In this Post…
- The Mythology of Daniel and the Triune Quest Part IV♦
- Daniel and the Sun Sword Ranking—Woohoo!♦
- Review DTQ and DSS on Amazon ♦
- View the Trailer for Daniel and the Triune Quest ♦
- Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ♦
The Mythology of DTQ Part IV
As you may recall, I’ve previously written on various mythological characters who show up in Daniel and the Triune Quest. There was the Super Hot Surya, Ravanna the Weirdo, and Shakti the Uber Feminist. I now continue this most excellent series by introducing Shiva, the third god of the Trimurti.
In Hinduism, three gods outrank all the others—Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. Except for when they don’t. As in the case of Shakti, who sometimes is the all in all of everything, even when she isn’t. Remember? If this doesn’t make sense to you, then congratulations. You finally understand Hindu Mythology.
Anyway, Shiva’s role in the Trimurti is to…is to…um…well, it’s complicated. If you read his page on Wikipedia, you’ll leave quite confused.
Divine Destroyer and Recycler of the Universe? Sure.
Oh wait…also sometimes creator and sustainer instead of those lazy bums, Brahma and Vishnu—oh…okay.
Fierce and scary? Why not?
But also NOT fierce or scary, okay? So just deal with it.
Divine yogi? Naturally.
Did I mention he’s also nothingness? Oh boy.
Like every other god in Hinduism, Shiva incarnated himself into different avatars throughout the ages. Through these avatars, he accomplished various feats and took on different roles, which maybe muddied the waters a bit. No matter how you slice it, though, Shiva is a complex god whose roles are considered both good (destroys illusions, paving the way for beneficial change) and evil (literally destroys the universe).
In Daniel and the Triune Quest, he shows up as an incarnation of the Enemy, and the Master of Shakti. He relishes his role as destroyer—which seems fitting. Luckily, Daniel, Ben, and Gabriela who belong to a different God whose nature is trustworthy, loving, and fatherly. Who doesn’t have to destroy to bring life, but is one who gave up everything to so that we might have HIS life.
DSS in Top 100 Twice
One thing you should know about authors…we obsessively check the sales rankings of our books on Amazon.
So, naturally, I was happy when my obsessiveness paid off this past week when Daniel and the Sun Sword was in the top 100 for its primary category…twice! Hooray!
Read My Books? Please Review Them on Amazon!
If you’ve read either Daniel and the Sun Sword or Daniel and the Triune Quest and enjoyed them, please review them on Amazon! Here are the links:
Praise for Sons and Daughters Series
Christian Fiction Review by Peter Younghusband
Every author and every reader anticipate that a sequel will be just as good or better than the previous….Well, I can say that this is a better story than its predecessor (Daniel and the Sun Sword)….
Lumbatis has shown more of the biblical aspects of who God is, the Trinity, and the Gospel message….
The account where Daniel meets Jesus is powerful but gentle and bypasses the head and ministers straight to the heart….
I know Lumbatis researched the mythology and culture….[and] translated this research into the plot and setting of the novel very well. It is great world building….Makes it very credible and real.
Reader’s Favorite Review by Sarah Scheele
Daniel and the Triune Quest is a blast—a breathtaking thrill ride!
A blast—a breathtaking thrill ride! Tantalizing prose, and…deliciously well-written. I fell head-over-heels for the witty, sarcastic dialogue. Daniel and Ben’s adventures are action-adventure spelled out, along with a hefty dose of drama, comedy, and memorable characters.
The action-packed narrative undoubtedly has the power to lure kids away from video games, and the spiritual messages are core, buoyed by dazzling anime-like visuals presented through…clear-cut learning arcs for the two boys.
Parents…should jump at this one and bookmark Nathan Lumbatis for future reference.
Purchase the Books via Amazon and Barnes&Noble
Daniel and the Triune Quest Trailer
As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, my first attempts at writing a novel were not so…er…successful. If there was a Writing DON’T out there, I bull-dozed straight into it like a blind-folded, drunk construction worker.
