Why I wrote Sin of Mages

I wrote this book in a desperate time in my life. Sin of Mages helped ease the pain. Click here to read it. 

Nothing says, “its time to get to work,” like when you lose everything and in fear of becoming homeless. 

Yeah, that fear was very real. You know that fear when you are shivering like winter cold and your bank account is close to zero while a debt is pilling up in your credit card. You know that fear when you are in deep shit and your family acts like they down owe you anything. They don’t really care about you only what you give them because, they see you as this nerdy guy who is never going to get very far in life writing some fairy tales. 

That fear when your car over heats and you have to pay money to fix it even though you just lost your job and have no other way to get around. You know that fear when you cant pay the rent and are starving because you cannot afford to eat the healthy organic food that you want because you got fired from your job.

Yup, that was me. I had just quit my shitty job at a call center for one that pays much more. One month into the new job I was told that I am no good and got fired. Shorty after that, while going to a job interview, my car starts to over heat and I had to spend money that I didnt have to fix it. Then I had to pay more than $2,000 or more of credit card debt. 

I was depressed, nervous, starving and living with a grandmother that had more emotional issues than a teenage high school girl crying over her boyfriend that broke up with her after three weeks. 

So with all this going on in my life, I had nothing else but a computer, internet connection and microsoft word. Oh, yeah, and a big dream of becoming a full time writer and hopefully a hotshot bestseller. Sounds difficult….tell me about it. 

I wrote Sin of Mages out of desperation. Although the main character, Akielas, is much older than all the other characters, there was so much happening and he felt like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. The story was suppose to be a prequel to another book that I was dying to write, but I will tell you about that much later. 

I was starving and writing my book. I had outlined the story on a notebook and my fingers shivered at the same time. I was skinny and and it took me almost two months to find another shitty job to pay my bills. Within those two weeks that I was unemployed, I was able to write more than half the book.

I released the book in December, 24, 2016 and the feedback that I got from readers was so awesome.

I put the characters through so much lost and pain in the story. It was a reflection of the things that I lost in life. My job, my car, starving. And around that same time that I was in deep shit, the girl that I wanted showed up one day with my friend. You can already imagine how shitty I was feeling without even having a car to take her out on a date. I was so low on confidence that I never heard from her again. She was probably wondering why I didn’t ask her out or anything.  

Call me crazy or abusive, but the characters in my story were not going to have a good time, not with a writer like AJ Martinez who had gone through so much shit to write a book that could or could not become a success on amazon. 

However, I dont regret it. It was a fun story to write and I love Willow and Eckxio in the story. Writing gave me hope. Hope that one day this wont happen or I will be in a better place. Sin of Mages is the first book I wrote for a series. Before that I was writing a standalone novels. It helped ease the pain and the nervousness, diving into this fantasy world so that I wont have to worry about money so much. 

Perhaps it can help a reader feel better and relate to the characters. I hope you like it. 

Read Sin of Mages and enter the world of Odealeous click here.

Posted in Author, Books, writing Tagged with: , , , ,

Logan Movie Review And Explanation

Hugh Jackman gave us the Wolverine. Now is time to depart. All things must come to an end and I must say it was a good way to end Hugh Jackman’s role as Wolverine. Some people will say that the ending was bad but I think it was the right way to end it. 

This has to be the most realistic X-men movie that has been made yet. The other movies were more for a younger audience (its all for the kids). Especially the “X-men Origin-Wolverine” Movie, which some people say it was horrible and I say it was good enough. You have to remember that this is the Hollywood Wolverine not the comic book Wolverine. 

The comic book Wolverine would be a short hairy dude with big muscles. However, Jackman was not a bad man for the role, dont you think. 

Logan

Like I said. All things must come to an end and how can someone who is basically immortal rest in peace. Being immortal is not easy and dare I say that god must lonely in his kingdom. I believe that the reason this story had to be told for such an amazing character was to set Logan free from suffering. Think about it. Logan does not die and throughout the years he has seen the people that he loved the most vanish from his life such as Jean. He watched many of his X-men brothers and sisters die. It would only make sense that what had made him stronger was the very thing that was killing him. The adamantium cloak over his skeleton. 

In the movie, Professor X apparently had a seizure that killed many of the mutants. Of course who else would survive but Logan. And so our good hero became detached and afraid to create bonds with people again. The man was so sad he had thought about putting an adamantium bullet in his brains and end his misery. Its only natural that one would be so melancholy after going through so much. 

So what is this movie really about?

It is about Logan’s legacy. Which is why Laura was brought to him. X-23. The Wolverine character is too popular and loved to just abandoned. Even in gigantic anime franchise such as Naruto, is hard to just let it go sometimes because of how close the people have become with the character. In the Naruto anime, his son, Boruto, would carry on Naruto’s legacy. In this movie Laura, X-23, would carry on Wolverine’s genes and thus metaphorically speaking keep him alive (Ahem….the claws). 

Wolverine first appear in 1974 in one of the Hulk’s comic issues. Ever since then he became a fan favorite. 

I am not saying that Laura will take Wolverine’s place but she will be something to remember him by. (as far as the movies go). 

Comic book realism

What I love about this movie is that it felt so real. Like someone’s real life story. I believe that the next X-men movies will be similar to this one. With as much realism as possible. The way Professor X and Logan were behaving with each other, the grumpy grandfather and the son who is sick of taking care of the old man. We finally get to see the real Wolverine in action. I say that because of how bloody the movie was and this is how Wolverine fights. He just digs his claws into his enemy and is not afraid to spill blood. In the first few X-men movies the directors were afraid of showing too much blood but now I think that is going to change. 

