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.
“The four horsemen shall awaken, for the day of judgment draws near.” – Daemon
Say Hello - The Cast of Tapestry of the Second Born
“The greatest revelation of what pain and loss can bring to an individual is a realization of what truly is of worth in his or her life.”
The Elder Man
"May faith give life to hope."
“I believe that the most uncomfortable aspect of mortality, by its very definition, is that none can survive it.”
“You may attempt to ascend to the heavens all you wish, but in the end, you will rot with the damned.”
“I love everyone I meet. Every man, woman, and child I encounter in my life, I love them unconditionally like family…”
"It was peculiar to feel like I was her guardian angel. In truth, it felt as if it was her wings folding around me, keeping me from the dangers of the world."
“I would rather try to keep focused on something productive rather than just toss my hands into the air and say, I give up.”
"I think we prove that someone doesn't have to be like their parents."
“I will not allow any mortal man or god in the heavens to dare threaten all that which I have created.”
“There is no victory in war, only survivors.”
“That which the Disciples of the Crimson Dragon serve, the one power that guides our existence, has been unleashed…”
“History remembers the generals who fought the great wars, not the tacticians who provided the methods in making those victories a reality.”
“I’m sure a man could tell them that Bigfoot up and stole the Statue of Liberty from the Loch Ness monster and they wouldn’t blink an eye.”
“I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, I believe there is a little bit of good in every person I meet, but… All I feel from that man is nothing good.”
“The events in our lives we may not enjoy, forces us to reflect upon how wonderful the moments are when we are truly happy.”
“I see how it is, my sweet angel is acting like a little devil!”
“It will be peaceful, everyone living in harmony, but only because those who don’t live within the guidelines and strict regulations of this new world will be eliminated.”
“You just confessed to murder. You do realize that, right?”
“The only way a government has any power over a community is if they accept its leadership.”
“For me, getting married, having a loving husband in my life and bringing beautiful children into this world made my life complete.”
“I don’t know how, but I just know that it means death and the underworld.”
High School Student
“I’m just worried about Cindy. I’m afraid she’s becoming like her father…”
“I’m not trying to replace her father, but she treats me like some stranger. I wish just once I could get a smile out of that kid.”
“All too often what is expressed by the creative mind of an author often inspires others to transform those fictional dreams and mold them into reality.”
“Woe to the man who would dare call himself a god, for only in staring into the infinite does he understand how powerless he truly is.” - Gabriel
“When a voice cries out in pain, sorrow, and loneliness, it feels as if it falls into silence in the darkness that surrounds it, not realizing who may be listening with sympathetic tears in their eyes as they share our pain.”
Where it all began.
The concept for the story originated during my time in college when I was studying Christianity in three separate Religious Studies courses: The Old Testament, The New Testament, and History of Christianity. It was during one of those courses that we read through Revelations which always fascinated me.
The original cast involved twelve men, reflecting the twelve disciples of Jesus. One failed idea that didn't make it to the second draft/version was an unscrupulous lawyer. Also, originally the cop character was a beat cop, not a detective. This concept developed into who was Melanie Johnson's father.
The first draft barely made it past a few pages before I gave up on the idea. It wasn't until I returned to the concept that I wanted six male and six female individuals represented, to reflect the modern world. The men having names of six disciples and the women having last names reflecting the other six. This revelation is hinted at near the end with Thaddeus.
It would be years until I finalized the second draft.
Original Cover Art: 2009
Concept Art : 2009
First full draft.
There are several differences in the original draft compared to the final version. Originally there is a scene between Julie and Joshua in his apartment where he proposes to her, ending their part of the story there. The true conclusion didn't come around until I re-wrote most of the novel for the second draft.
Another scene that changed was that Andrew changed his name, got a normal job, and was living in the suburbs. It was an idea that I quickly threw out during the re-write of the book.
The biggest change was Alexander. In the first draft he began as a bratty, spoiled teenage boy. He was obnoxious and rude. Ruthless, in that he ordered his masseuse to be murdered because she heard too much. That led to the scene where Melanie and Jack find her body in the water. The previous scene leading up to it was deleted in the re-write, but that scene reflects elements of the original draft.
By the end of the book he had changed from obnoxious brat into this cruel being. I then took that version, and had the book start with that mentality. Cold, ruthless, determined to achieve his goals at any cost, even murder. I wanted him to represent pure evil.
I first published with a woman who claimed if I sold X amount of copies of e-books, she would print up a paperback copy which was my goal. However, she would sign up dozens of new books every week, flooding her website with new stuff all the time. Her quantity over quality approach made her money, but left me at a loss of ever getting anywhere in publication.
However, that experience led to a change of title. Originally it was called "Apocalypse" which was too generic. I remember sitting around the living room of my parents home brain storming on ideas on what to call my book. Eventually we figured out the new title.
After my contract with her ended, I regained full control over my novel and published it using a cover design I came up with myself using four people in my life. My mother, my father, my nephew, and my girlfriend I was with at the time. It was my attempt at showing multiple lives merging into a single image. That led to my first copies of my book being published as a paperback copy which was an incredible moment.
It wasn't until years later that I challenged myself with creating my own publishing company leading to a revised version of the book.
Concept Art : 2011
Book Cover: 2011
When I began Tagonist Knights Publishing, I wanted a novel for each of the five genres. For Contemporary Fiction, I chose this novel. The biggest change was hiring a cover designer. I asked her about a concept of a larger image made up of smaller images. I never thought it was possible and yet... She performed a miracle.
With a new cover design, I made some small changes to the story itself. The first was the name of Melanie's father. Since the original publication, my father had passed away. I wanted to pay tribute to him within the book he helped come up with the title for and so renamed him for my father: Raymond Earl.
The second biggest change was that in the original, Alexander is stopped by Andrew and sent to prison for attempted murder. That's it. However, I felt like it wasn't enough to eliminate him as a threat. Also, there was the loose thread of the group of assassins. To resolve both and give one of the most epic final conclusions to an antagonist in one of my books, I wrote the new scene involving the fate of the three men and the Brotherhood of the Crimson Dragon.
This book began my journey. Now I am currently working on the long awaited sequel.
“Dwelling within a void of absolute emptiness, a son’s unconditional love for his father can still be found.” – Daemon
Easter Eggs and Inspiration
On Page 1, John Ronald Reuel is a reference to the author of Lord of the Rings: J.R.R. Tolkien
Alexander Elrod is named after Alexander the Great.
A Second Author
Patrick and Alexander Elrod's last name comes from the author P. N. Elrod.
Julius is named after
Mr. and Mrs. President
Franklin and Ellie Simons is named after Franklin and Elenore Roosevelt.
Did you know?
Mr. Gates is named after Bill Gates.
Harold Lithe is modeled after Eckhardt from Michael Keaton's First Batman movie.
On page 59, Melanie mentions two officers: Bertram and Ernest. This is a reference to Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.
On Page 59, Melanie mentions two officers: Bigbi and Pagus. This refers to Big Bird and his friend Snuffleupagus.
And now... My Favorite.
One page 300, Jessie and Thaddeus reveal that they met while waiting in line to get a signed copy of the first book ever written by their favorite author, “Light Within Darkness”. It is the title of my first full length novel that I wrote originally as a Senior in High School. It is paying homage to the origins of my writing career. The author mentioned? Me.
“One must be given the option to fulfill a dishonorable act for a righteous choice to have merit.” – Elder Man