Since most of my posts up until this point have been about Writing DOs, this one will be about a few things to avoid.
Expecting to be Accepted by Publishers and Agents Quickly
Remember that construction worker? He has a brain dead cousin who once gave me advice about writing. “It usually takes other people YEARS of writing to get published, but not you,” he said. “You’re different. Your ideas are unusual and NEW .”
Call it what you will—naivete, ignorance, Twitter-induced-belief-that-I’m-interesting-to-the-world, or whatever. I was wrong to believe it.
Easily avoided by: Not beating yourself up if it takes years to get published. Give yourself a break and be realistic. There is nothing new under the sun, and that includes plots, characters, or ideas. It takes time and practice to hone your skills. If you’re serious about writing, then be in it for the long haul and write, write, write as long as it takes.
Formatting Whichever Way the Wind Blows
That construction worker also had a few side jobs, one of which was formatting my first novels. This is to say, they didn’t have any consistent formatting at all. After I was done, I had to go back through and do an entire edit to fix annoying things like ridiculous indentation mistakes, stupid margins, and cockeyed chapter breaks.
Easily avoided by: Using the TAB key for new paragraphs; never indenting the first line of a chapter; using 1″ margins; starting new chapters halfway down its own page.
Writing Only When I’m…(Dramatic Sigh)…Inspired
The very first book I attempted to write only got attention when I felt inspired. Never did finish the dang thing. When I re-read some of the scenes…yikes….awkward.
Easily avoided by: Setting up a writing schedule that’s consistent and compatible with your life. You’ve got to have some sort of schedule or else nothing will ever get done. But, let’s face it, if you’re a single mother with three kids who’s trying to punch out the next great American novel, you might not get to write everyday..unless you wake up at 3:00 a.m. that is. Whether it’s twice a week, everyday, or for a block of time each weekend, pick a schedule that you can stick to and go with it.
In this Post…
- Updates on E-book and Amazon
- Upcoming Signings and Events
- Ordering information
Thank you all once again for coming out to support me during the D&SS Book Launch! I had a great time seeing everyone. Here’s a few photos for the sake of nostalgia.
Several of you have asked about the e-book version, when Amazon will ship, doing reviews, what if I want another book, when will the book be in stores, what’s next, etc.
- Amazon should be shipping the books pre-ordered through their website by the end of this month.
- When reviews are able to be posted onto Amazon, you can be SURE that I will be letting you all know!
- The Ebook will be available on September 28th!
- You can still order books through me by using the Paypal links below or on the Homepage of my website. These can be picked up at 1st Pres (Dothan) or Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic.
- Since last Saturday was technically a “Soft Launch,” D&SS will show up in select stores over the next several months.
As far as what’s next: I currently have a couple speaking engagements, magazine appearances, a TV interview, and a couple book signings I’m lining up. I’ll be placing an event calendar on the site for anyone who is interested in finding out where I’ll pop up next. Hecklers are welcome.
To purchase Daniel and the Sun Sword…
Single Copy: $15.00+tax
Mr. CGP Grey has done it again and created another hilarious video about The Lord of the Rings. This time, he gives us the low-down on what the big deal is with the One Ring anyway. Click on the video below and enjoy!
Also, don’t forget to sign up for my Newsletter. There’s some exciting news coming soon!
The picture of the One Ring: By Jorge Arimany (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Ever wanted to know all the background stories to Lord of the Rings but didn’t have the guts to read The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales? Well, don’t despair! Here’s a link to a Youtube video that will give you the basics in FOUR minutes!
This is terrible that I am only sending this out now (3 days from the deadline), but I need your help!
Chase Financial is running a contest for small businesses to receive $150,000 grants. My publisher, Ellechor Media, is in the running, so please go vote!
Please click on the picture below to be directed to the site. It will literally take you 10 seconds.
Click on the link below to be taken to the LIVE Literary Fellowship.
Chapter 1: I’m Jackie Jones
My name is Jackie Jones, and I’m 13-years-old. I have two adoptive siblings, a mom, and a dad. I go to church. Go to school. Have friends.
