A man for the millennium.
Digital and smoke free.
A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstructionist
Politically, anatomically and ecologically incorrect.
I’ve been up linked and downloaded,
I’ve been inputted and outsourced,
I know the upside of downsizing,
I know the downside of upgrading.
I’m a high-tech low-life.
A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker,
And I can give you a terabyte in a nanosecond!
I’m new wave,
But I’m old school,
And my inner child is outward bound.
I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer,
Voice activated and bio-degradable.
I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace,
So I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.
Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve,
Ridin’ the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope.
I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs.
I’ve got no need for coke and speed.
I've got no urge to binge and purge.
I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top but under-the-radar.
A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary.
A street-wise smart bomb.
A top-gun bottom feeder.
I don’t wear power ties to tell power lies,
I take power naps and run victory laps.
I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach.
A raging workaholic.
A working rageaholic.
Out of rehab and in denial!
I’ve got no personal trainer, personal shopper or a personal assistant
All I have is a personal agenda.
You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down,
Because I’m tireless and I’m wireless,
I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers.
I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever,
Laid-back but fashion-forward.
Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance.
Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last!
I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk, head case, pre-maturely post-traumatic
And I have a love-child that sends me hate mail.
But, I’m feeling, I’m caring,
I’m writing, I’m sharing—
A supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver.
My output is down, but my income is up.
I took a short position on the long bond
And my revenue stream has its own cash-flow.
I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports!
I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and stupid intolerant.
I like rough sex. I like tough love.
I use the “F” word in my emails
And the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn.
I bought a microwave at a mini-mall;
I bought a mini-van at a mega-store.
I eat fast-food in the slow lane.
I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes.
A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle.
I’ve been pre-washed, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity.
I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal.
Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock.
Rough, tough and hard to bluff.
I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide.
I’ve got glide in my stride.
Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin.
I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose.
I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road.
I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time.
I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt
And I’m hangin tough, over and out!
Now, let’s start with the obvious. What are these books? Well, Trapped: Autumn is the debut novel, my first step into the industry that is literature. And my attempt at challenging literature and writing. So how did it all start? Well, one day on my way towards college, I started thinking about a recent break up I had back then. So as I was walking, I started thinking if I could have done something different, if I could have went back in time, even for a week. And as I started thinking about that, about what I might have done wrong and what I could have changed, this idea stuck with me. Of what would one do if they were put to relive and change their past? So I thought it could be an interesting story, but there are already so many time travel romances, there’s already Groundhog Day, and how can I write something more interesting than a movie with Bill Murray in it? So then I told myself “well… what if I made it into a week? That would be interesting, right?” I thought that, because it gave me a big window where I could play more with the characters and go more in depth into the how and why. And speaking about the how and why, I had to explain it to myself. Like “Why would he have to relive the same week? How can I explain that?” My next thought was, a god, that’s it, a god. But then again, why? How? What’s the point? So after the courses I had, I went home, I started writing this story on my blog, and I started Google-ing gods. And so I found my perfect match for this story. The Trapped: Autumn story had a short lived life on my blog as it was clunky, it was cringe-worthy and in the way I wrote it, it would have been better suited as a comic book. So when the idea of publishing a book came to my mind, I took it off from the blog, shelved it. And worked a bit more on it, changing the character’s names, re-arranging things around, so when I was done with my second year of college, I started writing it. I had the whole story mapped out, beginning, middle and end. I knew what it was supposed to happen and why. But as I wrote, things kept changing, without my knowledge. I started adding things, references, ideas kept springing into my mind. So when I finished it, it looked totally different from what it was when I started. But I didn’t know that, until I saw the files I had a few weeks back and re-read the book. So why the lengthy introduction to the first book? Because it had to have some context, from where it started to where it got. Because this first book became something more than just a debut and a test in how the industry works. For as much thought and work that I put into the book, as much criticism I got. So then I went back to re-read it, tweaked some things, work on it and improved on it as much as I could. It was my first book, it was flawed, obviously. But we make mistakes, we learn, we evolve. Yet as I started to think more about the courses I had, thinking about what I had learned in the past two years of college, and seeing how it all works in the industry of literature. I re-wrote the first book after I finished writing the second one. At this point these two books became something else for me, they became my battle cry. Then it all clicked, the setting of the books, the plot, the characters, their names, the changes I had made.
