

The struggle to control Peter leads him down a horrific path from terrorist attacks and murder to global war and anarchy. Events move from more mundane events like car accidents and muggings toward almost supernatural battles that could lead to the destruction of Earth. Peter must choose which door to open, all the while uncertain what will happen if he chooses poorly.

I have added some of my favorite things into the story, and many of the places I have lived and visited. I hope those add some depth and warmth to the tale. Keep an eye out for the cover reveal in the coming days, and please Join the Adventure!