As a writer, I hold one belief above all others to be divine truth. Great ideas don’t get lost in the shuffle. A lot of my fellow authors are all about writing down every idea they have so they won’t forget them. I don’t do that. Just because you have an idea doesn’t make it worth keeping or taking up space in a notebook. Great ideas stay locked in your brain and germinate until they’re ready to become the story they’re supposed to become.
That is sort of how my series Scrolls of Eternity came about. Twenty years ago or so, back when I thought I’d become a comic book artist I came up with the concept of a superhero based on Egyptian Mythology. I was nineteen or twenty at the time. Ever since I’d seen The Ten Commandments for the first time, I fell in love with Egypt and everything about it. The mystery of the land and its people was as intoxicating as the history of the place. Understand this was before History Channel, H2 and Discovery Channel had made watching documentaries about it a weekly five hour time suck. To find anything out, you had to — gasp — read books on the subject. As a result of all that reading, I knew my hero’s name would be Horus. I went to work on character sketches and developing the ins and outs of bringing Ancient Egypt into the modern world.
I actually penciled two full issues and got through inking most of it, but never truly finished. Here’s the thing about doing your own comics. Unless you have someone to work with and handle some of the writing, penciling and inking choirs, you burn yourself out quick. That’s exactly what happened. Horus, Son of Doom, or whatever silly title I had for it ended up sitting in a portfolio forever doomed to be hidden away. Every few years I’d stumble across it, and begin work anew with basically the same result. Burn out city.
So let’s fast forward ten, fifteen years. Remember what I said about great ideas never dying, well this is where that comes true. After writing Romance for six years, I was experiencing burn out city and decided to go in a different direction for a while. I’d just finished reading the Percy Jackson books and couldn’t help but note that every book dealing with mythology automatically drew on Greeks. I myself have nothing against Greek Mythology, but there’s more out there. The Norse. Egyptian. Funny Hair Dude off Ancient Aliens, so why did authors always limit themselves to one pantheon? Don’t ask me. I’m the one asking the questions here!
Where was I? Oh yes. A different direction. I wanted to return to my roots, I guess you could say. With superheroes all the rage, I wanted to pay homage to the heroes of my youth. So with the idea firmly in my head, I dusted off Horus and set forth to turn my drawings into a novel.
Pouring over the faded pencil lines and yellowed inks I realized most of the work lay behind me. I really did have storyboards telling most of the story already. True, my evolution as a writer showed me things that wouldn’t have worked on paper or on a computer screen, so those parts got cut or changed to fit modern times. Cus, really who still uses cell phones the size of compact cars anymore? Even with so much work done, I still had no clear idea of who Horus was in human form. I’d forgotten more about him than I remembered. That’s what fifteen years will do for you, but like I said, if it had been worth keeping, I WOULD have remembered it. So, Horus got rebooted as a teenager, and I even went so far as to base him on a friend’s son. It didn’t take long for me to find myself reliving the story I’d drawn over twenty years ago for the first time.
The mind is truly an amazing thing. Every part of what we’ve seen, experienced and essentially who we are is locked up inside our heads. As the words to Horus’ reimagining began to take shape, those memories of long ago came flowing from inside me. I had magically gone back to being a nineteen year old year again bent over my drawing board with the entire world ahead of me.
With the second book in the series finished and now waiting for eager readers to discover it, I hope the forty-five year old me, did justice to the dream that burned inside the twenty year old me. In some ways I know I did, but with age you lose that sense of wonderment. Oh, I’m not saying it’s not there anymore. I’m just saying when you’re young everything seems so all encompassing important and must be experienced now before the moment passes and is forever lost. I don’t think you can ever truly recapture that once you’ve ‘grown-up’, but since according to my wife, I never got around to growing up maybe some spark of that wonder still holds itself rooted to my heart. And! Just maybe when you read my Scrolls of Eternity, that awe inspiring sense of wonder will awaken inside you too. Then, we can all be the superheroes of our youthful dreaming.
Til next week, happy reading and if you decide to become that superhero, let me know. I’ll grab a towel out the cabinet and meet you flying in the skies above Metropolis.
Up, up and chimichanga!
Scrolls of Eternity
Desert Breeze Publishing
Scrolls of Eternity
Storms of Chaos