And so begins part two of this talk. Considering the fact that my blog had a very intimate feeling, so that if people read it, they would have thought that I had put my soul, thoughts and sorrows on a silver platter and served it to the world. So the first book was based on people I know, situations that, like Logan said: “some of it happened, but most of it not like this.” It was still fiction, but sort of taken from reality. Which is very important for the books, because no matter the setting, the characters, the plot, it should feel feasible, they should feel real, not caricatures. Many writers do this, they over romanticize and often, in my opinion, create caricatures of real people or situations. So I wanted to try to keep it as real as it could possibly be, even with the myth thought to be a legend. When I got the criticism that the secondary characters do not seem to have any personality, I thought, well, of course they don’t. And it’s even addressed in the book by the protagonist. The idea was that John, is a weirdo with a lot on his mind and a lot of pressure and stress. His daily interactions are brief, he goes back and forth from college. Giving him limited time with those people and to develop a real relationship with them. It makes sense, you go two to four hours a day to college, sit next to some people you just met, you go back home and you do your thing. You have friends from high school, you can’t meet them on a daily basis, or even talk to them that very often, because everyone’s busy. So if you take a day, and transcribe it, the result would be very similar to the dialogue in my books. This, from my perspective, grounds the books quite a lot. Which also explains the clunky dialogue in my books, because it is from real life conversations I have had with people. Which brings me to one of the biggest criticisms I got, there are a lot of mistakes. From grammatical, to syntax, to punctuation, to structure. With this, I get to explain it, because, even when I started writing Trapped: Autumn, I was asked to describe it, what’s it about. So the simplest answer was about a student that has problems with his relationship. A guy that has a lot on his mind, an R-rated fairy tale that combines immature philosophy, unfiltered and uncensored thoughts of a person. With a dash of mythology. Why does this explain anything? Because it’s about a student that has a sort of vague idea about what he would maybe, possibly want to do. Why is he a student? Because I thought I could create something more interesting. This also gives me a lot of room to tackle some problems and mock at the right tree. I think that no matter the person, no human if you put their thoughts word for word on paper, exactly as they spring into their mind, would make any sense. Well, that’s if you don’t think about them in context and if you do not compare them to their actions. Which would explain the mistakes, no matter who you are, you are bound to make mistakes in speech, in reading, in writing, in thinking. Now you put all that on a student that thinks too much, that is a cynic, that can’t simply accept what he is thought or told. John, a guy without a purpose, lost in his own thoughts that thinks that he has little time to do anything. And you get this as a main character, a bumbling student that thinks too much about anything, creates problems for himself, even problems he doesn’t have to tackle, he takes them as a challenge, and there it is. An unfiltered, uncensored, mistake riddled book, character and the person that is talking to you right now. So when you add college, a relationship with a helpless and unlucky girl, and an entity that was thought to be a myth. This book may make a lot more sense with that in mind. I will return to this in the next part, but until then, I want to address another criticism. The next thing would be the lack of description, well, that was on purpose too. Many said that the book needed description and more thorough narration, but I think that having a 600 page long book, where I describe how green the grass is, how May’s hair flows, and what was the color of Anne’s eyes, would just bloat the book with unnecessary stuff. And narrating more than John’s thoughts would have made the book a bore. Because it would have given readers everything on a platter, and what would be the point in doing that? It wouldn’t be fun for me, to mess a bit with the readers. Especially considering the fact that there’s quite enough to solve the mystery before you even finish the third chapter.
