Monday, December 17, 2012

Atlantis Secret Society

In ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT, Faeraud organizes a secret bond with Aedon and Ausethen. Having never been a member or invited to participate in such, I wasn’t sure how to authentically create the idea for the novel. So, I turned to the internet. There was no shortage of research there. I found it astounding, just how much information was available about things that were supposedly a secret. Why there are even YouTube videos showing how to perform secret handshakes.

Using WikiHow’s cute article titled, How to Create a Secret Society, my chapter called A Secret Organization was born. I replaced the secret handshake with a finger-locking promise and expanded on the idea of robes by placing such as an item they all covet. Did you notice the candles in the chapter? Every secret initiation has to have candles; why it’s rule number four.

The directions for this were followed by two warnings: (1) have prepared answers for friends who find out about it, but weren’t invited; and (2) delete this web page from your browser history so nobody suspects. But they forgot the most important question of all: If you make a secret promise or oath, who is going to enforce it and how? The answer to such a situation, you just might find in ATLANTIS: FALL OF THE GODS which is scheduled to be released on February 13, 2013.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas in Atlantis

If you read a chapter about a two-day celebration where people exchanged gifts, what holiday would come to mind? Most people would think of Christmas. In the novel ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT, the holiday celebration called the Day of Apaturia renders hints of this beloved holiday.

One of the traditions borrowed includes a gift exchange. Early in the book, Aedon and Areshia plan to buy and exchange gifts on that day. A big feast is served the day before at an event called the Eve of Apaturia Dinner, which sounds a lot like a Christmas Eve Dinner. At the dinner, it makes mention of deserts made from fruit and cream. Could this be pumpkin pie and ice cream?

At the big celebration there is a parade and the place is overwhelmed by merchants selling goods. Could this be an idea inspired by Macy’s Christmas Parade and Black Friday shopping?
One of the characters sings a chorus with a line that says, “Gifts from the North we bring.” Again, similar to our own tradition where Santa arrives from the North Pole with a bundle of presents. Oh, and did you catch the line in there about a hundred reindeer flying over in the sky – right at the same time the gifts are given?

How many more similarities can you come up with?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Idea for the Scrolls – How it Developed

In ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT, one of the first mystical items discovered is the Rataka Scroll of Water. While I was working on the third draft of this novel, I happened to see a trailer (movie preview) for the NARNIA film DAWN TREADER. A clip of an old man unrolling a scroll caught my attention. From the TV preview, I thought the scroll was floating in air even though it actually falls to the floor in the movie.

After seeing that, I became dissatisfied with my plain papyrus and decided that the magical element had to be beefed-up. I went back, rewrote all the chapters with the scroll, and made it so the scroll floated in mid-air. Next, I decided I had to outdo the NARNIA scroll even more, so I decided that each scroll (Water, Fire, Air) would be made out of the element it represented.
A new scroll is revealed in each of the three novels. As you have seen in the first one, the Scroll of Water floats in mid-air, is made from liquid, and passages popup above its surface with the letters made from water. The scroll also speaks and as it reads the popped-up passage, the letters splash back into the surface of the scroll. 

A big thanks the creator of the NARNIA TV Trailer, which made me think I was seeing more than I was. It motivated me to do better.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Prince Evad’s Laugh

Today’s Trivia Question is: Do you know where Prince Evad got his high-pitched laugh from?

Many times throughout the series, Evad’s high-pitched laugh is heard. Aedon even has to cover his ears once. So where did this laugh come from? While the novel never tells, one might make an educated guess. Prince Evad is in charge of the Tundra Fur Factory. In ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT we visit this factory in the chapter titled The Carroting Vat. Hundreds of Tundra Voles operate the looms that  make the furs. The voles, whose job it is to stir the bath of chemicals, squeak out hyper-active Vee sounds. Seems like Evad may have developed his laugh from here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Spiral Legislature

When I first moved to Florida I took a tour of the University of Central Florida (UCF). The tour guide took us through a number of buildings explaining how many of them were designed by the same architect who designed Walt Disney World. I happened to be working on the chapter for the Legislature that week and when we entered the Student Union, I thought the round building would make a great template for the legislature in the book. Before we walked very far, we came upon a gigantic mosaic of the UCF logo in the center of the floor. One of the guests almost walked over the logo, when the tour guide rushed over and stopped the girl, explaining, that no one ever walked over the logo, only around it. If you’ve read the this chapter (Up the Spiral Legislature), you’ll recognize that Masai the Ostrich, who is the tour guide, was inspired by this event.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bearer of Fruit’s Geography Lesson

The first novel starts out at a slower pace  than the second. This is due in part to the need to orient the reader with the new world they have just entered. Chapter Three (Leaving Sahada) gives you a glimpse at one of the continents surrounding Atlantis, moves you across its southern end, and drops you at its western islands. Chapter Six (Voyage to Atlantis) gives you some insight into how the provinces (or etruscans) are divided up. It also introduces you to its largest city, Tyrrhenian, located between the southern etruscan Mestor and the northern territory of Ampheres. Just in case any of these directions have you slightly confused, a map has been included in each volume as a reference.

There are many theories and archeological finds that place Atlantis in various locations all over the world. An absolute verified location for this lost continent remains for a future generation to discover. That said, I have purposely designed the maps and descriptions with ambiguous terms, leaving it up to the reader to determine in their own opinion  where the continent might have been located. While I drew my version of the actual continent from one of the oldest surviving maps (1669) showing Atlantis and its islands, I did not include the same surrounding continents, which place it in the Atlantic Ocean. Instead, I used vague surrounding continents which may also be in keeping with some biblical-scholar's beliefs that the continents were in different formations prior to the world-wide flood.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chordata Queen of the Owls

She can be seen passively or in a couple small spots of the first book ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT, bit what part does she have in the sequel, FALL OF THE GODS? She seems to be in cohorts with Faeraud.

