It’s been a hectic time for me. There’s the possibility of a second book, who I want to publish it, research on a massive scale, and facing up to the fact that my job is not as fulfilling in regards to money or satisfaction. I’m making some changes, and when they pan out I’ll be informing all of you. Thanks for sticking with me this long.
In Sefiros Eishi, protagonist Mykel’s weapon of choice is twin khatars. Its inspiration came from the katar, a weapon of ancient Indian origin. On this side of the world, people know it as the weapons wielded by Voldo, a character in the Soul Edge series of fighting video games.
At first glance, these weapons look nothing more than a big knife mounted on some primitive arm brace. But the most famous variation of the katar is the weapon where the main blade splits into three blades a la the claws of Marvel’s Wolverine. Very cool.
This is a picture of actual katars.
This is a picture of the aforementioned Voldo of the Soul Edge series, wielding a set of the triple-bladed katar.
The katar is a punching and stabbing weapon, but its uses go far beyond that. The triple-bladed katars excelled in catching and deflecting other weapons. Ancient Indian warriors were armed with katars with both hands, making Indians proficient dual-wielding opponents. That meant they could use one katar to defend and one to attack. They were never out of combat options on the battlefield. The katar is one of the reasons that made Indians the deadliest warriors of their era.
Now I have a little confession to make. Mykel’s primary khatar Ifirit is not actually a katar at all. It is more of a bladed gauntlet. When I wrote Mykel’s combat scenes, I always pictured the gauntlet-fingers compressed together, forming a knife-blade of sorts. That way Ifirit is both a glove and blade at any one time. It may be skirting the definition of the katar weapon, but in my book, the khatar and the katar are distant cousins.
I don’t know why the katar appeals to me. I just fell in love with the design on Soul Edge. The early pics of the Sefiros character had Wolverine’s claws mounted on both hands. But all that changed when I was given a sketch of Sefiros’ ultimate armor (think of the Super Saiyan transformations in Dragon Ball Z) by my good friend Matt Perlot (who also designed Sefiros Eishi: Chased By Flame’s cover) that everything changed. I fell in love all over again. This Ifirit was sinister and powerful and deadly. It molded onto the character’s arm in an intimate and organic way. It was open, naked aggression, and when it came out you knew there was going to be hell to pay. No one had a chance against this weapon.
Thanks for reading.
As of today, a total of 47 Sefiros Eishi: Chased By Flame books have been sold. Thanks for the help, guys and girls (you know who you are).
Sorry for the delay. Here are pictures of the first product to carry on the Sefiros Eishi name: The Sefiros Eishi T-Shirts.
My mom and dad.
BUY MY BOOK — Sefiros Eishi: Chased By Flame — AT AMAZON.COM!
SERIOUSLY, BUY THE BOOK ALREADY!
Me and Dad
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 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.
I’ve been writing since I was six. But what I was writing could barely qualify as writing. My “stories” played out like a bad video game strategy guide. Slash enemy. Climb the wall. Meet the Boss. Kill the Boss. Move to Stage 2, etc. I would give my character a lightsaber and have at it with imaginary villains. This went on for a while.
Then I read Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World. Suddenly there was a cohesive whole, a harmonious structure that sang beautifully. It was the first time I realized that words could be elegant, that it was an orchestra flowing with meaning. There was more out there than my childish conceptions of writing. It challenged me to create something better out of my early work.
From thereon in, I was a Robert Jordan fan. I followed the model he laid out. I studied the nuances of his writing and incorporated it into my own. I realized I could take my perspective and translate it so that the general populace could understand. I still read Jordan’s Conan the Barbarian novels as warm-up for serious writing.
Sefiros Eishi: Chased By Flame is the pinnacle result of all my years of writing. It’s a labor of love that I’ve spent many a countless night on. If any of this has interested you, then you can order the book at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Thank you and good day.