The Future’s Twilight That Never Was

The first book Smoke & Mirrors took place on a medieval-era planet. I intended the second book Future’s Twilight to be about a dystopian future, but the story grew into a Star Trek-like formula (visiting planets themed after genres like Westerns & police procedurals). I’ve given thought into shoehorning a book all about the future, but that brings its own questions: can science fiction be science fiction when it’s telling a story about a realm the complete opposite of science fiction? What do you think?


Personal Milestone

I just finished reading A Memory of Light, the fourteenth book of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time book series. I’ve been meaning to finish the series for a while now; life has been in the way for a long time. Since Robert Jordan is what inspired me to write fantasy, I highly recommend Wheel of Time to any novice fantasy reader.

Jordan was incredible. He was able to take the smallest detail and make it into a story. Just reading his characters walked was a masterpiece. If I have a fraction of the talent Jordan had, I’ll be a lucky writer. Have fun reading.

Oh, and just for the record, you can buy my fantasy novel Sefiros Eishi: Chased By Flame at and The book focuses on the main characters who will have larger roles in future novels.


I’ve been thinking a lot of what Sefiros Eishi is, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I haven’t been specific about the story’s essential definition.

I started years ago when I first saw Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The transforming heroes just seemed cool to me, so I definitely wanted masked superheroes. But I also knew that I wanted to portray the morphing part as seriously as possible. I wanted to bring that part of Power Rangers to an adult audience. In order to do that, I had to slowly expose the morphing element slowly. That exposure came in the form of the Lynx villains and the Sutyr character.

But I had another problem. I didn’t want a fairy-tale fantasy. I wanted a medieval realm grounded in realism. I’m not George R.R. Martin (whose historical accuracy of medieval-era realms resulted in the Game of Thrones series), but reading him and others like him (Robert Jordan) inspired me to write my fantasy as real as possible. There are no dragons. There are thieves and warriors and lovers; pirates and queens and prostitutes, anything I could think of to make the characters grounded. I think I’ve done a good balancing act. Hopefully readers will see that.


Good News

I just signed up for a book event at a Barnes & Noble in Coral Springs from 2-4 PM. The address is at 2790 University Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065. If you could come (most likely book signing) or meet the author of Sefiros Eishi: Chased By Flame (I will be there), I would appreciate it.

Also, I finally got the Barnes and Noble at 333 North Congress Ave (Boynton Beach) to host two copies of Sefiros Eishi on their shelves in approximately two weeks. I know it’s a small number, but if they sell it will be an open door for more copies to be hosted.


The man named Lazarus is a war veteran-turned-librarian who spends his days collecting and distributing books.

But come on. Chased By Flame is fantasy. Nothing is what it seems.

Lazarus is a composite character in that his creation was inspired by multiple people. The first influence was my great-uncle Ralph Bergamo. He’s a tough, no-nonsense person with a dry sense of sarcasm (who also doesn’t take any crap from anyone). He’s also a top level black belt that has no problem crushing concrete with a karate chop. Once he commits to something, there’s no stopping him.

The second influence is the fictional character Auron from the Final Fantasy X video game. Auron is the quiet warrior archetype, filling in the mentor role for newer heroes like Tidus or Wakka. He doesn’t speak much and he never says more than necessary. He’s calm to a maddening degree, and his dedication towards protecting the summoner (a powerful sorceress whose job is to rid the land of the parasitic entity Sin) is steadfast even when that duty conflicts with the world’s other officials (clergy) and their agendas.

So Ralph Bergamo and Auron. One real, one not. Lazarus gets his toughness and sarcasm from Ralph and his maddening sense of tranquility from Auron. He’s a fun character to write about and I look forward to frustrating my readers with his tales. Thanks for reading.

The Solvicar

The religious warrior-priests known as the Solvicar are inspired by Robert Jordan’s Whitecloaks. The Solvicar’s real name translates as “Children of the Sun,” hence the Sol in their unofficial name : Sun — Solar power — Sol. A vicar is another name for priest, so Solvicar is a bastardized version of “priest of the sun.”

The early story was again inspired by the same formula that Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World novel: the running for your life, the semi-heavy religious order, the uncertainty of survival against overwhelming odds, and a lot of people wanting to kill you regardless of reason. I originally just needed an organization to shepherd the early story, but they grew beyond that purpose in future novels.

John Jekai was the foremost representative of the Solvicar order: religious to the point of obsession. Now this is archetypical of the corrupt clergy found so often in the role playing games I play, but I wanted to give readers more than just faceless zealotic cliches. But on the other hand, I wanted to keep a little mystery to tease Jekai’s nature. We know that Jekai is haunted by the death of his wife and child, and we know that he believes Mykel is the murderer. Yet there is no evidence that Mykel has killed anyone. He’s never gone outside his libraries. He’s never seen or met Jekai before, let alone his family.

There’s something else: Jekai uses magic. It’s odd, concerning his job is hunting wizards and witches. Not to mention he has an extreme disgust for magic. This hatred is yet to be explained, but it describes an interesting level of denial. This anatagonistic relationship is curbed by the bigger picture. Like so many enemies before them, Jekai and Mykel are forced to fight together against a superior foe: Sutyr. Not only is this a complete reversal of their relationship, it’s a way to make sure that both characters end up at the site for their ultimate showdown.

Jekai and the Solvicar were meant to be throwaway villains. But they grew as the story grew, as shown in future stories. You want to know how Jekai and the Vicars became what they did? You’ll have to wait for the second book for that.