So to going back a bit. As I said, this book became something more every day I wrote. The plot evolved from a student that has to relive the same week in order to figure out what’s happening to him. To why is he there, who is doing this to him and why, to something more. The relationship was meant to tackle the over romanticized romance of today, which usually is taken to a vat of cheese. But I also wanted to bring another perspective on John’s personality, his thoughts and to his actions and motivations. To bring depth through the relationship and to twist a bit with the reader’s mind. Just as the mythological side of the story went from just a plot device to a character in itself, by having its own problems, dilemmas, thoughts and feelings. Adding another layer of depth, this is another reason why mythology and mythopoeia became an integral part in the second book. I also changed the rules of the week he had to relive, where I brought a definite ending, which adds to the tension and the mental state of the main character. So with only these two elements, I could create depth in the characters of Trapped: Autumn. If you take into consideration the psychological state of John, which I described earlier, where he is feels without hope, lost, without a purpose, stressed and with everything going against him, it only seems natural that he can’t be coherent. But it doesn’t stop there, there was one other question that came to my mind, what if you were to catch a glimpse of yourself? What if you were to detach yourself from yourself, observe yourself and judge your actions and your thoughts? What would you think of yourself if you were to judge yourself as you judge others? So in order to do that, I added a new character and element to the story, E. John. Which changed the plot once again. Because it wasn’t just asking the questions above, it was forcing you as a reader to accept it as a reality. The fact that you lost control of your own body, that you had to relive the same week over and over and over again, and the only time you had any control was when you were faced with someone you love. This gave me another layer to play with and add to the story. This gave me the chance to play with the idea of reflection, you versus yourself, adding a touch of comedy, satire and drama to the mix. As you can no doubt hear, I talk a lot about layers, perspectives and depth in this part. A book can have as much description as it wants it to have, but if the plot and action do not deliver than it’s a bad book. So that’s why I didn’t use description or too much narration, I didn’t want to add an unnecessary layer, instead I wanted to make layers out of the characters, their interactions, actions and reactions. I tried to do it in such a way that you won’t be asking yourself if it really was necessary. But rather that it gives you as a reader something else to consider, another perspective to the story. So starting from the top, the first chapter that’s only one page, the start of Trapped: Autumn, is a long narration because I wanted to ease the reader into what I was trying to do. The character introductions, their reactions, everything was just to add layers to these books, like a gigantic cake. Because I tried creating a book that you can read over and over and over again. A book that leaves an impression, be it favorable or not. A book that leaves a tick in your mind and it sticks with you, leaves you with a question so you go back and read it again, and this time you get something else out of it. Then you re-read it and try to find out why it bothers you, and you leave not knowing anything anymore. So you read it again, this time you feel satisfied, pleased, so you get back to it just for the sake of reading something, and it fucks with you again. Or you can go read The Tempest, come back and read Trapped: Autumn or Spring. Then you go and read Gulliver’s Travels and come back and read these books, and every time you’ll find that they have something in common or that mine takes something from them and flips it on its head. You can go watch Doctor Who, then read the Trapped: Series, and you’ll find something there too. Or you go and watch or read anything, come back to re-read the books. Listen to some classical music and read the books, it works in so many ways. And that’s the point, I am trying to write and create books that can be read in any way imaginable. That's why I posted on my blog the genres of Trapped: Autumn and Spring can be read as, because no matter what the description on any website or on the back of the book is, it won’t do it justice. You can read them as psychological fiction, mythological fiction, drama, comedy, satire, dramedy, romance, narrative mock epic, whatever genre a reader wants to have with these books he can have them. This also applies to the points of view you want to read it from, like I was saying, perspectives. You can read them from the perspective of John, E. John, Anne’s, Will’s or May’s or June’s, you get the point by now. And with every read to get a new and different reading, with every mood you have from day to day, a new read to get from it. The deeper you dig yourself in these works, the more you find questions and stories to read. Because I believe that books can be more than just cheap entertainment where the author feeds the reader a calm and simple story. I do not want just a book that I can market the hell out of it, but without it having nothing. Like I said, these books the more I wrote them, the more I learned with time, the more they became. As a goal and a mean to try and do something else, at least that’s my opinion, that’s what I tried and wanted to do. It might not be perfect, it might not be the best, at least not right now. But if anyone comes along and perfects what I started, it won’t bother me. Or if I am given time to perfect it, I will try. Because these books became something more to me than I would have imagined or thought. So having this plot about a student that loses control over his own body, where “the body” can’t remember when the other self takes control over a short period of time. Where he can only interact with one person in order to change the future and learn his lesson. A story where something is playing with him, and the moment that something thinks he failed, restarts the week. With no clear streamlined timeline, with no clear idea what to believe or whom to believe. A book where the judgment lays with the reader, when you have that many perspectives. I find it interesting, as it can be read in any possible way, looking at it in any possible way and having a unique story and a new perspective and ending every time. Without having to read countless pages of leafs blowing in the wind, the sun penetrating the clouds and the sunshine touching someone’s face in a very gentle way. And another 400 pages of long winded narration about bowel movements in the spring rain.