You would think that I’m a normal, everyday kid, right?
But what if I said there was more to my life than what I’ve told you? What if I said I had secrets? Secrets that would change my life and other certain people’s lives forever? What if I said I knew stuff? Stuff that would put me and those certain people in danger? What if I said I was . . . an alien? Not from Canada, but from out of this world?
My name is Kenyundimensog, but you can call me Kenyun. My people are called the Sumis because my home planet is Sumania, which is something like twenty-five galaxies away from yours. In case you’ve never travelled through space, that’s ridiculously far away.
Why am I here? I was sent to your planet to retrieve an artifact one of our people stole. He’s a traitor to our kind, and he was my best friend. Oh, and he decided to hang out on your planet. Surprise! I hate to say this, but he is ten times more powerful than a normal human. Bummer, right? Even his name sounds terrifying. Kenyogalmenjink. Pretty horrible. But we called him Kenyo for short.
Kenyo was tired of Sumania. It’s a long story, but let’s just say he had some trouble with bullies and didn’t get along with the king. So what did he do? He snuck into the royal treasury and into a secret vault (which isn’t so secret anymore), and stole a huge crystal that had amazing powers to hold the planet together. Oh, and did I forget to mention the crystal also provided us with all the food, energy, and other supplies our planet needed? Well it did.
Not that Kenyo cared. He just grabbed the crystal, hopped onto an escape launcher, and punched in a destination for the farthest planet with life forms away from Sumania.
So that’s why I was sent. Because I was his closest friend and apparently everyone thought I could talk him into returning the crystal. Though they had to know I would end up battling him. Jerks.
And I didn’t have much choice. Without the artifact, our planet wouldn’t survive ten Earth years. Which isn’t very long. One year on our planet is thirty-and-a-half years on yours. Translation: Sumania had about three years to survive.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Kenyo found out I am here. Which is why I disguised myself as a boy named Jackie Jones and snuck myself into an orphanage to get adopted. It’s the perfect cover.
So now I’m stuck on some far-away planet without any help from my people. I guess I should count myself lucky for all my military training, though I can’t say I pictured myself using my skills on my best friend. The most support I get is a nightly pep-talk from the Sumanian ruler, King Domesicanesetical (or King D for short). It’s the same each time. My alarm goes off at midnight, I pull out some Dimensional Gel, squirt it on the ground, and a portal to Sumania opens up, revealing King D’s worried face.
“Don’t worry, King D. I’ll find the traitor and restore the planet to its former glory!” I assure him.
His panicked look tells me he doesn’t buy my confidence. “I wish I could say the same. I put all my faith into you. Do not fail us!”
“I won’t. I give my Sumanian Promise!” I say.
The king’s face turns purple. “You know what happens when you don’t fulfill a Sumanian Promise!” he yells. “The whole galaxy will blow up if you don’t fulfill that promise! That promise hasn’t been made in over a thousand years!” He starts sobbing.
An old superstition. But still, his panic almost had me convinced it was true.
“We’re dooooomed!” he cries as he fades away and the room goes dark. The gel oozes back into the bottle.
It’s nice to know he has such faith in me.
Chapter 2: The Fight
It had been two-and-a-half years since I landed on Earth before I’d found any trace of Kenyo. In case you haven’t been following, that meant my time was seriously running out. I was beginning to think I’d get to see if the whole Sumanian-Promise-galaxy-explosion thing was true. But that’s when my luck changed.
I was following a hunch I’d had after a gas station in Florida was attacked by a teenage boy with super-human strength and tentacles. After searching the area, I stumbled into an empty cave. There, in the ceiling, was the Sumanian crystal. It provided the only light, but it was strong enough to illuminate the whole cave, which looked about two miles long. Half of the cave’s floor was covered in water, and I could tell from the way it bubbled and churned that it was full of sea life.
I found Kenyo sleeping in a shack at the water’s edge. I pulled out my sword and prepared to chop off his head when he snapped awake.
