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.