10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pagan Apocalypse

 

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Spoilers ahead! This article discusses the events that happen in the book Pagan Apocalypse, so if you haven’t read it yet, I would suggest you stop reading at this point. But since the e-book itself is FREE, then what are you waiting for? Go ahead and download a copy so you can read it already!

  1. It was written in 8 days: The first day of writing it was a little slow, but then something ignited in me and I ended up writing over a chapter a day. I would finish the day’s writing, eat dinner and be back at my workstation, typing away like mad until the wee hours of the morning. By the time I got to the middle of the book, the story was writing itself.

 

  1. The book’s inspiration came from Nick Stephenson’s marketing video: I watched a marketing video hosted by bestselling indie author Nick Stephenson, and in it he stated that a good way to build your audience of readers was to offer them something for free. A few hours after seeing that video I was instantly inspired, and the idea of creating a young adult, parallel series to the main Wrath of the Old Gods books seemed like a good idea.

 

  1. The book was written specifically to be a free e-book: Right from the outset, I purposely wrote the book as a short and fast-paced read. Although it would be a stand-alone novel, there would be enough of a storyline for at least a trilogy of books. And if it ever became popular, then I could definitely write more!

 

  1. It was written purely as a marketing tool to push people into the main series: While the main Wrath of the Old Gods series had plenty of philosophy and real world politics in it, I decided that Pagan Apocalypse would be a rip snorting, in-your-face thrill ride. It would be a fast-paced, no frills adventure story to appeal to the widest audience possible.

 

  1. It is my most popular book: Of all my books, I have gotten more emails thanking me for this book than all my other works combined. Readers of all ages, from all over the world, have commented and thanked me. It has been a wonderful inspiration to keep writing.

 

  1. There is at least one Monty Python reference in the series: the beans song was originally written as the spam song, until I realized that the lyrics were copyrighted, so I sort of made up a variation of it. I have continued this in the second book and have plans for another Monty Python Easter egg in the third.

 

  1. Amicus Tarr was supposed to be a nice wizard: my original plan for Amicus was as to be a kind of mentor for Steve. A sort of Merlin to a young King Arthur, so to speak. But in the end, it was much better to turn the old wizard into a villain since I had seen way too many friendly wizards both in books and shows. I always prefer to subvert established tropes as opposed to going by the book.

 

  1. It had a different ending: to put it quite simply… Ray was supposed to stay alive! Or at least he was still to exist in his ghost form, merrily going off on further adventures with Steve. But in the end, I realized that there had to be some sort of sacrifice, otherwise the story would be meaningless popcorn. If you look at every great mythological epic, the hero’s achievements always come at a price, or otherwise the quest itself would be devoid of any importance. Sorry, Ray.

 

  1. I was in tears when I wrote the farewell speech: Even though Ray existed in my head and he was purely a fictional character, I had grown an attachment to him and it was hard to kill him off. But in the end I knew I had to do it. I tried to make it as poignant as possible, in order to give some meaning to his final fate. But then again, death could only be the beginning!

 

  1. Amicus Tarr was named after Amicus Productions: an old movie studio in the UK that specialized in horror and science fiction films during the 1960’s and 70’s (a rival of Hammer Films). The surname Tarr is taken from Ricky Tarr, one of the characters in John LeCarre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

A Roman Epitaph, 2015

I’ve been to many museums, but back in 2015, I had a particularly moving experience while visiting the National Roman Museum (Palazzo Massimo alle Terme) near Rome’s Centrale train station. In the basement area was a wing devoted to Roman tombstones.

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On one particular tombstone, I found the following inscription:

For the souls departed. Alexander lived 3 years, 4 months, and 19 days. His father, Quintus Canuleius Alexander, and his mother Clarina, saw to the making of this tomb for their dear devoted and well-deserving son. He is buried here! I beg you, when you pass by to say, “May the earth not weigh upon your remains.”

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I found that entry to be fascinating and I stood there for a long time, thinking about this. During the Roman era, medicine was primitive and life expectancy quite low. Many children died while still at a young age so it was prudent to have as many offspring as possible. But the fact that these grieving parents made sure that their own child was remembered shook my own world view to the core. Here it was, even in a time of pragmatism, could the love of a parent to their child be truly appreciated. It struck me that the people during those times were really not much different than the parents of today. Despite the fact that children easily succumbed to all sorts of illness in that distant past, they still made an effort to remember him.

 

To me, this is a perfect example that no matter what age or what part of the world one lived in, the love of a parent to that of a child will always be a universal, human trait, one that is constant through the annals of time.

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Before I left that gallery, I made a silent prayer to 3-year old Alexander.

“May the earth not weigh upon your remains.”

Your parents did a wonderful job, for you have not been forgotten.