Logan’s wounds not healing up, one of his claws not coming out and him finally having white hair. Despite how much pain he was in it could easily be said that perhaps Logan feels more human than ever. 

The story was like a road trip with slice of life and classical American action movie with of course a lovable mutant. The movie was sad and strangely heart warming. 

That is all I have to say about the Logan movie. A.J. Martinez gives this movie….

9.5/10 

 

 

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Berserk Anime and Manga- Analyzing Guts in this Dark Anime Fantasy Series

Golden_Age_SagaDare I say the Game of Thrones of Anime. Why? I can hear you say. Well, it is gritty, it is dark fantasy, sure there is so much action and bodies dissected but the dialog is deep. It has a medieval setting in a land call midland much like Tolkien’s Middle Earth. If that does not speak fantasy then I don’t know what does. 

Berserk is created by Kentaro Miura. It was first published on 1989. Ever since its debut it has been the most jaw dropping manga of its genre. The blood, the gore, the tone of the story and the world in which it takes place. It is a dark story with adult content such as sex, violence and for SAW fans out there, torture. 

If you are reading this post I am going to assume that you already know much about this manga but what we are going to talk about in this article is, Guts, the savage warrior or should I say, the black swordsman. 

Berserk is not another anime about some loner who wields a giant sword that magically sticks to his back (Do I hear Final Fantasy 7). Is not another story about revenge although that is what the character is ultimately trying to accomplish. Berserk is about betrayal and trauma. It is about the bird and worm (I will get to that in just a moment). There is also a lot of ying yang symbolism in berserk and if you watched the anime or read the manga then you know what I am talking about. Finally, Berserk is a about the philosophy of destiny. 

The Bird and the Worm.

 What do I mean when I say “the bird and worm.” To put it easy, the white hawk and…the street rat (sorry Aladdin). 

Guts was always a mercenary since the beginning of the story. He fought for money and lived as a drifter. His whole life changed when Griffith came into his life. After Griffith saw how guts took down a powerful opponent with one swing of his giant sword Griffith immediately wanted Guts for his band of mercenaries. 

Griffith and Guts dueled and surprisingly Guts lost and was forced to join the band of the hawk. Griffith had a purpose and Guts fought because he liked it, for the money and because swing his sword and taking life was all he knew. Why did this happen? Here is a psychological and anthropological answer. 

Those who know how work for those who know “why.” In other words, those without a purpose work for those know who their purpose. 

If you watched the anime, in the very beginning you see a demon hand holding a behelit and says

“in this world, is the destiny of men controlled by some transcendental entity or law. Is it like the hand of god hovering above. At least it is true, that men have no control, even over his own will.”

Guts destiny was then controlled by Griffith and the white himself said that, “you are here to help me fulfill my dreams and die for me.” Guts agreed or shall I say, had no other choice and yet he and Griffith became good friends in the end. Fighting for Griffith Guts found some meaning to life than just spilling blood. 

In the Berserk manga the prophecy said 

When the Sun has died five times, a red lake will appear at the West of the city with a name both new and ancient, and it will be the sign that the fifth angel, the Falcon of Darkness, is born. The Angel shall be both master of the sinful black sheep and king of the blind white ones. He is the one who shall bring an age of darkness upon the world.

Griffith was using his band of mercenaries to fulfill his dreams but in the end he ended up sacrificing his mercenaries so that he can become the fifth apostle and king of darkness. After raping Gut’s girlfriend all hope seemed lost with an army of fiends at Griffiths command. The skull knight saved Guts and his girlfriend Casca but this was not luck but rather fate.berserk femto

Guts is the Berserker and also the black hawk who will take down the white hawk. The white hawk will seemed like he will bring light to the world however, I believe that Guts will be the true bringer of light. This is what I mean by the ying yang symbolism in the Berserk story. The anti hero really is the hero and the white falcon that radiates light and stands so godly will actually be the world’s end. berserker armor

Guts has been also labeled as “the one who defeats fate.”There has been many times when guts should have died or was near death yet he came out alive. He is such an important character that he somehow manages to live. The Skull Knight called Guts “the Struggles.” The Skull knight must know something about Guts that no one else does, after all he also has used the behelit to become a demon. The Skull Knight has also assisted Guts many times and I believe that this is for a reason. Guts defeats fate, when everything seems lost and all hope gone he still turns things around. Lets not forget, he escape the sacrifice ceremony and Griffith is not complete until he sacrifices Guts and Casca. I am not sure if that is necessary at this point or if Griffith even considered it. One thing is for sure, Guts and Griffith must fight much like Naruto and Sasuke were meant to fight. 

Griffith betrayed his men and he will now betray the world. He will bring the demon world to the human world for sure this time. 

The reason why Guts will succeed is because he has been fighting darkness within and without. Remember the beast of darkness within Guts, it was a manifestation of his hatred towards Griffith after the events of the Eclipse. Sure Guts has lost control of the beast within him but he has learned to control it (somewhat). Also realize that his hair is turning white and in Japanese culture hair color is very important. It is something common in anime. The hair colors of characters are chosen according to their rivalry. Like in Final Fantasy 7, Clouds Striffe’s hair is blonde compare to Sephiroth which is white. It was set up that way to oppose each other. berserk black swordsman

At first it seemed that Guts had no part of the story and that it was all about Griffith but it was Griffith betrayal that triggered Guts uprising. 