With one swift motion, he slapped the weapon out of my hand and put me in a headlock. One twist and he would have killed me. I elbowed him hard in the stomach, and he bent over groaning.
There was my chance!
I slipped out of his arms and grabbed my sword, turned, and swung. He dodged it too late, and I grazed his ear and the side of his face. It was a small wound, but I could tell he was furious. He wiped away the blood and balled up his fists.
Then the unexpected happened.
A tentacle flew out of his side right under his ribs and wrapped around me. It lifted me up three feet off the ground. Another tentacle came squirming out of his other side, snaked toward my face, and poked me in the eye.
How dare he!
And then it slapped me. Then again. And again. And again. This went on for about five minutes as Kenyo rolled on the floor in laughter.
Finally, I was able to twist my sword arm free and slash at the tentacles. They fell to the floor and wriggled around for a few seconds before falling still. Kenyo screamed in agony and anger as I circled him, my back to the water.
Before I could make another attack, he whistled. The water behind me erupted. A shark the size of a whale burst from its surface and sank its teeth into my leg as its bulky, torpedo-shaped body slid back into the depths. I fell to the ground as it pulled me with it. Once in the water, I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance. Ignoring the blinding pain, I twisted and swung my sword around like crazy. The shark’s skin was so tough I barely made a scratch on its nose, but it was enough. Its teeth loosened, and I flung myself away from the water just as the shark disappeared beneath the surface. I made sure I was out of reach, and then turned to face Kenypo once more. That’s when I realized he was escaping, the crystal in tow behind him by a rope.
I jumped to my feet and ran as fast as I could, quickly catching up thanks to the huge crystal slowing him down. I swung by swung my sword at him, but he dodged. Then I did the next thing that came to my mind.
“Kenyo! The King!” I yelled. “The King has come for us. He’s right there!” I pointed to the other side of the crystal. He realized it was a silly trick, but his hesitation was all I needed. I slashed at the rope with my sword, and it snapped in two. Then I slashed at his leg. Kenyo dropped to the ground, clutching his thigh where I’d nick him. In one quick motion, I pulled out the bottle of Dimensional Gel and emptied the entire thing. The portal to King D flew open. He was very surprised to see me, as you can imagine, but before he could say anything, I shoved the crystal through. There was an ear-splitting cracking sound as the edges of the portal stretched to their limit. Then finally, with a blinding blast of energy, it squeezed through. The blast knocked me backwards so hard I hit my head on the floor. I was barely aware of the portal and the crystal disappearing completely. Before I blacked out, I saw Kenyo’s form standing over me. I swung my sword wildly and felt it make contact. The last thing I remembered was Kenyo collapsing to the ground next to me.
I woke up in a hospital bed, but it wasn’t on Earth—I was home! I sat up and was surprised by the darkness of the room. The only light was a dim lamp by my bed. Then the lights popped on and the King, his guards, and my Sumis family were in the room with an Earth cake and a bunch of sodas (how did they know?). I looked at the window and saw a crowd standing around the hospital. The next two weeks was nothing but celebration for my saving the galaxy.
I never found out what happened to Kenyo. Maybe he died. Maybe he didn’t. But since we got our crystal back, I guess he’s your problem now.
If you are an alien and want to chat about my Earth experience, just send a message to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The sequel to this book will be coming out Neveruary 32, 2014. Bye!
The writing contest is now officially closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted!
Over the next week, I’ll be reading the entries. Winners in each category will have their manuscript returned with suggestions for edits prior to the submission being posted up on my website. I’ll also give some less detailed editorial suggestions to those who didn’t win as a way of saying thanks for entering.
While I wait for Daniel and the Sun Sword to hit the presses NEXT SUMMER, I’ve been working on the second book in the Sons and Daughters series, and I recently hit the 100-page mark! For some reason that’s always been a major milestone for me. So…Huzzah!
