Where do we begin?
Do I start with the question; Why am I doing this? Or do I answer; Where is this project leading? First. Then again, where do I want these books to take me in the future? What is it I actually wish to accomplish? … I do a lot of thinking, especially when cooking or on long car rides. This evening, after I cooked up some INcredible tomato soup, I decided to address such questions on this page. I have a feeling this article is going to be my biggest post yet, so grab yourself a drink before you start reading, stick on your favourite playlist and have all the most popular questions I’ve been getting (so far) from you over the last few months, answered! If after reading you wish to ask a question or would like a topic covered in a future post, by all means e-mail me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet me @MegasTeque or find me on Facebook as Duncan’Teque’Gill, and I will get back to you when I can. So, sit back and enjoy the article ‘The New Epic Fantasy.’
What does TAO mean? – TAO is short for ‘The Ancestral Odyssey.’ Because I am the author it goes without saying that I am the TAO Scribe. The Tao Tome is my e-mail inbox. I do have a separate e-mail address for everything none related to this book, some of you may already have it, but unless you know me personally, this is indeed personal. Having a separate inbox helps me keep everything in order because these inboxes get full pretty damn quickly. I can spend a good hour just deleting junk, e-mailing back or reading e-mails before I have even gotten started on the actual work part. When I sit down to write, I open up my Amazon Page, my YouTube Channel, my WordPress and Inbox, and try to either improve or add to the content relating to this project. I never sit down and do nothing, not anymore, at least one thing has to be done before I get distracted or fall asleep at my keyboard after working two jobs…Its happened before.
How long has this taken to write? – This is a tricky one to answer, it is hard to pin point the exact time I started. I think I answered this question in the article ‘A Project Fueled by Tea,’ so if I am repeating myself, I do apologise but I’ll go over it in more detail again for you here, because I am nice like that…Originally, I never had plans to write a book, the beginning is hazy to say the least. I wrote my first sentence of Book One back when I was in the first year of University, in October 2007, I even clocked it at 9:15pm, while everyone was out getting hammered, having a good time and running off with the opposite sex, I was cooped up writing, at least for the most part. One could argue that it started back in 2006 during the time of my College Exhibition, where I presented ‘Seeds of War’ (now ‘Seeds of War’ is actually the third in the series). It can also be argued that it started a little bit before College when I was 16 back in the summer of 2003, where all I had, was a bunch of drawings and some notes which was poorly written and appallingly drawn. Whenever someone asks me this question now, I kind of freeze on the spot for a moment or two, recollecting every memory from 16 to 28, summing up how long I have with this person? How long before he or she gets bored or when the eyes will start to glaze over. Usually, I say it’s taken about twelve years in total so far, four years of research/designing and 8 years of actual writing. Bare in mind, I finished the ‘The Utopian Dream’ (which was once called ‘The Perfect World’) back in 2011, it went through half a dozen re-writes, rejections, I had to cope with illness, failed relationships, family issues, social events all of which prolongs the amount of time taken to get to the stage where I am now, published and working on the sequels. In short, its been about twelve years.
Why should you read my books? – You don’t have to. If you do not want to read it, that is totally fine, of course I would appreciate the read and review but at the end of the day, it is down to you. I will admit I am not the best writer out there and I am positive other people’s works are just as if not more powerful and mesmerizing than mine. There is plenty out there to keep you busy for an infinite amount of lifetimes, mine is just another fish in the great ocean of literature, but please do not write mine off because I am new to this business, or because you feel like you are wasting your time, because you aren’t. If you read a fair portion and find out that it is not for you, by all means throw it back in the sea and reel in another until you find that book you will cling to and cuddle at night, at least you have a leg to stand on when I write you an angry letter for not liking mine. (I’m not really going to write you an angry letter) We all have to start somewhere and that goes for EVERYONE including your authors that you retreat to every now and again. There are aspects of my work that could be improved upon no doubt, but I will never know what they are unless it is picked up by someone like you, who is willing to tell me in a constructive manner about them. This is the reason I am easy to get into contact with, as stated in each and every post I put up you can find my e-mail, and Twitter.
Volume One is my first and worst attempt, it leads to Volumes Two and Three which have been written and are on the way, (Volume Two in June or July, Volume Three in September or December) I hope to improve my writing by listening to constructive criticism given through the results of the first project. As the story progresses, so will the quality, and believe me when I say that this adventure does progress and escalate to a place you will not begin to fathom. Why should you read my book? I’ll tell you…Because I am attempting the impossible! Throughout this project, I’ve forever been told that nothing is original, that everything has been done before to some degree or another. I am setting out to prove you and everyone else otherwise. Maybe I will fail in this task, maybe I will fall short or not meet your expectations, but at the very least I am willing to try to deliver something fresh. Reading ‘The Utopian Dream,’ Volumes One, Two and Three, I will openly agree that it may remind you of other famous books, films or games for that matter, but The Utopian Dream is a small piece of what is to come, it is a fraction of what you are to see and experience. Yes, Book One has a massive character list, an open world, majestic moments and some big action sequences that will blow your mind! But I sit back, I smile and think to myself…”You haven’t seen anything yet! You have no idea what epic is.” I want to re-define the word epic through my books, I am willing to try at least to set a new standard.