Thanks for reading dudes. 

Posted in anime, archetypes Tagged with: , , ,

Captain America Civil War- Movie Review All The Way From Odealeous

The 21th century is a great time for super hero movies. Take a look at the Captain America movie from the 1980’s and you will see what I mean. The quality of the movies today as well as their realism leaves you speechless. To be able to fully take the Marvel Universe and bring it to life, it sounds like the greatest thing since Disney first came to be. 

This movie was absolutely breath taking. The plot, the conflict and the fighting in this movie was absolutely stunning. The trauma that the characters were dealing with and it emotionally ripped the Avengers apart. It was like a soap Oprah but hundred times much more entertaining. 

captain-america-civil-war-1280x641

It felt like an Avengers movie however it still kept the importance of Captain America and his friend Bucky. Watching the trailer I wondered why it was a Captain America Movie at all but after watching it, it made perfect sense. 

Conflict

I must say I feel for Tony Stark as well as Steve Rogers. 

This movie deals with the view points of two men wanting the same thing but approaching it from different perspectives. It almost reflects what is currently happening right now with the political elections in the US. Both parties wanting to do something for humanity yet the approach is like two religions battling against each other mentally until they come to a conclusion which of course ends up hurting both parties. 

At first I thought friendships would be torn apart, especially seeing how Bucky killed Tony Stark’s parents and forever left him scared. I thought Steve was an asshole for defending his friend after what Bucky did to Stark’s parents but the honest truth is that it was not Bucky’s fault. The winter soldier was forced against his will. Bucky was being mind controlled however, Stark was not aware of that and I think even if he did known that he still would want to beat Bucky’s ass. 

What I thought was presidential of this movie was in the very beginning when the Avengers were told that every time they saved the day in various cities, people die all around them. But it is not their fault. Sure people died in New York when Loki brought his minions from another dimension. Sure Ultron was a massive mistake and turned out to be an evil artificial intelligence. However, the Avengers are always there to save the day and they dont really mean to hurt people, it just happened. 

Tony Stark agreed that the Avengers should be no more and he wanted to quit playing the hero and wearing the Iron Man suit. Steve Rogers on the other hand said that it wasnt freedom and wanted to keep the Avengers alive. He understood that they should always be ready when something happens and that yes people die whenever they tried to stop the bad guys but he also tried to save as many people as he can. Shutting down the Avengers would be a bad idea for humanity. captain america civil war

So these two view points collide but it is not their view point that sets them apart but rather the drama in between. I almost forgot that this was a Captain America movie until Bucky came into the picture. 

That guy Baron Zemo was trying to destroy the Avengers from within because he knew that if you can separate men then you can control them. Turn them on each other and your enemy will destroy it self. Thus Sun Tzu’s Art of War. This movie was mainly about Captain America and Tony Stark. Their trauma’s lead them to the decision made in this movie. 

Tony Stark 

Tony Stark dealing with the Trauma of first being captured and put into a cave and forced to work against his will. Then when he tried to escape from that cave in the desert he witnessed the death of a friend in his arms. He then had to fight his way out and kill people that he didn’t really know. He killed for the first time. Then came the Avengers. Stark learned that aliens were real and the destruction of New York left him paranoid. So then he had to prepared for what was to come and created many Iron Man suits (just in case). Tony Stark needs a hug. 

Steve Rogers

Then our friend Steve Rogers who had been fighting for the country since the age of sixteen. Steve always felt out of place and like he never fit in. He was too skinny and weak to be part of the military and when he received an upgrade with a serum that turned him into a super soldier, sure he fought during the war but then lost his friend. He was then found frozen and woke up about 60 years later into the future. Now he really felt like he never fits in because he was in a time that he was not familiar with and had to adapt to the current world technology and life style. The Avengers is all he had and did not want to lose it despite of what he the destruction that they had cause by accident while helping people. 

Both these men mean well. 

Overall quality and story 

This movie is touching. If you have been watching the Marvel Universe movies since the first Iron Man movie then you will feel for the characters. 

Oh and by the way. I didnt realize that Thor and the Hulk were not in the movie. It felt weird not having them as part of the team this time. 

I like how Spiderman was introduced in the movie as well as Antman. They were both the comic relief, one for each team. The only thing that bothered me about Spiderman is that he was 18 years old. I like the Spiderman who worked as a photographer, you know the Toby McGuire Spiderman but hey, time changes. 

I almost forgot to comment on the Black Panther. This character felt as if he did not belong in the story but I guess I can understand why he was added to the story. The Black Panther only wanted to take revenge which I thought was a shallow motivation to fight. He wanted to avenge his father’s death. However, many people request diversity in today’s’ films which is why the Black Panther was added. I will say that the actor did a great job and those vibranium nails was super cool. 

I don’t have many complaints about this movie and I really enjoyed it. 

This is the golden age of films and freedom for artist. Captain America Civil War. Of course the events on this movie will now lead to The Infinity Wars as well as a Black Widow movie (go Scarlet). I am not so hyped about that upcoming Spiderman movie but shit I say why not see how it turns out. 

I give this movie a 9.5 out of 10 (9.5/ 10)

Thanks for reading and share this article with your friends dudes. Stay Nerdy. 

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The true difference between a Warrior and a Soldier

When we think of the word “warrior” what is the first thing that comes to mind. 

