Origin of Brother

 brothers-cover3Readers might be surprised to learn that the birth of the Brother story came from my childhood and religious beliefs. I know that’s probably a creepy thing to say for those who read the book, but let me explain and I’ll preface it by saying that I had a normal childhood and I love my religion.

To start off, I have always been a voracious reader. My parents will attest that throughout my childhood I could be found with a book in my hands. During free time, car rides, when I was supposed to be sleeping, under my desk at school, while in detention, even while grounded.

As you probably noticed I had a strong obsession with reading. Now for the most part this wasn’t a problem, other than poor grades and lack of sleep that is. As far as anyone was concerned I was improving my literacy, expanding my perspective of the world, and obtaining knowledge.

Until I ran into the problem every voracious reader encounters and struggles with, lack of books. This may sound strange in the day and age of millions of ebooks online, many of them being free. But I didn’t have that technology; my only access to books was the local library, what my family bought for me, and what the school had. I could only go to the public library so often, gift-giving holidays only came around so often, and the school could only hold so many books and rarely changed them out.

But after running out of all the science fiction and fantasy books I stumbled upon a new genre, horror.

It was Welcome to Dead House by R.L. Stine, the first in his Goosebumps series. I absolutely loved it and was thrilled to learn there were dozens of books in the series. I became obsessed and vowed to read every one of them.

My mother became naturally concerned with my new found obsession. Instead of reading about warrior mice, dragons, wizards, and spaceships I was now elbow deep in ghosts, monsters, and talking dummies. She was worried that the books would have an influence on me and my obsession would make it worse.

As a writer who frequently dabbles in dark and horror fiction I can totally see where she was coming from.

It wasn’t until recently when the Goosebumps movie came out in theaters that I wondered what would have happened if it wasn’t Goosebumps I had discovered, but something else?

What if the book I read, wasn’t one that was meant to entertain and be fictional, but presented itself as fact?

What if that book was meant to corrupt and influence me?

This idea of what if rooted itself in my mind and I began to wonder what such a book would look like. What would it talk about? How would it appear? Who would be interested in such a book? And what would be the consequences of becoming obsessed with it.

In thinking about books that had strong influences on people the first ones that came into my mind were religious.

The Bible, Quran, Book of Mormon, and many others have had profound impacts on people’s lives. They have uplifted, motivated, and strengthened people to live more happy, fulfilling lives, I myself can attest to my own life being revolutionized by reading the Book of Mormon.

But sometimes people misinterpret these texts, where one man will see a message of peace and forgiveness; others see a call to violence and prejudice.

Serial killers, terrorists, troubled youth, corrupt preachers, overzealous parents and many others have misinterpreted these sacred words to fuel their own views on the world and commit horrible acts against others.

Books, pieces of paper bound together with words on them have caused men and women to either end war or commit war, save lives or take them. It’s very apparent that the written word can have great power over people.

But the examples above are books meant to bring about peace and kindness, books meant to promote good. What would happen if the book was written for the express purpose of evil?

The Nameless Tome is such a book.

In Brother I use this fictional book to answer the ‘what if’ questions I had about my childhood. Using the young characters Todd and Isaac as proxies for myself I explore what would have happened if the book I picked up hadn’t been Goosebumps, but something sinister and wicked.

I hope you enjoy Brother and ask yourself what would have happened if you had read such a book.

I know I’m glad I hadn’t.

Brother can be purchased at a number of retail sites, including:

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Book Review: Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

This book is a classic amongst fans of high fantasy and after reading the book in a couple of weeks it’s really obvious why.

At first the book presents itself like any a-typical fantasy novel. A young man lives in a peaceful village while the world around him is full of war and chaos, with the prophesy of a hero rising up to save everyone. At this point I expected the book to play out like any stereotypical fantasy novel would, the young man becomes said hero, discovers a hidden power, and rises up to defeat the evil villain. While this is true in some aspects, the skill of the writer and the unpredictability of the narrative make it so much more thrilling than the a-typical novel.

The village comes under attack at a very unexpected time in the story, I was instantly riveted as Rand, the main character, was thrown into chaos and danger seemingly out of nowhere. Mystery and suspicion begin to crop up in the narrative and I as the reader became as suspicious and wary as the character was.

Soon Rand is joined by a small group that slowly grows in number with diverse and interesting characters. His friends are slowly transformed along the journey in exciting and terrifying ways as they become a part of the pattern of destiny.

The setting of the novel is immense and well thought out. This is one of the few books I’ve read that I didn’t mind the author going into detail about the back story or the political tensions being faced in each area. I found myself as engrossed with the dark history of the Aes Sedai witches, the inspiring ruggedness of Manetheran, and the gloomy atmosphere of Fal Dara as I was with the battles and chases, which are prevalent and well spaced. The journey through Blight terrified and enthralled me like no fictional landscape ever has, it seemed the very soil was determined to kill the characters if it could.

But perhaps my favorite part of this book is the unexpected plot elements littered throughout. Magic is a double edged sword for those who cast it, those who fight for truth and justice are almost as brutal and diabolical as the darkness they fight, the Aes Sedai are as cunning and manipulative as they are helpful, and the villain has a tremendous sense of omnipotence and power that had me questioning how anyone would ever bring him down. And even more terrifying is that the hero who will oppose him, might just as easily destroy the world he seeks to protect.

I strongly recommend this book to fans of high fantasy and J.R.R. Tolkien style of fiction. Readers will be engrossed with a strong story, colorful characters, a detailed world, and perhaps the most hopeless quest ever pursued.

Purchase it on these following websites, trust me it’s the best money you’ll ever spend on a book:

AmazonBarnes and Noble