It takes dedication to find this page hidden deep within the Tagonist Knights Website.
Fate guided Yaretzi and Robin to meet one another, just as it has brought you to this page. Immerse yourself into the story further with a fan favorite scene and related artwork. Learn about the journey it took for the author to create this wonderful tale, a far different narrative from where it first began. Explore the hidden Easter Eggs and interesting facts that are linked to the book. Enjoy a personal connection with those with home the story is about from quotes taken from the novel. Hopefully, you too will find inspiration with this charming novel.
“What do I have to do to convince you that I love you? I traveled through the space-time continuum just to meet you and did it again so that I could spend a lifetime with you.” – Felicity
A scene selected from the book.
A scene that begins with Yaretzi dressed up as a ranger standing in line leads to a lot of interesting conversations with other people waiting to see the actor she is wanting to meet with. The audience is revealed her thoughts and emotions concerning her anxiety, which is insightful for those who don't experience those feelings and reveals her vulnerability concerning overcoming her greatest fears. When she begins to panic, wanting to escape, feeling like she had made a mistake in coming to the event, those around her offer to help her
“The human soul has much to teach those who have lost touch with the essence of the Universe.” - Jason
“I may be a strange her, but I am not a stranger.” - Yaretzi
Merging of Ideas
The story began with a combination of two ideas that the author had been toying around with. The first is that a man is in communication with a virtual friend program after contacting it in a moment of desperation. He's thinking about committing suicide and is afraid to speak to anyone about it. The second of the two scenarios is the reason why he is driven to this point in his life. The original idea was that since he was a teenager, he fell in love once a year and within twelve months or less, he would have his heart broken. This occurring for over a decade. Each reason for the heartbreak being different.
The first draft was essentially him going through a list of his heartbreaks with the "AI" which is revealed at the end of chapter one to be Yaretzi, responding as she would normally. Until that second draft, the author didn't know his profession or much about him.
Eventually his passion for acting led to the idea of him being a famous actor. The final two heartbreaks are what breaks him. At that point in the second draft, the story is already nearing three hundred pages since the majority of what was presented was his long list of heartbreaks that was presented in chronological order. He tells Yaretzi that he can't continue communicating with a virtual person, that he needs to move on, and stops talking to her. This sparks her to create her own virtual friend program that she had been thinking about creating and focuses intensely on that to fill the void of his departure. It developed into a rather tedious, one sided, that hit a dead end.
Developing the Story
What was learned from the first draft was his career, the fact that he was a famous actor, and development of Yaretzi as an interesting individual. A scene from a much older novel that was completed, but never published nearly seven years prior to this one provided an opportunity for the author to use a heartbreaking introduction.
Originally, in this older story, a woman comes out of an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. She is aided by her mother who helps her get away from him. However, the mother learns she has cancer, leading her to being in the hospital. During this time, her father gets into a fatal car accident on the way to visiting his wife. The opening scene is relatively the same from that older story with adjustments to fit the car accident that Yaretzi was involved with killing her family. Only this scene is taken from that previous novel.
The author researched individuals that survived terrible car accidents with facial scars, eventually finding a story about a woman who had an accident in South America. The scar that Yaretzi has is based off this woman's appearance. This led into the second draft where the list of girls and women that affected him was essentially eliminated with only some elements remaining. A better foundation for the life of Jason is developed. As before, it is told in chronological order, each chapter being a certain period of time in his life. The key points being what happened in high school, his time in college, his attempts at getting into acting, and his two relationships.
Merging of Ideas
Attempts to use another scene from that story involving the woman who was at her mother's side when she died was at the end where she meets an author she had met during the course of her story. He is at a panel among other writers and she arrives dressed as a knight. She takes off the helmet to reveal the truth. Happily ever after.
The author tried to keep this ending, where Jason is promoting the movie he was in, among other actors, and Yaretzi reveals herself. Gives a passionate speech. He rushes to meet her, happily ever after. It didn't work. There was a version where he said her speech that she had given to him prior, but that didn't make sense and took away from her.
The third draft was an attempt to salvage something from the second draft since it was overly long and a bit of a mess. It was never completed and only led to variations of scenes where Yaretzi revealed to Jason that he was in communication with a real person all along.
It was during that third attempt made the story more balanced, less her just being a soundboard for him to talk while it was mostly all about him. It developed Yaretzi a lot better and led to the scene of her being in line to get his autograph. In that version, he still thinks she doesn't exist, that she's just a virtual friend program. It had been months since he stopped talking to her and she is there just to reveal to him that she exists. Now what? Privacy issues, how does he react, his agent not trusting her, and it fell apart quickly and needed fixed.
Almost Gave Up
With the failure of the third draft, the author felt like giving up on the narrative as a whole. It broke his heart to do so, thinking it had so much potential but had no clue how to fix it. That's when he took a new approach where, what if that original idea of him thinking she's a virtual friend and not a real person was thrown out. That's why, by the opening of the second chapter, he learns the truth. It allowed for Yaretzi to reveal more of herself, her personality, her past, to make a close personal connection between the two main protagonists and develop a genuine friendship between them throughout the book rather than trying to force something at the end of the novel.
The second major step was chopping up the chronological order. Bits and pieces were drawn from the previous draft while being woven together with new material. The gradual progress of their friendship and eventual romantic interest in one another develops more slowly and allows for time of healing and learning to trust one another over time. Alos, the mystery of who he is revealed more naturally. The meeting at the convention is no longer "I exist" and replaced with "I love you." Everything after the scene with Jason looking through photos, first seeing Yaretzi for the first time, is all new material.
In the previous draft, Yaretzi and Jason are together during a live online video conference of fans of the Robin Project. He organizes the funding, helps promote the launch of it, and unfortunately it felt like he was the reason for its success in becoming known to the public.
Finding a Balance
One of the final changes is that Jason encourages Yaretzi to move forward with her ideas and dreams but does not get involved. This is totally her creation, her doing, and the effort that goes into launching it, bringing it to the public is through her actions. This way, it is an empowering experience for her to find the courage to move out of the shadow of this incredibly famous man. Also, by keeping their relationship a secret, it allows her to continue to live her life hidden away from the world as long as she wants. When she does launch the program and choose to make a public appearance, the world will know her for her accomplishments and what she has done for the world. Not just as Jason's girlfriend. The author wanted her to be her own individual that gets to stand out on her own for what she has done.
The development of the romance between the pair with him knowing she is a real person early on allowed for two broken people to slowly heal with one another. Months, even a year goes by before they develop a romantic connection. This allows for both involved to learn to trust one another, slowly reveal things they were afraid to tell someone else, and when the time came, it was only when each of them were comfortable to do so. This gradual nurturing growth and healing over a prolonged period of time helped establish a more realistic approach to the narrative concerning these sensitive topics.
Lastly, the original title was "The Robin Project". The author felt that the story was about Yaretzi and Jason's journey, so needed a new title.
“I would rather spend a moment alone here by your side on Earth then to be among the gods in the heavens for eternity.” - Jason
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
Christopher and Felicity's son is named after a famous author. Herbert George is the H.G. in H.G. Wells, the author of the novel “The Time Machine”. Often what an author introduces to the world in the form of fiction becomes reality. That was my hope, that one day the utopia that Felicity comes from will become our reality.
“I’m“I’m empathic, not a mind reader, Christopher.” – Felici