A muscular man wearing Greek armor with a double edge sword and a shield ready to dive into battle. Most likely. Thanks to movies, history books and of course good old fantasy novels have put this masculine imagine in our minds of what a warrior should look like. Captain American from Marvel is a good example. A tall figure in uniform holding a shield ready to fight for the country and protect the people.

warrior vs soldierWhen we think of a warrior we think of Gladiators fighting in the arena of ancient Rome. We think of king Arthur. We think of Lord of the Rings and the samurai. Most powerful symbol of a warrior is the sword. The weapon to take down his enemies. Historically all warriors wielded swords and yes their fist also counts as a weapon.

From whatever part of the world, all warriors have one thing in common. They fought for a purpose that they believed in.

So how are warriors and soldiers different?

Thank you for asking.

I will repeat. A warrior fights for a purpose that he believes in. Not only does a warrior believes in what he is fighting for but he is not forced into battle, he chose to fight by his own free will. Purpose and freedom are key to the warrior spirit.

A soldier on the other hand does what he is told.  A soldier blindly takes orders much like today’s military where men are dragged into another man’s wars. In today’s world soldiers don’t always know what they are fighting for. Their leader tells them to pull the trigger and they do it. It could easily be said that a soldier has no freedom, he is rather an automaton. 

I have friends who have been in the army. I know a man who is a New York City stand up comedian who was in the Vietnam war. He told me of his experience with the door gun on the helicopter. I asked him, “hey so how does it feel to kill someone?” his answer was, “once you pull that trigger, you have to live with it. You have to live with the fact that you have taken live.”

I remember I was in the fifth grade when 9/11 happened. I remember soldiers visiting my middle school. I was the only one bold enough to ask them uncomfortable questions (which I love to do). I asked a USA army soldier, “hey how does it feel when you have to shoot at someone?” their answer was, “you dont really have a choice. You just do what you are told. I was in the tank, that was my position and I always followed orders.”

So soldiers dont have free will. 

When warriors get together, even though they have a leader they all willingly fight for what they believe in. They with consciously not unconsciously unlike the soldier. While the presidents and rulers of countries need soldiers to form an army, those soldiers might be strong and smart but they are not warriors. They are automatons. 

Ghandi was a warrior. No he did not wield a sword but he fought for what he believed in and those with the same believes followed him. Martin Luther King was a warrior and those who followed him had the same believes. Malcom X was a warrior and those who followed him had the same believes. Abraham Lincoln was a warrior and those who followed him were not his soldiers but warriors fighting for their freedom. 

Spartacus is the greatest example of a warrior. He refused to be an automaton and fought for freedom. 

Because a warriors fights by his own will he also fights the negativity within and without, meaning that his believes are aligned with what he is fighting for. A soldier fights for his country but he might not like what he is fighting for. Soldiers in the time of the Roman empire might be asked to beat up slaves but deep down they don’t believe that people should be turned to slaves. Same in the US army. Soldiers might have fight for America but they dont believe what they are fighting for and are unable to withdraw. 

So I am not just talking about fighters here but rather the spirit of a warrior and a soldier. 

Thank you for reading and I would like to remind you that you can get a free novel by clicking here

make sure to share with your friends. 

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Diversity in Fantasy Fiction Books as well as TV series

When we think of fantasy fiction what do we think about? Elves, dragons, mermaids, warriors wielding a magic sword, knights, kings, queens, heroes, some dark lord trying to take over the land and…..white people? 

Ooops, I am sorry, did I offend.

I really want to tackle this sensitive topic because not only is it in high demand but also because I want to change the fantasy genre. And yes diverse fantasy world is on high demand. Thanks to JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, George RR Martin and countless other fantasy authors, the fantasy genre has exploded with popularity than never before. It is true. With popularity comes people from all over the world. That means fans from every single continent in the world and yes this means all skin colors. 

Now, I know what you are thinking. 

“oh my god here comes another white washing complaint.”

Stay with me on this. 

We all know that the fantasy genre started in Europe with Lord of the Rings. Also some fantasy such as the Wizard of Oz here in America. I will choose my words carefully when saying this but the fantasy genre is dominated by Caucasians. There I said it. 

Now it is not white people’s responsibility to add other people of color into their work of fiction. George RR Martin was attacked with this topic on a live interview. Here is the interview.

Again it is no ones responsibility to add people of all skin colors in their work of fiction. Most Japanese anime characters are well….Japanese. It is only natural that the author or artist creates characters similar to his image. And so the creator creates in his image. This does not make anyone racist but rather a natural thing that happens as an artist. 

I think is great that people of all over the world want to get involve in this genre because it is so much fun and we have to make space for them. I am Hispanic but I carry African DNA, French DNA and Spaniard DNA. As a fantasy author of this nationality and cultural background I do intend to add characters in my story that are inspired by Hispanic culture. 

There is definitely a racial battle about this because everyone wants to be noticed. For example, lets say if there was a remake of Harry Potter and the actor that was chosen for the role was African American, the actor would like to be noticed as “the guy that plays Harry Potter,” rather than, “the black Harry Potter.” Do you understand what I mean here. No one wants to be discriminated against they just want to be part of the fantasy genre. diverse worlds of fantasy

As I searched through the internet I do see that many fantasy and science fiction authors are looking to make their worlds more diverse. 

In the movie the Hunger Games many people were angry at the fact that some African actors were chosen for certain roles that were suppose to be Caucasian. The question is why cant this be done without any racial arguments. As long as the actors can bring the character to life than that is all that matters. 

I am not here to speak up for my own kind but rather to inspire diversity. This means, African, Caucasian, Asian, Indian and who ever else. If people want a part in this genre then lets make space instead of saying, “sorry but whites only.” 