Speaking about Spring. Let’s move to the forth part. So the idea for the second book, Trapped: Spring, came before I started writing the first one, knowing that the story of the Autumn wouldn’t be enough or at least it wouldn’t satisfy me enough. I wanted to add something more to the story, I wanted to create a book that was a prequel and sequel to the first one. Adding another layer and another thousand ways of reading Trapped: Autumn, and another ten thousand ways to reading Trapped: Spring. So I added a few new main perspectives to the story, going from May, John, Mike, Amber, June and Jan. Well, I didn’t just want to add new perspectives to the story or just explain the first book. But at the same time, I took out one major part from the first book. E. John. So with Trapped: Spring I also wanted to do something a bit more unusual. Instead of writing a whole new mythology for this book, I re-wrote all history and all religions, all mythology, all philosophy in one chapter. I used the existing mythologies, religions, views on existence and creation and added to it, without destroying any of the existing views in the process. So if you were to read Trapped: Spring, then read any mythological book or any religious book, you would find that it makes sense. I could have simply written another book only regarding that, but I wanted to finish the story I already started. Maybe someday, I will come back to this chapter and write a book based on it. The Trapped: Anthologies. So by doing this, it’s giving perspective on why the mythology simply makes sense of what seem to be some plot holes. By simply asking questions like: How can gods be all knowing, when there was nothing to know when they started? How can be they all powerful when they don’t know what their powers are? That’s also another reason why I abstained from vivid and long descriptions, I wanted to create more, even if the books are only a little over 200 pages they have a lot in them. Which why I also used easy and understandable language. As language can be so versatile you can write amazing stories with simple language, without pumping big and complex words just for the sake of it to resemble something intelligent. I find that using big language is lackluster, there’s no need for it. It usually feels, at least for me it does, like the author is compensating. Just like the big dude with a bigger jeep showing off. That’s why I am walking. I think that unless you have to use technical language in order to explain and drive the plot along, there is no need to go into something so pompous as a dooderie doo. So with the addition of Amber and Mike, the second couple, the working adults, you have this comparison between what some adults think, students think and what gods think. Having a very interesting contrast between the three parts. And by having many more new characters, it also adds more context to the text itself. But with Trapped: Spring written, that doesn’t mean that everything will be served on a platter, because as you can probably tell by now, I love giving out the pieces of the puzzle, but not what the end result should be.
And so we get to the last part. With the Trapped: Series, I tried to do something different, than creating a generic story. The elements of a fairy tale, the elements of a Shakespearean play, the “set in stone” literary style and criticism, and many more things that would have us here until tomorrow afternoon if I would keep on going. Or from the references to the commentary the books have, I tried to elevate them to something that would actually try and challenge everything that ever was and is. And give the reader something different to read and experience. Because I believe that even if you read any of these two books, and you hate them, that’s a good sign. Since it means that I got you invested in the story, it means I left a mark. And I hope that you’ll get to read it again, and leave with something else. In creating these books I didn’t just use other authors and books as references or inspirations. I used music, from Chopin to HIM to Nirvana to Tchaikovsky. There are so many elements to these books, so many things that went into them. And when you start to think that I have written them all on my own, without a publishing house, without an editor, with very little help from a few people that just gave their own opinion and a few pointers.