Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Enemy of the Exiled

Surprise! You get not one, but two new characters today. In the last post, you met the Guardian of the Exiled. Do you have what it takes to meet their Enemy?

The Nameless One has been the Nameless One for as long as the Exiled can remember. None of them even know what he is. Some whisper that he is a spirit like Menemaeus. Others call him a man with unfathomable powers, or the First Monster who made all the other monsters. Is he flesh? Is he air? If Menemaeus knows, he tells nothing.

What is undisputed is that the Nameless One is at war. The entire history of Arman’s world has been shaped by the campaigns of the Nameless One to conquer it. Now he is returned for his final and most terrible campaign.

Name:The Nameless One

Looks: No one knows what he looks like. He never leaves his stronghold: the dark island Okrash.

Hobbies: Devising the doom of pitiful creatures, summoning armies, and seething with hatred for Menemaeus and the people he protects

Loves: The death, pain and terror of good people

Hates: People who he cannot scare

Special Weakness: If he has one, no one knows about it

Most Dangerous Moment in The Quest: You won’t be meeting him in The Quest, but rest assured he provides many dangerous moments for Arman and his friends.

Theme Song: “Son of the Morning” by Oh, Sleeper

Memorable Quote: Not once throughout The Kingdom Trilogy does he ever say a word.

The Guardian of the Exiled

Sunday has come at last. I humbly introduce to you Menemaeus, the mighty spirit who has defended Arman’s world for mellenia.

Name: Menemaeus

Looks: Glows like a white lantern. You might call him tall and strong, but he defies such physical description. What you notice more than anything about him is a sense of power, and danger.

Hobbies: Roaming the world incognito, smiting monsters to the ground, changing the course of history, and delivering justice to foolish men.

Loves: The sight of a fallen enemy, and the power he has over men

Hates:Those who defy him

Special Weakness: He cannot defeat the Nameless One without a powerful diamond called the Ethilior.

Most Dangerous Moment in The Quest: At the climax of the book, he meets somebody special. Somebody he would never have suspected in a thousand years…

Theme Song: Ancient Russian Liturgy Russian Orthodox [Znamenny chant – demestvennaya polyphony]

Memorable Quote: “That I will not tell you. You must trust me, without misgiving and without doubt. For now you are dismissed.”

Wondrous News!

J.K. Rowling has joined the revolution. A toast to David Gaughran, who brought it to my attention that the famous author is releasing the Harry Potter series as e-books. If this isn’t a sign that I have taken the right path with The Kingdom Trilogy, there’s isn’t any at all. Except maybe the fact somebody sold more than a million. Another toast to John Locke, who has given a new definition to “successful indie writer”.

If you don’t subscribe to Gaughran, by the way, subscribe. Him and Passive Guy are your keys to the power of indie publishing.

More news! Kingdom news! With equal measures of pride and embarrassment, I formally announce that from the day I began editing The Kingdom: The Quest, my number of chapters has dropped from 70 to about 30.

No, you didn’t have too much to drink. I just said I have cut 40 chapters from this book. All the fluff from the rough draft has burned away like chaff. Only the wheat remains. Premature words, perhaps, but it’s that kind of day. I’m feeling good about what I’m writing. The Quest moves faster than anything else I’ve ever written. To be honest, I feel on top of my game. You have no idea how good it feels to be loud and arrogant like that. Try it sometime.

Moving on, there’s been a major overhaul with a key character, who you’ll meet in a couple of weeks. He’s a good man, and he is sworn to protect Arman. My heart pounds when I think about what happens to him.

Speaking of heart-pounding, I started a short story a while back. I just might have created the most evil freedom fighter you will ever meet. More details coming soon. Be afraid.

And speaking of afraid, I was so nervous that you weren’t going to like Arman that I decided to add some more features to his profile. Have you met him yet?

Say Hello To Arman

I haven’t told you anything about The Kingdom: The Quest beyond the fact that the main character is called Arman. Want to know what happens to him?

Don’t follow that link yet! Below in bold is a profile of Arman, son of Garath. Every Sunday I’ll put up another profile, either of a character or a country. Every post will get a link on that poor, lonely page entitled Arman’s World. Over time, you’ll find more and more people and places from Upper Nola. Keep an eye out. These characters have gone through a world of pain and trouble, and they are simply dying to meet you.

Name: Arman, son of Garath

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 190

Physical Description: Brown hair, blue eyes, healthy figure

Hobbies: Watching sunlight fall on his hometown, making virtuous retorts to dirty jokes, and talking with a certain pretty and wise young lady

Loves: Helping people, hearing stories, and getting praise for being such a hard-working young man

Hates: Letting people down, looking stupid, and being powerless

Special Weakness: Can’t make decisions by himself. Indecisive and timid.

Memorable Quote: “Why do you call me your lord? You could have drowned in that river, but you came after me. You have no more right to call me “lord” than my mother. Now what’s wrong?”

A Happy Hollywood Ending

You know how it goes. You’ve seen it a thousand times. That fresh-faced, idealistic hero is up against impossible odds, and there’s no way he can get himself out this time. He’s locked in chains. The villain has his hand on the button that will destroy the world. His girlfriend is dangling over a pit full of alligators. Who will save the day?

You know someone will. We’ve all seen Star Wars. Even for those who haven’t, I wager that when they do, they’ll know from experience that the Death Star won’t really blow up Alderaan. Here comes Han Solo! He had a change of heart! Luke fires off the rocket! The rebels are saved, just seconds from destruction!

I would get a lot more excited if it wasn’t for the fact that it is now cliche. A year ago, I lay on my bed watching Watchmen on cable. The ending, without spoiling anything, is decidedly anticlimactic. And I loved it. The talk I had with a friend about it went deeper than many other “story talks” I’ve had in the past.

It makes me realize that I love anticlimaxes. The most memorable conversation I ever had with my father about The Lord of the Rings movies was about whether the ending is too perfect. One of my favorite novels, The Brothers Karamazov, ends with a terrible misunderstanding that results in something even more terrible.There is an authentic and heart-wrenching quality to an anticlimax that sticks with me with more depth than any happy ending.

It also wins my respect. In this culture, it shows courage for a storyteller to make the good guys lose. But the beauty is that it forces the person taking in the story to sit down afterward and think. Outrage demands questions. That can lead you to find more meaning in a story than you might have found otherwise. Just like life, which is the very thing a story sets out to depict.

What does this have to do with The Kingdom Trilogy?. It has resulted in a drastic overhaul of some plotlines in recent weeks. I like the results. In fact, I love them. My protagonist, Arman, used to be Luke Skywalker with brown hair. Now he’s a timid boy who doesn’t have the courage to stand for what he believes. His attempts to make that stand result in some delicious complications. This fall, I’ll let you decide if they amount to an anticlimax.

So It Begins

To everyone reading this sentence, welcome to the official website of The Kingdom Trilogy. To everyone who arrived here from my blog The Kingdom: The Quest (The Production Diaries), this is the new place to be.

You will find not only anecdotes and insights about the creation of The Kingdom: The Quest, but also character descriptions, maps, and other clues about Arman’s world. As of this posting, these aren’t up yet. As we come closer to the big day (October 20, 2011), more and more of these will become available. Keep an eye out for freebies along the way. At the very least, there will be two contests held for free stuff.

This project has come a long way since its inception. It will be an honor to introduce The Kingdom: The Quest to the world this October.

Are you ready to watch a world fall apart?