 

After the announcement of the live action movie for Ghost in the Shell, Ming-Na Wen ( Agent May of Marvel’s Shield) she had disagreed with Scarlet Johanson playing the part of Motoko Kusanagi because it was considered white washing an Asian role. That word “white washing” meaning that white people are taking the parts that Asians should play yet the film is being directed by an American. “White washing” means white people are not allowed in Asian movies. But what if Scarlet Johanson is perfect for the part, I mean just look at her in Avengers and other Marvel movies. Many would agree that she would do incredibly considering that parts she has played in the past. diverse fantasy fiction

This is what I mean of making space for others who also want a part in the fantasy genre. People who spend their hard earned money on books and movies and increase the fandom, they should be allowed and involved in the community. 

With all that said I invite you to read The Ungifted Elf click here.

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Joseph Robert Lewis Interview- Elf Saga author-

Hello everyone and today we have Joseph Robert Lewis in the world of Odealeous. We sit here in the sky as gods looking dojoseph robert lewiswn at the world that he has create. 
I read the Elf Sage: Doomsday by Joseph and I was stunned by his imagination and creativity. I can tell he plays a lot of Wold of Warcraft or I could be wrong. However, he is a great story teller and creates fun characters that you will love. What I love about Elf Saga is the diversity. From mystical creatures to Steampunk. I think that is something many fantasy books lack. I dont want to give too much away but here we go guys. 
 
1. So first question. What inspired you to write fantasy? Every author has some sort of inspiration either from childhood or some real life influence. What was yours?
 
Fantasy was an early love, probably just thanks to the general escapism of going to a beautiful world full of strange people and creatures, with magical powers and cosmic stories that all feels so far removed from the suburban life of the 1980s. I remember reading The Hobbit when I was 7 and the parts that I loved the most were right near the beginning when Bilbo is first setting out, meeting trolls and goblins for the first time. Beginnings have always been powerful for me, when you first meet new people and places, when everything is new and full of possibility. I also really loved watching The Last Unicorn, Labyrinth, Legend, Willow, The Neverending Story, The Dark Crystal, and so many more. The 80s had the best everything – movies, actors, hair styles…
 
2. Tell us more about the Elf Saga. I read the book and it was right up my alley, I love it.  What can readers expect and what motivated you to write it?
 
I wrote the Elf Saga series because I wanted to have fun. Just plain old fun. I was tired of taking myself seriously, and taking my books seriously, and taking reading seriously. It feels like we’re in this era of extremely dark, serious, grim, gritty, realistic fantasy media, from books to comics to TV to movies, and for a guy with a mortgage and an office job, the dark and gritty stuff is just getting so very boring. So I wanted to go back to the things I loved in the 1980s and 1990s, like Xena and Buffy, and just have fun, crack jokes, enjoy sex, make fun of things that deserve to be made fun of, all while saving the world from a Dragon Apocalypse. And yes, the main characters are all women elves, and they are a very deliberate collection of diverse ethnicities and sexualities, and it’s totally on purpose, and it totally works. Plus, the series evolves from classic epic fantasy to dark horror-y fantasy to weird Western fantasy to… (shh, Book 4 isn’t out yet!). So it has everything I’ve ever wanted. Is that so much to ask?
 
3. With the magic of CG technology, where do you see fantasy films heading?
 
In the short term, I think we’re going to see a lot of World of Warcraft, meaning really expensive movies with lots of explosions and monsters, and horrible writing, and horrible green-screen acting. But, hopefully, there will be a Blair Witch moment, or a Deadpool moment, and Hollywood will realize that you can make a better fantasy movie for less money if you focus more on writing, directing, and acting, and just use the CGI as a tool. I wonder what that movie will be? Probably not an R-rated Harry Potter reboot, but never say never.
 
4. Why do you think people read fantasy?
 
Well, if I’m going to play psychoanalyst for millions of strangers, I’ll just do the safe and responsible thing and simply project my own thoughts and feelings onto them. People read fantasy because it’s exciting, and different. It’s about princesses and Chosen Ones and Dark Lords and thieves and heroes and monsters that you get to slay with big pointy metal sticks and funny made-up words. Fantasy is, or used to be, so far away from reality, from messy problems and complicated relationships and confusion. Classic fantasy was all about slaying the monster and saving the kingdom, nice and simple. Modern fantasy often embraces the down and dirty realities that we recognize in our own lives, but even then, the fantastical elements light up the world as magical exit signs, ways to escape from heartbreaking dilemmas (start a war!) or from toxic people (chop off their heads!) or just from confusing situations (love potion anyone?). 
 
5. Albert Einstein spoke of parallel universes and dimensions. Do you think that in another realm, fantasy creatures such as unicorns and dragons exist?
 
To quote a more fictional genius, Mister Spock, I would love to think we exist in a multiverse that allows for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, which would certainly include worlds with flying dinosaurs that burp fire, horses with one antler, people with pointy ears, and socks that never get lost in the dryer.
 
6. JK Rowling said that she uses her third eye to write her Harry Potter novels. How do you write fantasy?
 
I’m no optometrist, but three eyes sounds like too many. I just write with my hands, and my books tend to come together from all the random research I do every day. I love history, mythology, art, science, philosophy, language, and dumplings. And when I sit down to plan and write a book, it’s all about pulling together little snippets of ideas, things that strike me as beautiful or clever, or just things in danger of being forgotten that I think my readers might enjoy discovering. But more specifically, I just make sure I write 1,000 to 2,000 words every day, and then edit the crap out of my drafts until they’re funny and make sense and are good enough to earn my readers’ money, because they deserve some decent escapism.
 