The owl is used throughout the book as a witness. Chordata never actually replays a memory or witness, but she seems to be there, prompting what others might see and/or interpreting what they might have seen. While she is Queen of the Owls and adorns her fashion, she behaves more like a ground warrior, making sure the dirty details are taken care of. I’ve often wondered how she became Queen of the Owls and I suspect there is quite and interesting back story that might be developed someday.

For those who are dying to know what part she plays in the next novel, I’ll just say that once again she is instrumental in helping Faeraud in his quest for the Scroll of Fire, and it’s a dirty job she’s got to do.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Benzodiazepine and Podophyllum

In the second chapter, we learn that Faeraud has knowledge of drugs and how to use them. He uses Benzodiazepine to put the guarding owls to sleep. Later, when he discovers that Evad’s fur factory uses the Mayapple as an ingredient to sheen his furs, he quickly realizes that the Mayapple is being produced from a valley of umbrella-like Podophyllum plants. Another byproduct of the plant (besides the Mayapple) is Podohyllotoxin.  You might say so what? Well,  the two are quite different. While Mayapple is not poisonous but would certainly cause digestion, Podohyllotoxin is what is used in gel to treat warts and certainly might kill one.

Near the ending of the book ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT centers around the fact that Gilgamoeh’s wine is poisoned and this is what is causing Lemech to be sick. One might ask why no one else has gotten sick from the vineyard? Even though the book explains that the special wine was made only for Lemech, it might be wise to suspect that someone else particularly poisoned the actual bottle(s) and not the entire vineyard.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where did the character’s names come from?

Today I thought I’d reveal how I came up with some of the characters names. Some of these are obvious and a few will be omitted, as that would give away a plot-point that might be revealed in the future.
  • Aedon is our main character and is a derivative of Adam which simply means man.
  • Faeraud was created from Feodore (meaning intense), Fraud, Fa├žade, Roderick (meaning leader) and Roydan (meaning royal).
  • Ausethen is a combination of Austin (meaning useful) and Seth (meaning appointed). Seth is also the name of my nephew, whom my mother thinks has my eyes.
  • Ahteana came from Athena (meaning wise), Anna (meaning graceful), and the Greek goddess Athene, a child of Zeus who was always close to those she helped.
  • Cleacious was derived from Clematis, meaning clinging.
  • Yenocha is from Yedda (meaning strict) and Enoch (meaning teacher).
  • Gilgamoeh comes from Mesopotamian Mythology ‘s Gilgamesh who is believed to be the same man as the biblical Noah (meaning restful).
  • King Yaswhen is a hybrid of the Hebrew word for God (Yahweh) and Aslan in Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Peter the Parrot was inspired by my parakeet, named Peter. When he returned home after my vacation, he had an attitude mimicking and copying the other Parrots he was sat next to at the bird store. For a month he had this cocky attitude, thinking that he was a big parrot instead of a tiny parakeet.
  • Prince Evad comes from the name of one of my student videos when I attended USC School of Cinematic Arts. It is also DAVE backwards.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ausethen's Crystal Frog

Who remembers the glass frog that Ausethen shows Faeraud in Chapter One of ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT? In case you've forgotten, Faeraud asked questions about how a human might be crystallized. This crystallization process plays a more prominent part in Part Two in FALL OF THE GODS, the sequel coming out in February 2013.

SPOILER ALERT (if you keep reading beyond here). During my research of Atlantis over the past twenty-five years, it was impossible not to occasionally come across ancient stories about crystallized-skulls. In THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, the White Witch turns those whom she dislikes into stone monuments. I kind-of borrowed the idea and one of the characters just might do something similar with the crystallization process mentioned in the first chapter of ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What is with Areshia’s Sandals?

From the first book, “ATLANTIS: BEARER OF FRUIT,” we know that something is going on with Areshia and her sandals. In the first chapter Yapet knocks off one the ornamental globeakys attached to it, and Aedon remarks about how expensive they appear. Then when she jumps off the Tebah Vessel, she begs Yapet to throw her the sandals back. Later on, in the Agglomeration Forest, she refuses to trade them for warmer footwear.  When she briefly reunites with Yapet at his cabin, he swaps out the globeaky attached to one of the sandals.

It might be important to watch which foot is where, and also take note at how Areshia crosses her legs sometimes. The chapter that solves the mystery of the sandals was originally included in an earlier draft of FALL OF THE GODS; however, I felt that there was something more to be built upon this sub plot. So, the mystery of the sandal has been all but completely removed from the upcoming second novel – but you can be assured that it will return and be solved in the final installment RISE OF THE NILE.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Areshia's Nightmare

So authors are supposed to have a blog, I’ve been told. Guess what you are reading now? Correct!

Since 2005 I have been on a journey writing a trilogy of Atlantis Novels. I plan to use this blog as a record of my journey, a chronicle – which will not be in any kind of chronological order. I will share how different ideas, themes, characters, and plot points came into being in the novels. Some of this has been a spiritual journey, part of it my God-given creativity, and the rest simply inspired by events around me.

TODAY’S SHARE: In the second novel, “ATLANTIS: FALL OF THE GODS” in chapter two, Areshia is asked why she is closing the blinds in the living room and hiding a gorgeous view outside. She goes on to explain that when she was a little girl, she used to have this terrible nightmare. The nightmare she explains I actually had in 2007. I immediately recognized the nightmare as making a terrific chapter in the final book “RISE OF THE NILE” and added the idea to my outline for that book. Later, I decided to foreshadow the event by weaving it into the preceding novel.  Since I’ve only recently begun writing “RISE OF THE NILE,” it remains to be seen if the nightmare really does come to pass or not.