What is Mythorgin? – For those of you who do not know me personally, you may be thinking; What the!? This question is more for my closest friends, but let me explain, pay attention because it gets a little complicated from here on. You may want to refill your beverage or grab yourself a sandwich, I hear banana and tuna is considered brain food so load up my friends load up…’The Ancestral Odyssey’ is huge. I am writing FIVE books, each book is made up of THREE Volumes and a Volume is a little bigger than a standard book. If you are good at maths (I am not) then you have just worked out that I am writing FIFTEEN Volumes! Three of which are pretty much done, leaving me TWELVE to get through in my lifetime. Book One, ‘The Utopian Dream,’ Volume One, Two and Three will be released this year in 2016. It starts off in the year of 1512 The Fourth Age of Equis, this is explained to the reader in the History and Prophecy section of Volume One. Think of The Mythorigin as Equis’s dark ages, a somewhat unrecorded segment of history that happened a thousand years BEFORE the events of ‘The Utopian Dream.’ If you have read a fair amount of Volume One, you will know that Equis has a selection of myths. Without spoiling too much, I’ll list out a few of these myths…There is an Imp myth, a Witch myth, a Vampire myth and a Druid myth. At this point there are seven myths scattered throughout The Mythorigin timeline, myths that are being developed as I write. These myths appear throughout ‘The Ancestral Odyssey’ but aren’t gone into much detail or explored that well, they are simply there to give the present story weight and depth, that Equis is a character in itself shaped by those who set foot upon it. During the story, readers may want to know more about such mythical beings, and you will know more about them as the adventure progresses, but I’ve gone one step further and I promise to give you a series of seven short stories, telling the story of such myths. The series of seven (could stretch to 8 or 9 but for now it is 7) will be titled ‘Mythorigin.’
What is the environmental project? – I did say on my Facebook Page upon the release of Volume One on the 14th April, that some of the profits made would go towards an environmental project I have in the works. I haven’t been brought up about this, not until very recently, so I guess it is time to share with you some of the details regarding this separate project. I’d say I am an environmentalist, I do care about the condition of our planet. Human beings are reeking havoc across planet Earth, whether it be through war, greed or one of many other reasons. We are endangering and destroying everything we come into contact with, our oceans, our countryside, the wildlife even the air we breath is under threat, you name it we have a hand in it. If we keep going the way we are, then there will be nothing left to admire, nothing left to wonder about and will make things extremely difficult for ourselves and our children’s children. As I sit here in my little box room in Oxford, I like to think that there are Elephants, Tigers, Polar Bears, Whales, Lions (anything wild) wandering free in their natural habitats, safe from destruction, safe from the developing world and poachers. I like to think that there is an unexplored forest out there, or a plain of earth untouched by Humans. We do live in a fascinating world, one I feel is worth fighting for, lets keep it that way and do what we can to preserve it, not just for ourselves but for the animals and future generations. I love to write, it is something I cannot go without, if I can make a penny while doing it, if I can support myself through writing, then I would have achieved a lifestyle to be proud of, however I also feel like it is so important to maintaining the green in this world, to help preserve and protect the world in which we live in. Anyone who is artistically gifted, anyone who is creative in any way shape or form, I think should dedicate some of their time to help raise awareness of our disappearing wilderness and take a step to making it a little better. If any of you for that matter, find yourselves in a position to donate to organisations set up to maintain nature, please do so and donate…In my case, had it not been for my parents, the wild countryside, the acre’s of field around our home in Pembrokeshire, would probably be a car park or a supermarket by now, but because they stood up and fought countless battles, my mother literally battling a steam roller with (ironically) a rolling-pin on the lane outside our home, they were able to preserve it and all the inhabitants therein. There is still plenty of field to plant trees on, with the money I make throughout this project, I wish to aid my folks rebuild an ancient British woodland. More of this will be talked upon in future posts, but for now this is the plan, and I want to help.