7. Do you feel as though your characters have a lot in common with you?
 
Sooner or later, all of my characters are me. Sometimes they are me at different ages (angry teen, confused
child, self-righteous college student, sleep-deprived parent, grouchy warlock), and sometimes they are the avatars of the arguments I have in my head about politics, or sexism, or education, or the importance of chocolate cake. But the realest characters, the ones I really care about and really try to breathe genuine life into, are all facets of myself. No matter how bizarre or unique or different the character might seem from me (Nigerian elven princess with a love of butterflies and sexy pirates?), they are still me at their core (afraid of failure, tired of trying to fit in, angry at injustice, etc.).
 
8. What is your favorite fantasy movie or TV show thus far?
 
Oh, I hate this question! It’s so impossible. I read so much and watch so much, the best I can ever do is lump things into piles like “Loved it!” and “Liked it but probably won’t see it again” and “HateWatchedEveryEpisode!!!”. I guess top favorites would include Buffy and Xena, Jim Henson’s Storyteller series, and of course Farscape. What? But Farscape is science fiction, you say. Not really, not to me. Farscape is about characters, about being lost and lonely, creating friendships, falling in love, creating families. And muppet-y space monsters. It doesn’t get much better than that.
 
9. Self publishing is becoming very flooded. How do you feel about the competition and the visibility in self publishing?
 
Should I give the new standard answer? There is no competition between authors because it’s not a zero-sum game. If someone else writes a great fantasy novel, then that just brings more fans into the genre and makes it more likely that they will discover me, and vice versa. Fantasy fans will read dozens if not hundreds of books per year. We love the word “epic” and will read a 12-volume series without stopping! So the most important thing is to keep the genre healthy and engaging. The only real competition in publishing is for casual readers, the ones who pick up the latest thriller at the airport on the way to a vacation spot. They only buy a few books, so John Grisham and Michael Crichton and James Patterson need to fight for that sale. But I don’t! And as for self-publishing visibility, my books are on Amazon right alongside GRR Martin and JK Rowling and Stephen King, so I’m just as visible in the global marketplace as they are.
 
10. Do you cosplay or go larping at comic book conventions?
 
I don’t, sadly. As a single father of two young girls, I’ve been pretty limited in the sorts of fun I can invest my time and money into. But my oldest daughter and I have been learning to sew, and she loves graphic novels now, so I’m hoping to start taking her to conventions soon!
 
11. What is your favorite animal and why?
 
Pffft. So easy. Barn owl. Because it’s the best, obviously. It has amazing vision and hearing for tracking prey, it can fly completely silently, it can turn its head around at crazy angles, and it was featured (in horrible CG) in David Bowie’s beloved Labyrinth movie. 
 
12. If you could challenge one celebrity to arm wrestle who would it be?
 
Wow, I’m sure my answer to this question would change from week to week. But this week, I’m going to say Gal Gadot, because who better to lose to than Wonder Woman herself?
 
13. If you could be one fantasy creature (besides a dragon) what would it be?
 
That’s a hard one, like asking what superpower you would want. (Telekinesis!) I think I’d want to be a gnome, because they protect gardens, and seem like fairly easy-going hobbit-like fellows. Plus, you get to rock an awesome beard and vintage pointy hat. And according to one of my favorite childhood cartoons, David the Gnome, you get to ride a fox named Swift!
 
14. Do you watch anime and if yes then what is your favorite one?
 
Oh heck yes, I used to watch all of the animes, back when I had hours in the day. For me that goes back to the original Gundam series (and most of the ones that followed), Akira (which you really need to see in the original grainy VHS), Ninja Scroll, all the Ghibli and Miyazaki movies, Ghost in the Shell, and Yuyu Hakusho, Big O, Neon Genesis, .hack//Sign, InuYasha, and so many more. Vampire Hunter D, Witch Hunter, Berserk, I’ll stop. Aeon Flux. Dragon Ball. Fullmetal Alchemist. No, I’m done, seriously. But my favorite has always been Cowboy Bebop, hands down. And Samurai Champloo, of course.
 
15. How do you go about writing your story? Do you think of the characters first or do you think of the world or plot first?
 
As I mentioned above, I am constantly reading and researching all sort of random topics. I can spend hours on Wikipedia and TVtropes just discovering names and events and ideas, and then go chasing across the web for details and original texts from history, mythology, and classic literature. And over time, I get this backlog of exciting ideas about characters or plots or settings, and eventually enough of them line up that I get an idea for a new story that brings those ideas together. At any given time, I have pages full of notes for a dozen new books, some of which I’ll eventually write, and some of which will get folded into other books. But the characters and worlds and plots all emerge at the same time and I just sort of massage them together into something coherent as I come to understand them better.
 
16. What words of encouragement would you give to people and authors who are just starting?
 
Write every day. Finish what you start. Listen to feedback. Don’t respond to feedback. Write more. Expect to fail. Learn from your mistakes. Remember that your books are not your babies, they are your work. Writing is work. If you want to actually sell books, then you need to write books that people will actually want to buy. Don’t chase fads, but do research your genre, and market, and audience. Take a stand, make a statement – you’ll connect with people who agree with you passionately and you will piss off the people who disagree with you passionately, that’s how you know you’re doing it right. And if you ever stop enjoying the work, it’s okay to stop and find something else that you’re passionate about. You’re allowed to grow and change! Don’t let anyone tell you what a “real” writer is, or does. Writing is just a thing that people do, it’s not an identity. Have fun! 
 
