January 29, 2008

San Diego Local Author Exhibit!
More Character Discussion Series!
Amazon.com Name-the-Prince Contest!

Three items this week, Reader. First, I was fortunate enough to be recognized at the Local Author's Exhibit at the San Diego Public Library. San Diego is certainly a first-class city and honors and encourages its local authors annually. If you happen to be in the San Diego area, be sure to check out the fantastic array of works that were published by local authors. Many books are on display and copies are available for checkout.



Second, we'll talk about Malluk. His name is pronounced Malluk (MAL-uck) Dominer (DOM-en-er). Every story needs to have a bad guy, and every protagonist needs an antagonist. I had imagined this character for quite some time and attempted to bring to life a sort of "medieval sniper." I wanted to convey that in this world that I had created, a model of "Industrial Renaissance" existed. A world where one would find DaVinci-esque simple machines alongside what one would typically associate with the fantasy genre. Malluk's crossbow is a perfect example.

The crossbow is not an uncommon weapon in this world, but it is the combination of the unique physical qualities of Malluk's crossbow and the skill with which he uses it that makes it so special. It is enhanced with a series of gears and pulleys that enact additional force upon the string and, ultimately, greatly increase the range and power of the weapon. This also requires the weapon to be used with a scope. Couple this with Malluk's knowledge of physics, and ballistics in particular, and it's easy to see why he is so feared in the kingdom.

Malluk is a character that isn't blatantly evil-at least not yet. He doesn't do wrong just for the sake of expediency or for purely selfish motives. Like all of us, he is given a series of choices. Unfortunately, he is driven by the twisted memory of his abusive father and the perceived obligation to fulfill some sort of destiny worthy of his lofty name. Because of these, he consistently makes the wrong decision and he finds himself spiraling downward into madness.

Lastly, I want to fill you all in on a contest that is running on an Amazon thread. It is found in the "Fantasy Forum" area and is called, "Name a Character and Win a Free Book!" I am asking for names to be submitted for the Infant Prince. The winner will receive a free signed first edition copy of Pajo (mailed anywhere in the world) and the name chosen will be used for the rest of the series! The contest will run until February 22, 2008 (Wonder-Con 2008). So far I've received 16 excellent names, but there is still three weeks to go! A link to the forum can be found here.

That's all for now, Reader. Take care and keep reading!

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