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.
“I know all too well that ignoring the thunder of hooves striking soil in the distance will not make the charging army that is about to come up over the hill to go away.” – Airmid
Say Hello - The Cast of Seed of Earth
“The man, the myth, or the legend, which would you prefer?”
“I don't want you to go... Stay here with me, please.”
“If something bad is going to happen, I would rather be on the front line confronting it, than being an innocent victim living in ignorance.”
“You’ve been hanging out with a spirit of a murdered woman for five days and you’re questioning the logic of all of this?”
Spirit in a Teenage Body
“I know wherever I go, whatever I’m doing, I’m not alone. You’re always there with me giving me courage.”
“Come on brain, I fed you some useful information that you can enjoy, why aren’t you working for me? I thought we were friends.”
“I am saving your mortal body. It is a small gift I return to you for saving my immortal soul.”
“I love you. I want to be with you in every moment you are willing to provide me. Yet… Time will take me from you. I will be gone.”
“Of course, the idea of dying a terrible, terrible death without knowing where the terrible, terrible death is coming from is not a wonderful choice either.” – Esper
“There is a lot I have to teach you along the way. We have the next few days to give you a crash course on how to stop a demon.” – Scythe
A pandemic struck my world as a virus spread across the globe killing millions of people. Everything that felt like it was out of the pages of a fictional narrative, occurred. A power mad insane person in control of the United States, the world sliding into a nightmarish existence, it was the reality in which I first started writing a book called "Tomb of Mankind". It was a much older idea involving a viral outbreak that kills off most of human life and an artificial intelligence tries to reclaim what was lost.
It became far too depressing to write about a setting that was a little too reflecting of current events. So, I dug up some older ideas and cobbled together a horror story based off an abandoned concept from years ago.
It is actually the combination of two much older ideas. The oldest being this team of supernatural beings trying to save the world. This included a female vampire, Frankenstein's monster, an ancient Egyptian spirit who was a former slave using an artifact to take mortal form, a werewolf, and a man whose legacy includes a hunter of supernatural beings and a magical artifact collector. That's all I had of the idea was a listing scribbled on a piece of paper. The first of two sources of ideas.
The second was a series of four stories. A man trying to exact revenge on vampires. A half demon/half mortal slayer of everything evil. A psychic trying to help spirits in need. A little girl's family being murdered and a mysterious stranger showing up out of nowhere to help her. All of these ideas pooled together as inspiration for this book.
The original four-story concept involved a group of "protectors of the light" that were inspired by the Dresden Files where a council essentially policed magic and prevented evil things from taking over. Yet, they were just as ruthless and, in my opinion, horrible as the evil they were standing against. In the story I was going to tell, they are attacked by four factions of "evil" beings that steal these four magical objects that they want to use against their enemies. It was an original concept that I didn't want to go with, so what do I do?
I remember being at my day job, hammering out the details in my mind one morning. Four stories, four elements. I loved it. No more of this good versus evil, it now being these four ancient tribes. Each of the elements being unique and I defined how each of them functioned. It was during the writing of the novel that I developed more refined details behind each one.
I only kept two of the original concepts. Aethel and Emma's opening scenes being practically word for word the same as the original draft. Same with Quinn and Scythe, until they resolved the issue with the murdered woman. Even the first meeting with the three sisters remained the same. Beyond that, all new material.
I liked the idea that developed from the original concept involving the son of a hunter and a collector. Add in influences from Penelope from the Criminal Minds series as a computer tech expert that is mostly a voice on the phone, I came up with Henry and Esper.
Of the original four ideas, I didn't like the demon woman. She was too dark and Aethel had that brooding loner thing covered. Secondly, I changed my approach of what a demon was so her origins didn't work. The second was this man searching for vengeance. That went nowhere in the original draft, so I ended up cutting him out completely. Although... The scene of Henry meeting with a group of vampire hunters and being hunted himself at the end of Crystal of Air, all of that was from the original draft involving these cut scenes of a man seeking vengeance. So, not all was lost from that story arc.