Check out Joseph’s books 
elf saga
 
www.josephrobertlewis.com
https://www.facebook.com/Joseph-Robert-Lewis-187620291255813/
https://twitter.com/joseph_lewis
http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Robert-Lewis/e/B004A0U38K/
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Walt Before Mickey- What I Learned From History’s Biggest Dreamer

Walt_Before_Mickey I remember when I picked up the first biography of Walt Disney when I was just 11 years old. Me and Walt had so much in common. He came from a farm and so did I. He was an artist and so was I. He was a dreamer and I was well…a kid yet to realize what he really wanted to do.

Watching this movie brought me back to the time when I picked up that book. 14 years later I would realize why I decided to tell stories. Walt Disney was the root of my inspiration. I always thought. If a farm boy like Disney can do it then why not me. 

When I first came to America my family always told me that we would have to settle for whatever we could because we were immigrants however, even as a 11 year old boy I knew that there was more to life than just working at a job and doing what everyone else is doing to stay safe. Walt Disney was the first person to open my eyes to the possibilities that yes dreams can come true.

Watching the movie I saw how much he struggled and Walt had experienced my greatest fear, becoming homeless. It was scary. When Laugh O Grams went bankrupt Walt had nothing. He went bankrupt three times (I think) yet still held on to his dream. Walt Disney was a man with true grit. A true pioneer and world builder. As a fantasy author, world building means so much to me and Walt was the greatest. 

Here is my favorite quote from the movie. walt before mickey

I exchanged security over quality and dignity. I will never let that happen again. From now own I will become my own boss.

Walt said that after Charles Mintz had tried to fully own the company, The Disney Brothers. After Mintz had tried to take over, Walt decided to take full ownership of the company and be independent of Charles Mintz. After that he came up with the idea of Mickey Mouse. Of course that is when he rose to the top. Mickey Mouse was his secret weapon. It was an idea he gained when he was homeless. 

“It all started with a mouse,” Walt would say. 

After watching this movie I will damned if I abandon my dreams of becoming a bestselling author and expect things to be easy. Nothing worth having in life is easy. 

Thank you Walt Disney for giving me hope and showing me what a man of true grit does. You are my hero. 

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Christianity And The Fantasy Of Angels- A Look At The History Of Winged Creatures

If you are an orthodox christian then you might not like this post. However, I am not here to speak negatively of the christian religion but rather talk about the fantasy aspect of these beautiful creatures. Remember that I am a fantasy author and honestly not everyone is going to like but overall I am here to speak fantasy and all its wonder. And if you have played a good RPG game or have read enough fantasy novels, there is no ignoring the idea of angels. 

The history of Angels. 

Fantasy Angel Girl Archer

Throughout history, Christianity has been a dominant religion and behind the martyr of the religion are the swan like winged entities that are more luring than a nice pair of tatas. (at least for me). 

Angels have been spoken of not just in the christian religion but also in Island, Judaism and other religions. But the question is where did this originated. The bible does not say much of their origins except that they are from heaven and work as messengers of god. Christianity did not truly start until the 3rd or 4th century in the history of our world so where can we look beyond those times to find the roots of angels….do I hear Greek…oh…wait…did you say Egypt…..I say you are definitely correct. 

Gilgamesh is to the root of fantasy as much as Greek and Egyp is to western history. Realized that I said western history here. I will cover the Asian fantasy in some future post. 

So because angels are found in other cultures and throughout history it is safe to say that this beautiful creature is not a daughter or son of the christian religion but rather of an earlier stage of our human evolution.

What came before Christianity, once again, Greek and Egyptian history. So then lets go back.

I will repeat that Angels worked as messengers of god much like Hermes was  to the Zeus. There is definitely a connection here. Also keep in mind that we are talking specifically about human figured creatures with wings. There are also other winged creatures in history such as the sphinx said to have guarded the entrance to the city of the Thebes. There is also Pegasus, the winged horse. Who is to say that adding wings to animals was a trend of the ancient world much like people with pointy ears is to the modern world of fantasy fiction. 

There are also the Harpies, a woman with winged arms and the phoenix which is also part of Christianity and Garuda of Indian mythology.

I don’t know about you but I am having fun here dudes. Let’s keep going. 

People of the ancient saw winged creatures as celestial and high purpose. Any animal that could fly was seen as something that could reach the heavens or at least their idea of heaven. Back then there was little science that could prove was beyond the stars except of course astrology. But overall flying high and being able to reach the skies was a sign of freedom, therefore birds were worship. That is why America uses the bald eagle as a sign of freedom for the country. 

Angels represent liberty inward and outward. The freedom from this world, the pain that we experience and the hardships. Angels are governed by the element of air (for those RPG lovers out there). Air is a sign of freedom and enlightenment. If you ever watched the cartoon show, Avatar The Last Airbender, the airbenders were monks living in the mountains in peace and were nomadic. The monks were enlightened.

 

Modern day Angels

angel archetype

The modern day angels or as I like to call them, the RPG angels, are seen more warily than they were before. This goes to mainly video games. Angels are seen as winged people wielding a sword and shield, ready to defend the heavens and fight the sons of darkness. They wear armor along with their halos and sometimes we use different names to describe them such as Seraphim. 