On a different note, I’ve had several people ask about the publishing process in general. It’s quite fascinating, really. That is, if you love learning about how millions of people subject themselves to cruelly slow tortures devised by the literary industry. Here’s a break-down for those who can stomach it:
Some people (like yours truly) skipped the literary agent steps and submitted straight to publishers. And I have to say, Ellechor was awesome and quick getting back with me, but that has been the exception, in my experience. If you’re interested in those big NY publishing houses, don’t even think about submitting your book unless you have an agent. They’ve exiled writers to the moon for less. I swear.
So there you have it. Throw in a few racks, thumb-screws, and public burnings, and you’ve got the picture. But despite all that…it’s worth it!
Writers are crazy.
Oh yeah, and just so the title of this post is accurate: I have some stupid slugs in my garden. There.
So far, I’ve had several AWESOME people make several AWESOME submissions to my AWESOME writing contest!
But it’s not too late. If you’re a 6th grader, high-schooler, or college student and you’re about to BURST with a story of your own, submit it for consideration.
It can be a short story or the first chapter of a book (15 pages or less) from any genre of fiction or non-fiction. A winner from each age group will receive a written critique of their story, and will have the edited version of their work posted on my website.
There is no cost for submission, and the deadline is May 23rd. See my website for more details.
CONTEST GUIDELINES: If you’re a middle schooler, high schooler, or college student and a writer, here’s your chance to shine. Sign up to follow my blog at http://www.nathanlumbatis.com, and then send me an email at email@example.com letting me know you are registering for the contest.
RULES: Submit a short story or the first chapter from your manuscript (app. first 15 pages or less) by email on or before May 23rd. Most genres are welcome, but any inappropriate material (gore, sexually explicit themes/scenes, etc.) will automatically disqualify the entry.
WINNERS: The best three entries will be chosen as winners: one from middle school, one from high school, and one from college. They will then receive a written critique of their entry, and the edited version of their work will be posted on my website and social networking profiles.
“When did I start on this path?”
Do you ever ask yourself that question? It’s something I’ve thought about a lot. When did I first know I wanted to marry my wife? When did I realize I wanted to become a counselor? When did I begin to love writing?
For you, the questions might be different, but they’re worth reflection. It’ll give you insight into how God has orchestrated your life: led you, pushed you, given you reign, or smacked you upside the head. The flip-side? It’ll encourage you for the future. Confused about something in your life? Not sure how all the pieces will fit together? Wait and watch. See how God will use it. Life is like a mystery story where every detail is there for a reason.
I remember when I really started on the path to writing. I didn’t know what it would come to in the end (and still don’t, if I’m being entirely honest). But it all began when I was homeschooling as a teenager. Nearly every day, my sister and I would hurry to finish our lessons so we could go exploring. The eastern fork of the Choctawhatchee River ran behind my house, and the sloping, wooded river basin was the perfect place to get lost, forget about the real world, and set up camp underneath an ancient beech tree. It was ideal for a little writing. And great inspiration for story-scenes and maps, which every fantasy author knows is a must.
What about your story? Your gifts? Your abilities? Already figured out how God will use them in your life, or are you still waiting to bloom? Just give it time. It is spring, after all.
Today, I am the featured blogger on Mikelyn Bolden’s website. For those of you who don’t know, Mikelyn is a fellow Dothan writer, and is the author of The Waiz Chronicles. I’ve posted my article below, but click on her photo to head on over to her website.
The stories we tell come from our hearts, or, are at least derived from our own grid of thinking. My fellow author and friend, Nathan Lumbatis, recently signed with Ellechor Publishing and will be releasing his first novel in the summer of 2015. He chose a more specific genre to tell his tale. See his reasoning and get a sneak peak of his book below:
Christian fantasy is interested in the “What if?” It presumes a Christian worldview, but then lets the imagination run wild.
What if you and your siblings discover that a musty wardrobe will transport you to a magical world where animals talk, magicians are fallen stars, and a Wild Lion is willing to sacrifice himself for your brother?
What if you find yourself stumbling through the tombs of Anak, desperately trying to solve the mystery behind a sinister family and the treasure it’s hoarding?