I needed a fourth element and so I thought of a love story involving a vampire woman, harking back that original older concept involving a female vampire in the group of supernatural beings. Her with a normal, vanilla type guy struggling to keep up with all of these fantastic elements felt ideal. That and I wanted more romance in my novels and this was going get pretty dark.
Going into the story I had every plan for it to be a good versus evil story but during writing, I realized that the solution would not be that easy and that's how the story evolved. Also, I didn't know a lot about that world such as how spirits worked, spiritual energy, what the four Quaternity were like and how they functioned in larger society, all of that was a bit of mystery to me.
The story became theraputic, finding hope in a dark chapter in human history that was my life at the time.
“Speak from your soul. Let it tell your story. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. I would rather hear a clumsy truth than flowery poetry hiding the man I love from me.” – Carmilla
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
The girl sitting in a police car after the murder of her family is inspired by a scene from the TV show: CSI.
On page 41, Aethel refers to Emma's ancestor, Nimue, who is the wife of Merlin in a TV miniseries.
Aethel means noble, often referring to a king or queen.
Nuwa is the name of a goddess in Chinese mythology and credited for creating humanity.
The Phantom of the Opera musical was based off a French novel published in 1910.
Rock and Roll
The teen heartthrob that Henry speaks of is Elvis Presley.
On page 65, Quinn makes a joke about massage her brain refers to a joke on the Simpsons.
On page 78, Carmilla's father's victims being called "brides" refers to the brides of Dracula.
Choose Your Fate
The three sisters represent several trio of women in mythology, including the three fates of Greek Mythology.
Toil and Trouble
The youngest sister makes several references to the three witches from the play Macbeth.
Airmid is the name of an Irish goddess with connections to herbal remedies and healing.
Ponzi is named after Charles Ponzi, a con artist who that led to the term: Ponzi Scheme.
The vampire reference on page 113 is a book series and television show called “The Strain”.
Carmilla was born in 1872 because the novel of the same name, which inspired her name, was published in that year.
The story about the rabbit is called the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.
300 men against a Persian army refers to a myth of 300 Spartan Warriors fighting off an invasion to their homeland.
Esper relates to a race of small beings, which are the gnomes from Mystical Alliance and Knowing Gnowing.
Henry's great grandfather is inspired by the father of Indiana Jones. Holy Grail/Fear of Rats are references to this character.
The Ark of the Covenant connected to Henry's family refers to the plot of the first Indiana Jones movie.
On page 179, the 5th and 6th century is the era of King Arthur, an important time period in this world's history.
The road named after a Scottish king is Old MacBeth Road, which can be found in South Carolina.
Create the Thread
Lindita means, the day is born, marking her as the first of the three fates.
Measure the Thread
Asha means “alive and well” which marks her as the middle of the three fates from Greek Mythology.
Cut the Thread
The name Morana means death. The third of the fates is meant to end someone's life.
To be or not to be.
The playwright that is mentioned is Shakespeare, alluding to the three witches in the Macbeth play.
Mesopotamia is mentioned on page 200. It is believed that it is where human life first began.
On page 214, Henry's story of the Holy Grail refers to plot of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Sarilia is a name that means “relating to springtime”.
Dot and Dash
Morris Code was used as a plot device against aliens in the movie: Independence Day.
On page 234, Esper nearly says, "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego." a fictional theif.
On page 264, the movie of vampires and werewolves refers to Underworld.
The origins of Aethel as a servant is inspired by the movie: Sword in the Stone.
Myrddin Wyllt was the name of the historical figure from legend that is considered the inspiration for Merlin.
And now... My Favorite.
The ending blindsided me as much as it would an audience first reading the story. I had every intention of the book series leading into "water" with them meeting the Alchemist in the next book. The last 10 pages changed all of that setting the stage for Crystal of Air. I could not be happier with that happening, because I love it when a story takes on a life of its own. It also forever altered the course of the larger storyline. Originally it was Earth, Water, Air, and then Fire. Now it will be Earth, Air, Fire, and finally Water. Why? That is a story for another day...
“Right… Let me try to go back to my normal life knowing that the world may end any minute because of some psycho waging war on the planet.” – Quinn