What do you wish to achieve? – Without detailing reasons I’ve already gone into, what I plan to achieve is pretty simple yet fiendishly complicated at the same time, and very ambitious. The title of this article is ‘The New Fantasy Epic,’ the clue to the answer to this question, is in the title. I want to bring something new to the table, I want to show you something you’ve never seen before. I want to exhaust readers with drama, excitement, tension and sequences that truly encapsulate people’s minds. I want to create something that stands out, something that is in a league of its own. I believe I can do that, I believe I am onto something fresh and unique, I also believe I am good at what I do. Volume One, Two and Three is a good opening, it builds the stage, allows readers to get a sense of this world of Equis and introduces them to a number of well thought out, charismatic characters on both sides, of protagonist and antagonist. After having wrote it, after reading it and editing it so many times myself, it doesn’t go beyond, it does not nearly get to the level of epic I am wanting to achieve and I wrote it this way for a reason. I still have plenty to say and other messages to convey, I have so many more ideas, plots, twists and turns it would be silly to include them into the very first Volume of the very first book. As I said in ‘The Notebook’ article, allow your ideas to grow, allow them time to evolve and spread them out. In answer to this question in short, I want to write an epic fantasy book that really does take things to a whole new level, while in keeping with the tone, the current theme conveyed through by characters you care about. It is ambitious, but I want to try.
What is it about? – By far the most common and hardest question to answer. When people first meet me, after that brief introduction that we are all familiar with, the most predictable questions usually follow in the conversation; What are you into? What do you do in your spare time? What do you do for fun? What are you interested in? These questions fired at me inevitably all lead to my book, because if I try (and believe me I’ve tried) to NOT mention my book, I come across as painfully boring, dishonest like I am hiding something massive, and a little bit weird. Because I am attempting to rebuild my shattered social life, I do not want to come across as that creep who keeps to himself and could potentially be a psychopath when not outside the confides of his house, so I have learned the hard way that it is worth mentioning, that I am working on something, that I am into fantasy, that I am writing books. I tend to keep the chatter about my book work at a minimum, because the moment someone asks me a question I could and have done talked for hours about it, so I attempt to keep it short and sweet. Almost every time the person I am talking to who finds out I am writing something, will ask; What is it about? … From here I take a deep breath, pinch the top of my nose and list through the number of responses I have in my head, a bit like that scene in the film ‘The Terminator,’ where that guy knocks on Terminators door asking “Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?” If you know what I am talking about the answer is no, I have never given such a rude response, but have thought about it. For those of you who have not seen the very first Terminator film made in the 80s, I suggest you do so, in my opinion it is far better than the most recent Terminator movies…Anyway, back on topic; What is TAO about? HOW can I answer this question briefly? Where do I begin? Do I go back to the summer of 2003? Do I start at College or University? Shall I talk about what one of the books is about or do I go over the lot? All these questions run through my head the moment I am asked this dreaded question. You’d think I’d have this question nailed by now after having twelve years to think on it, and I have improved, but sometimes I do ramble on or recite some of the synopsis of Book One (which doesn’t come across as natural in real life) or overly describe the story that I turn the person off completely, because I choke on all the characters stories, the intricate plots, clever twists and massive action sequences. I guess all you need to know so far is that each Episode has its own message to convey, and ‘The Utopian Dreams’ message is one of finding purpose, preparing for change, adapting to a new way of life on both a personal level and world-wide.
Where is this project leading? – I do this because I love doing it. I do this because I feel it is a story worth telling and is somewhat different to anything else out there. Of course there is no way I can be 100% sure of this, because there is a great deal in print out there, but with what I have planned for the Odyssey, I doubt very much so that anything else will touch upon what I hope to address in my books. As said in my trailer which can be viewed on YouTube, (simply search for The Ancestral Odyssey The Utopian Dream Promotional Trailer) “Nothing is ever what it seems.” This project, for me is leading toward a future, I very much hope that it will one day put bread on the table, pay for the roof over my head, fund this environmental project and so on. Currently the book is selling rather well, I recently had a promotion on, it was free for a whole day and thirty plus people scooped it up, for that I am so grateful. There is not a better feeling than knowing people are reading, enjoying and talking about my work. Even if this project does not lift off, even if it is not as successful as I hope it to be, I will still write it, I will still work hard on it and I will still aim to give readers quality and not trash. At the end of the Odyssey, I would have delivered to you five epic fantasy books spread over fifteen volumes entitled ‘The Ancestral Odyssey.’ I also would have given you the chance to look into the past of Equis and indulge in a series of short stories under the title of ‘Mythorigin.’ Throughout this long process of writing quality books, I would like create an ancient British woodland, do a spot more travelling, help others and live a life worth living, in order to do that, I need your help and support.
…I am aware that some details over the course of time may change, I will be sure to keep you posted on such changes to avoid any confusion. Thank you for the questions, if you asked a question and it does not appear here, check out my earlier posts, maybe it is answered in an exert or two prior to this article. Feel free to ask more questions, I will store them and save them for a future post. I hope you have enjoyed what you have read, as always it is greatly appreciated as goes for each copy I sell on Amazon. A Paperback is in the works but for now ‘The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream – Volume One,’ is only available for your Kindle device. Thanks again and keep an eye out for the next article. At this point I think it will be about the fantasy genre, I will go into details as to why I chose it and why I think it is the best genre to work in, or I will talk about my experiences with character developments, either way an article will be with you shortly.