The stories that matter

Ever do something and only afterwards try to explain why?

I mean, you know why when you’re doing it, cause you like doing it. In my case, it involved writing a novel based on an idea I had about 15 years ago and only recently figured out how to do right, after several wrong attempts. In my case, I also have a wife who thought it the best idea ever (to appear in our household) and still believes this in the manner of the unstoppable force, that it’s such a good idea that it’ll sell a million copies.

But how about everything that’s in the book? I find myself now wanting to share why they’re there.

The most important sagas we can tell ourselves, and our children, are about the clash of civilizations going on in our time between the Muslim Middle East and what I refer to as the Christianized West. This latter term refers to both Europe, and the New World of North and South America, as well as to those parts of the rest of the globe that tilt, in a religious sense, in the direction of the west, whether in Africa, or even in huge swaths of Asia such as exist in China and South Korea. The only comparable time in the history of Islam (during a resistance phase) and Christianity (during an expansion phase), were the Crusades. [The west now uses the power of the military to spread free democracy rather than Christianity, and this puts a wrinkle in the historic parallel, but only a small one.]

We’ve been trained to hate the Crusades, and to think of them as a barbaric mistake. It’s likely that many future historians will train their pupils up to hate everything about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and every other western intervention in the Middle East, even Israel. Depending on how things go, our descendants may witness the destruction of Israel, and come to see that tiny state as a symbol of western arrogance deserving of the obliteration which it may yet see, at some future point, at least from the perspective of today’s world.

So the sagas we tell about this large, world-altering conflict matter. They matter a great deal.

In some way, the tales of King Arthur and Excalibur, the Round Table, and the search for the Holy Grail mattered to those old souls who lived through the Crusades. These ancient adventures remain with us, and resonate today, hundreds of years later. In the west, it is rare to find any other tale worthy of such remembrance, and across such a broad swath of time, outside the Bible itself.

I don’t know if any of us can tip the scales in favor of western civilization by merely telling stories that spring from our spirit. Forces larger than anything a man such as myself can muster might have other plans for us all. Yet, I can’t stop trying. Because, while there are forces of darkness, untruth, power-seeking, and guilt-imposing, that only hunger for their own advantage, and care not what casualties may fall by the wayside, there are also forces of light and truth working from humbler stations and by simpler, better means.

If any one of us wants to move the world, or at least to move a human heart that can move the world, it may start with a story.

After all, if Geoffrey of Monmouth could manage it using his King Arthur character as the catalyst, even during the dark days of the Crusades, why can’t someone else do something similar today?

Jim Lion’s latest novel, “The Reliquary” is available at Amazon here.

A book trailer can be viewed on YouTube here.

The Reliquary

The long-awaited book version of “The Reliquary” will soon be ready for publication. I’m debating now whether to self-publish through Lazy Lion Books on Amazon, or go a more conventional route through an agent and traditional publisher. Problem is I don’t trust a single publisher anywhere in the world, particularly the largest and most powerful publishing houses. So it’s a conundrum.

I’m really excited about the book, however. Expect it to be released through Lazy Lion Books sometime around March, if I choose to go that route. That will put it in the public sphere before “Deadline 325 AD” (the sequel to “Deadline 70 AD”).

Wish me luck. Pray for me if you will.

Good news on “Deadline 325 AD”

I just this week finished the first draft of the second novel in the Deadline series, this one titled “Deadline 325 AD”. It follows the adventures and exploits of John Salmon and his crew of fellow Travelers through time, picking up the story around 80 AD, just ten years after the last one left off.

As the dangers increase, they grow more powerful, and more powerfully attached to one another, so the stakes rise building toward a difficult and deadly denouement, and lead in to the third novel in the series, “Deadline 476 AD”.

There’s still three or four months of editing, with possible rewrites and so on, before publication in Spring 2015. I’ll put it out for advance sales before then.

Extraction graphic novel update

Okay, I’ve doubled the length of “Extraction” to 50 pages, part one of three parts of a digitally-produced graphic novel. It’ll have to sell well in order for me to commit the time necessary to finish this story.

Extraction, now in progress as a graphic novel

Yes, that’s correct, and the first Chapter, an Amazon short read at 25 pages, is already uploaded and available here.

Extraction pulled

I couldn’t resist the little pun, but yes, Extraction has been pulled from Amazon. I’m not happy with it, and that’s the way it goes. Instead of a novel, I’ll go forward with a graphic novel. This story started life as a screenplay, and that’s still the best medium for it, so the first step to getting that movie made is, you guessed, the graphic novel. I will inform one and all when the first chapter comes out.

New releases from Lazy Lion

Okay, two big things happened this week. One, I broke up “Deadline 70 AD” into four parts to make it more easy for readers on Amazon to find. The first part has been priced as low as possible to make it easy to try.

Also, Lazy Lion released “Extraction” this week. It’s a wartime adventure set in Afghanistan which involves the rescue attempt of a kidnapped CARE worker. It’s a little like that movie “Taken”, and was in fact written originally as a movie script, then released as a book version of said script, and then finally now, two years later, enhanced and rewritten as an actual novel. Sometime by the end of this year “Extraction” will also be released as an interactive graphic novel. Yes, I’m shooting for a movie here eventually. If you know of someone who could help, have them contact me please. I could use it.

Happy reading!

Deadline 70 AD now live

Deadline 70 AD (thumbnail)

Deadline 70 AD is now available for purchase on Amazon HERE, or for FREE, if you want, by signing up for my    newsletter HERE. Happy reading!

Deadline 70 AD

“Deadline 70 AD” is the new, official title of the previous novel that I wrote under the working title of “John Salmon and the Fall of Jerusalem”. Release date is pending, but probably around May 1, and yes, it will beat “Extraction” out the door, so it wins that contest too.

The race is on

The first two books from the Lazy Lion are racing each other, pretty much neck-and-neck, to see which will come out first on Amazon Kindle, and for FREE if you’re willing to review what you read. That’s fair. The first project, “Extraction” started life as a movie script (it still is), now almost ready as a novel, and will be my first release as an interactive graphic novel sometime later this year. The second project, “John Salmon and the Fall of Jerusalem” started as an idea for a TV series (akin to “Lost”), and even a role-playing computer game (still on the burner) but will launch as the first in a series of novels, and eventually a series of interactive graphic novels and, God-willing, the other things.

I don’t yet know which will see the light of day first on Amazon Kindle, and other e-book websites.

Click HERE to get a free copy of the first one, and notification when the second one becomes available for review, also for free.