Marketing and promoting your own work is a full time job in itself. Because of finances (or lack of) and combined with a determination to learn to do things myself, I have been trudging through the promotional process for The Chronicles of Era. Era is a work of epic proportions and I’ve found its hard to distill it down to one or two sentences. Another approach in promotion is the “X meets Y”. You see these all the time, and even as fan art: Kylo Ren and Darth Vader as Calvin and Hobbes, steampunk versions, gender/race switching. This has not been a help for Era either, its so hard to boil it down to something so simple.
What I can do is say what inspires me, and those things have contributed to making the sprawling work of Era. If I found interest in it, it probably found its way into this fantasy playground. So, while I can’t say it “this mashed up with that”, or saying “It’s an epic battle between an oppressive empire and a rebellious faction” seems too simple (as well as confusing it with other properties), I can say, “Hey, I really love Princess Mononoke, so maybe you’d like my GN, The Chronicles of Era.”
Joseph Campbell–I was introduced to Campbell midway through Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba. I had probably been introduced to him earlier, but it wasn’t until I saw “The Power of Myth” with pictures of Star Wars that made me open it up, and boy am I glad I did. It really jumpstarted my interest in mythology, opened by mind to other concepts like cultural diversity and anthropology…all because some guy made comparisons with Star Wars.
Dune by Frank Herbert–I am actually listening to the audio books of Dune again. Dune may have also led to my interest in Joseph Campbell by exploring cultures and the interrelationship of people and the environment. I was fascinated by the concepts of perfections of the human body, of the training of the Bene Gesserit or Mentats to analyze data and the most minute of details, the concepts of prophecy.
Memory, Sorrow Thorn Trilogy by Tad Williams–I tried Lord of the Rings. I’m sorry….but I got through it once, and that was enough. I read books about LOTR (like Tolkien’s Ring, by David Day and illustrated by Alan Lee–another huge inspiration, btw), and I love the movies, but I just couldn’t get into it. It has been argued that Memory Sorrow Thorn is a lot like LOTR, but Tad Williams’ writing captivated me in a way that Tolkien just didn’t reach…and that’s okay. The distinctiveness of the different nations and cultures–and how they feel familiar to cultures in our own world/history, like the Norse, Celts, Christianity, Japan and Indigenous People–mixed with a sprawling adventure motivated by characters with very real feelings, ambitions and weaknesses, make this one of a handful of books that I have read multiple times (I think I’m up to 5 times now, FYI).
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn–Quinn opened up more ideas in the way the Joseph Campbell did, but with a focus on anthropology and the cultural motivations of a group of people. I had the inkling of the concepts of Leavers versus Takers, but Quinn expanded on it and brought it into sharp focus. In my TCOE there was a dominating empire that had an ambition to command, versus smaller pockets of people that did not see the world as their enemy, something to be commanded, but books like Ishmael and Story of B helped to refine the idea, and helped to understand that our cultures have a mind of their own and they whisper in our ears from birth, and we aren’t even aware of it.
Princess Mononoke–really, Miyazaki’s films are sort of a combination of all the previous inspirations. I was especially taken with Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, and Nausicca: Valley of the Wind. Worlds of gods and spirits, of ancient, lost empires, steampunk flying machines and robots and the conflict of those that treat nature and the world as their enemy, and those that are friends to the world.
These are just a few of the inspirations to The Chronicles of Era.
The Indiegogo campaign for Book 2 of The Chronicles of Era is running now, with only 12 days left (ending February 29, 2016). If you loved any of these compelling films and books, then Era might be of interest to you.
The Chronicles of Era follows 3 youths–Seth, Sidrich and Caitleth–as they are caught between the escalating conflicts of the Illiam Imperium and the rustic Joshian Nation. After a serious fit, Seth’s prophetic dreams have caught the attention of the people and they travel from far and wide to hear about the visions of the Wild Seer. Meanwhile, Caitleth came in search of adventures like in her fanciful novels, but she has begun to see the stain beneath the pious missionaries brought to assimilate the Joshian Nation. Seth and Caitleth will have one last opportunity to escape destruction as the two nations collide in a destructive conflict, but they will have to travel into unexplored lands far beyond, into a world lost to time and myth.
Books 1 & 2 of The Chronicles of Era are available now Indiegogo.
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