So, you've made it this far, have you? It takes dedication to find this page hidden deep within the Tagonist Knights Website.
As a reward, I present to you five new ways to immerse yourself within this novel. Some of it is insightful, other aspects of it is meant to make you laugh and smile. Hopefully, by the time you're done, you'll be eager to explore the book if you haven't already, or take a moment to read through it once again knowing what you do now.
“What we create. What we bring into this world. The lives we have experienced. All of which may provide a light in a dark world to guide others towards achieving their dreams.” - Artemis
Say Hello - The Cast of Twin Flame
“The only way I will ever emerge from the darkness is to expose my light to the world, and not let it be hidden any longer by a cloak of shadows.”
“Being alone doesn’t mean you’re not loved.”
“Sometimes what makes us unique isn’t easy to see on the surface. We must hide it from the world and in turn, we ourselves become lost to what we are rather than embracing who we are.” - Manal
“One should not be defined by what they are. Pigmentation of the skin should not force someone into a specific path.” - Artemis
A Different Idea
The original concept was that the story starts out with a man losing his wife to a long term illness. This would later be reflected in the death of the mother of Artemis in how she knew she was dying months before she passed. The man joins the talent competition because his wife was a singer who never fulfilled her dream of being a singer.
He has no singing talent at all, but goes anyway. When he attempts to sing, suddenly he does so beautifully. The spirit of his wife gives him the ability to sing. Eventually people see her spirit with him on stage. This is reflected in the final chapter where the pair are seen together on stage, one being a kind of spiritual light.
The story was too depressing for me to write. I hate tragedy, I don't enjoy writing about tragic events, and starting off a story that way was too painful for me. So, I shelved the idea for years until I discovered the idea of a Twin Flame. Two people from separate parallel worlds existing next to one another and connecting with each other on a spiritual level felt perfect.
I wanted them to be unique and that's when I thought of the sun and the moon. That concept molded their appearance. Also, it was then I had the idea of bringing Gemini, the Tagonist Knight, into the story playing a role in both narratives, in each reality.
By pure coincidence it was my 20th book published at the end of 2020. Twins, Twin Flame, Two, all being themes. I couldn't have planned it better. I loved it.
The Sun and Moon
“My mother would tell me that tears are a message from our soul to the world around us, a reminder of its presence within us.” – Artemis
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
Artemis is named after the Greek goddess of the moon, twin sister of Apollo who was the sun god.
The mask that Artemis wears is a homage to the one worn by the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera.
Artemis symbolizes the moon, which is why I chose her particular skin tone and sensitivity to light.
Artemis begins the story wearing all black to represent the darkness of a new moon.
The name Nashota means "Twin", hinting at the truth of her being at the talent contest.
I chose a violin for Nashota because it is my favorite instrument.
On page 11, 909 and 910 refers to 1909 and 1910, the years the Phantom of the Opera was first published as a serial in '09 and as a book in '10.
On page 11, 986 refers to 1986, the year the Phantom of the Opera musical was first performed.
In Chapter 2, the man Nashota is referring to is Logan, from the novel: Eye of the Beholder.
Nashota dancing while playing a violin is inspired by a Lindsey Stirling who does both.
Eternal Illumination is a play on the title "The Inner Light", which the song's backstory refers to that TNG episode.
Selene is a moon goddess representing the moon itself.
One small step...
Neal Armstrong is the first man to step foot on the moon.
Two of a Kind
Tomasa and Didymus are names that mean "Twin".
The story of Nashota's grandparents is based on the opening of the movie "Up".
Elbert is named after Elbert Frank Cox, the first black person in the world to receive a PHD in mathematics.
Elbert’s last name is honor of Katherine Johnson, who did mathematics for NASA.
Elbert Johnson represents the left side of the brain, reading, writing, and mathematics.
Manal is named after Manal AlDowayan, a contemporary artist from Saudi Arabia
Manal's last name is in honor of Dia Azzawi, a painter and sculptor from Iraq.
Manal Azzawi represents the right side of the brain, creativity and problem solving.
Janis Nicks is named after Janis Joplin who was a singer and songwriter from the 60s and 70s.
Janis Nicks is named after Stevie Nicks who was a singer and songwriter from the 60s and 70s.
Where the first two judges is the mind, Janis represents the soul/spirit of a prson.
Nico is named after Nico Tortorella, an actor who came out as gender fluid.
Nico's last name comes from Asia Kate Dillon, a non-binary actor.
Where the others represent the mind and soul, Nico represents the body and the physical self.
A bespoke suit from Savile Row is the most expensive men's suits in the world.
A Stradivarius violin is the most expensive violin in the world.
The oldest living plant is the Great Basin bristlecone pine, the tree that Artemis mentions in her story.
Lindsey Sterling auditioned on America's Got Talent, facing the same criticism that Nashota does.
Artemis feels most comfortable at night, in darkness, symbolic of her being the moon.
Artemis prefers colder temperatures since the moon comes out at night.
Aaron is named after Aaron Rabe. known for his costume designs as a cosplayer.
On page 118, the quote "When a voice..." is from the novel: Tapestry of the Second Born.
On page 132, Artemis hints at the symbolism of the four judges: Mind, body, and soul.
The joke about the duck selling insurance refers to Aflac Inc., which uses a duck mascot.
Michelle is named after Torine Michelle from Norway.
One of Four
Alan is named after Alan Walker, a British-born Norwegian DJ.
Two of Four
Kenneth is Keneth Nilsen, a Norwegian music producer known as K-391.
Three of Four
Mattias is named after Mattias Braan, a Swedish DJ known as Mangoo.
Four of Four
Martin is named after Martin Tungevaag, a Norwegian artist who goes by his last name.
And now... My Favorite.
Early on I knew that Tammy and Nashota would be the same person, somehow existing in two separate worlds at the same time. What better way to introduce the world to Gemini, Knight of the Rose. She became the second introduction of a Tagonist Knight, the other being Paradox who played an increasingly larger role within the Sunfire Chronicles. Having the opportunity to use the text I created for her for this website and put into one of my novels was an incredible moment for me. It allowed me to explain how this wonderful union between Artemis and Belinti took place and introduced one of the Tagonist Knights.
“Please don’t say disparaging words about your behavior or yourself. If you are to be both damsel and dragon, I will adorn myself in my armor to save you from your own forked tongue and to protect the gentle soul that I first met.” – Artemis