What if the Ancient One gave you gifts of prophecy and wisdom to lead a nation to greatness through your protege Arthur Pendragon?
Many of you may recognize these story lines from The Chronicles of Narnia (Lewis), The Tombs of Anak (Peretti), and Merlin (Lawhead). They all have Christian themes, but if we’re honest, it’s the way those themes are interwoven with the mythological and supernatural that give them such strong appeal.
In my novel, Daniel and the Sun Sword (Summer 2015), the main character is thrust into a world where Christianity and mythology intersect. The plot presumes that the myths of the world were born from mankind’s fleeting glimpses into the battle between God and Satan. In this, the first book of the Sons and Daughters series, Daniel and his two friends are transported to Machu Picchu, Peru, where they find that the gods and monsters of Incan legend are alive and kicking. . . or so it seems. An ancient deity known simply as the Father adopts him as his son, and sets him on a quest to unite the shards of a magical sword. But when that quest pits him against the “god” of the underworld, Daniel discovers he isn’t simply battling for a sword of legend. He’s partaking in an ancient battle between Life and Death and the supernatural forces behind them. There may be more to his Heavenly Father than he first realized.
With the success of series like Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Kane Chronicles, mythology is in the forefront of teen literature. The “What if?” of Daniel and the Sun Sword takes that interest and focuses it on the Gospel.
What is your favorite “What if”? If you’re a writer, what “What ifs?” could you weave into your next story?
Whenever I talk to kids and teenagers about writing, there are usually three questions that come up. How long have you been writing? What made you want to be an author? How do you get published? The first two questions are easy to answer; and let’s face it, people only ask them to be polite. (Since I was 14 and because it’s fun. There, I answered them).
People are really interested in the last one. For an author, to be published means a lot of things. Recognition. Encouragement. Relief. Relief most of all. Relief that all the creativity swirling around in your head, and all the effort it took to craft it into something real, wasn’t for nothing. So on to what matters: how kids and teenagers can get published.
So, my publication date has been pushed from November 2014 to the summer 2015.
At first I was all…
But then, I was like…
Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing after all. The marketing people from Ellechor have begun putting together my marketing package, and it’s enough to keep me busy for some time. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say answering all 100, 000, 000 questions for the author interview, compiling book-tour blog sites, and creating online profiles has been a bit overwhelming.
I also just finished the outline for the second book in the Sons and Daughters series…51 pages of notes, plots, subplots, and budding dialogue. I had always planned on finishing the novel before Daniel and the Sun Sword came out in November, but that deadline was starting to look unrealistic. It took me about 8 months to write the first novel, and then several months of editing. How was I going to do that while editing and marketing the first one? Not to mention being a husband, dad, working full time, whine, whine, whine. You get the picture.
Now, however, I’ll have plenty of time to work on marketing the first novel, finish the second, submit it for publication, and do all the other things my life requires.
Now, I’m all…
(You can’t tell from the photo, but I have on my “I’m content” face).
Ben has the life Daniel always wanted. You know–parents, a nice house, Mp3 players, tricked-out bikes. All the normal kid stuff. But when he decides to help Daniel escape from his adoptive family, he begins to learn the real world is way creepier than he thought.
Inspiration is the core of anything we create. And it can come from anywhere: a song, sunset, movie, or maybe a particularly comforting time with God. Nature has always been very inspiring to me.
This adventure inspired me to write a will.
In case you’re wondering, I survived.
I’ve also been especially influenced by Greek mythology, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, and more contemporary writers like Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling. Knowing what inspires you is one of the keys to writing. Why? If you don’t know what’s sparking your creativity, you will subconsciously become a creative copycat, punching out drab, hand-me-down stories that don’t grab people and pull them in. It’s like those Disney knock-off movies you see in the gas station. Who buys those things anyway?
If, on the other hand, you know what influences and drives your own creative development, you’ll be able to find a unique voice all your own. You’ll create something that contains elements of your inspiration, but is distinct enough to be relevant and worthy of attention.
If you’re a writer or artist, let me hear from you. What inspires you to create?