Angels have change in modern society. They are no longer here to deliver a message from god but to willingly interact with people because….well…they feel like it. And this is the fantasy of angels that I am trying to describe in this article. We love the idea of angels existing and still see them as beings that come here to guide us and lend  a hand. We are starting to see them less as religious entities and more as beings that part of everyday life (thanks to nerd culture and the new age movement). 

We no longer have a religious attachment to angels. Winged people (Final fantasy7) are commonly used through TV shows, Anime, fantasy, scifi and comic books. This archetype or mystical creature is freely used without judgement as an artistic expression so much that we sometimes change their names. ( Do I hear X-men).

The idea of angels has become less of a religious concept and more of a part our inner world as human beings in the 21th century. 

 

Posted in archetypes, Mythical creatures Tagged with: , , , ,

A Deadpool Movie Review All The Way From Odealeous

Ah, love.

What better movie to watch before Valentines day then a lovely Deadpool movie to feel the magnificent love that surrounds us all. You know, the kind of love that makes you laugh even in the most difficult times when you are at the brink of dead and being torture so that you can find the cure to your cancer and return home to your lovely lady and give her the good news….umm…”hey honey, my face is all f*** up.”

deadpool movie reviewWhat I love about Deadpool is that he is the type of guy that will make you laugh even when you feel like dying. He is that one guy you want to be around when you are just about to jump off a bridge and say goodbye to awful thing we call life. 

Deadpool is a great man. He knows the art of enduring hardships and hide his emotions when all hell breaks lose with a good or bad joke that may or may not piss you off and make you wonder if he is actually reliable. 

And now, on to the real review

So after watching the Deadpool movie, I have come to have some compassion for Deadpool. Although I never actually read the comics and knew the whole story of the character, my friends just would not shut up about him. I have always considered Deadpool a parody character. And the thing about AJ and parodies is that….well… I hate them. Look, I am a serious guy (Whether you like to believe it or not) When I turn on the TV (in most cases, Netflix) I want to be entertained by a story with purpose, even if its comedy. I have a hard time watching parodies and yes….even the porn ones. 

I have many friends who goof around on Youtube looking up parody videos and just what I think is immature. To me Deadpool seemed immature at first. Although I love Deadpool’s humor, I hated what he did. He was a time waster and in my head I am always thinking, “dude, would you stop fooling around and get to the story.” If I want to watch a funny movie with almost no plot then I would just watch Kung Pow. 

Despite all the years of me thinking Deadpool was nothing but a good for nothing goof who mimics other characters, I give the Deadpool movie, a 9 out of 10. Yes, you read that correctly. A 9 out of 10. WHY?

Well it had a good story actually. And yes there were some cliches but they were tolerable. I will explain. 

The character

Despite the Breaking Bad storyline of a miserable average guy finding out that he has cancer, the character was well done. Wade Wilson, a former special forces member now a mercenary started out as this mundane person looking for some meaning in life. His happiness came when he met a wonderful woman that changed his life and filled his world with color. When he finds out he has cancer I like the fact that his character does not even think about the cancer itself, instead he just ponders of how he is going to spend the rest of his days with the girl that he loves. This is the human side of Deapool which I like to call his Walter White phase. 

Deadpool_the_King

Through the story Wade remains humorous, just finding the funniest things about every situation, refusing to let life dictate “how he should feel.” Even when he was being tortured for the purpose of triggering a possible mutation due to his cancer condition, Wade Wilson remains beyond optimistic. One joke after the other I began to believe that this man was somehow immune to being emotions such as depression and even the ability to cry. 

Finally when Wade becomes Deadpool all his battles are filled with humor and surprise to his enemies. His humor is more powerful than his guns and combat tactics. Anyone can easily get distracted at his humor. 

“Wait, wait wait. You are probably wondering why I wear the red suit. That is so my enemies wont see me bleed. This guy has the right idea though. He is wearing brown pants.”

If there was a Deadpool poetry book, I would surely get it. 

This is why I say I have compassion for Deadpool. He has great resilience and even when you know he wants to put a bullet in his brain he still forces himself to joke around. It seems he has been doing this for so long that his sense of humor is a way to numb himself down so that he wont feel the pain. 

The plot.

Seems like Hollywood is really running out of ideas but then again I didn’t read the comics.  This was a movie about revenge after all and a like all revenge movies, the main character must regain what he lost. For Deadpool, it was his beauty. And what is what makes the movie worth watching. But he wants to regain his good looks again for his girl….Awwww. 

Much like beauty and the beast, Deadpool was shy after his body became all wrinkled and how his best friend described it, “he looks like an aguacado had sex with an older aguacado.” Speaking of Beauty and the Beast dont forget that Disney bought the rights to many Marvel films so its no wonder this story is so magical and filled with love and tacos. 

Here is my question. Why the hell do the bad guys always hide by the dock? It was the same thing in the Ironman 3 movie. I felt like was watching an old Ninja Turles episode. This is where the cliche F**** the movie. It lacked a little bit of creativity but hey, then again, it was all about Deadpool. 

Overall I think we all went to watch the movie to have a good laugh and see the funny guy in the blood red suit kick some ass while taking a bullet up the ass and cut off his own hand to escape. Most of us wont care about the plot so much as long as Deadpool does what he does best and trolls us like a pro. 

What I really like about the movie is much like the comic book, Deadpool talks to the audience. I like it when characters narrate their own story, it creates a deeper connection to the character. And who wouldn’t want to be closer to Deadpool and hope he doesn’t give you a wedgie. 

So there you go dudes. A Deadpool Movie Review all the way from the World of Odealeous. 

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