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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fantasy novel The Prossia Tour and cool original art!

Raphyel Montez Jordan grew up in a household sensitive to the creative arts. As a child, his hobbies were drawing favorite cartoon and video game characters while making illustrated stories. This passion for art never left and followed him all the way up to his high school and college years.

It wasn’t until college when he underwent a personal “renaissance” of sorts that Jordan took his interest in writing to another level. When he was 19, he started writing a novel for fun, taking inspiration from the constant exposure of different ideas and cultures that college showed him while staying true to the values he grew up to embrace. However, when the “signs of the times” influenced the story and the characters to spawn into universes of their own, he figured he might possibly be on to something.

As he studied graphic design at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, Jordan also used his electives to study sciences like Astronomy, Psychology, and Biology in order enhance the reading experience in his story. He eventually made it a goal to have the story published after he graduated, and dubbed the goal “Operation Prosia,” the very same project that would develop into his first published book, “Prossia.”

Even though his novel is not necessarily a religious book, Jordan utilizes his Christian faith by urging people to encourage, not condemn, in his story. Best known for ending his PSFC newsletters with “Unity Within Diversity,” he hopes “Prossia’s” success will inspire people to consider and support the positive outlook in the difference human kind can share, whether it be race, religion, or any other cultural difference.

You know what? The real world's boring. I mean, seriously. Look outside. Did you just see a dragon or UFO fly by? No? Then I rest my case. And if you said yes. . . maybe it's time to talk to a professional

One of the reasons why we're seeing sci-fi and fantasy films strike it big in the box office is because people love being able to get lost in a world beyond imagination. It's our natural human nature. Classical stories like Homer's epic poem, "Iliad," centuries beyond centuries old, is a strong evident to that statement. 

Human beings love to imagine the what-if scenario. What if there was magic? What if I had superpowers? What if aliens actually did exist? With those small sentences, with those few words, galactic governments have been put on the brink of peril, wars between elves and goblins have been raged, adventures that have challenged the test of time have been born, and that was exactly how "Prossia" was created.

After having a basis for the story in mind, I asked myself, "What if I wrote a story about aliens?" Sure, that's simple enough, but that thought would branch off into more avenues and streams. 
  • ·         What if they lived on a single planet?

  • ·         What if it was an entire solar system?

  • ·         What if the aliens were spread across an entire galaxy?

  • ·         What if there weren't any even humans around, like so many other stories?

Did you see what happened? Did you see that snowball-turned-avalanche coming down the mountain? 

When I asked myself if my story was going to be about aliens, I was already challenging myself to explain why these people's world was the way it was, without even realizing it.

And granted, universes aren't made over night, so creating the Prossia Universe has been a very long process. The other challenge of the universe comes from the fact that this is indeed a science fiction story. 

Meaning, I can't just say something is the way it is by magic. This genre requires a little fact, as much as feasible. So, when I made my main character, Aly, come from people who had infrared vision, had super reflexes and agility, and could form energy out of their hands, I actually had to explain that Aly has infrared vision because it helps her see approaching threats. I have a separate file listing the anatomy of my aliens, from what type of cartilage and muscle tissue would be possible for Goolians to move the way they do, to the extrasensory perceptions they have when it comes to their ability of using fusion to create a ball of plasma.

And that only covers one of the current nine races! What about the other aliens and their designs? I wanted them to look a certain way, but there had to be a reason why. Humans and other animals look the way they look due to Earth's size, its closeness to the sun, the ecosystems it has, and tons, I MEAN TONS, of other factors. So, it's only natural other life-forms would evolve to fit their environments as well. That is, after all, one of the key functions of life. Seriously, look at how diverse the biology on our very own little rock is.

So, more questions:
 If we must adapt to our surroundings, what if I make aliens that can adapt to their surroundings through an advanced acclimation process? If that were the case, wouldn't that mean what took us millions of years to do capable of being done much sooner? And how much sooner am I talking? Am I still talking millions of years, or just a few thousand?

And still, the questions continue, and guess what else, so does the world I find myself lost in. Maybe some people would think such world building is just wayyyy too much trouble. I, on the other hand, think it's totally awesome. Being an artist and a writer, I like being able to create, so what's cooler than creating an entire galaxy!?

To think that I studied Civilization, Psychology, Ethics and Values, Biology and Ecology just so I could have some ideas for Prossia's Universe. Now, I'm not saying that's what all writers should do in order to build their worlds. I was just fortunate enough to be in my college years while I was writing "Prossia," and I needed to fill in some class electives. :P To me, researching is good, and the deeper I go into a universe, the better. Still, in the end, none of this could've happened if I asked the one thing that humans love to ask. 

"What if--" . Why don't you ask the same question? Who knows what wonders you'll bring.
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        Aly came to an hour later. She was still left in the mud along with a good number of twenty-five others. As wide awake as she was, she didn’t bother getting up. Her pride and will were too severely damaged to do so.
        Small drips of water started to splatter on her face, and a great streak of light flew from above. Her eyes winced as a great boom came seconds later. This event never happened on Gooliun. Its atmosphere was cloaked with its own moisture, and the dew from the ground came from the earth itself. She was taught about these natural activities on other planets in her earlier classes back in home. She had pictured the sight of water actually falling from the sky in her dreams, but it was a reality on this strange far off world.
        All the same, the Young One remained motionless as the falling water turned harder. Before she knew it, she was in the middle of a downpour. The sound of it was so peaceful, but the feeling it gave made her heavy. She thought about how far away she was from home again, and just how much she wanted to go back. She heard the prancing of footsteps arriving moments later. She could tell it was Gruago by the lightness in them. How humiliating it would be to have him see her in such a demeaning state. She still refused to move, however.
        The blue-eyed Ufrian wore a simple Ufrian robe with a hooded cloak to cover his head as he checked body and body for his young Goolian friend. He eventually saw the back of a blue-tentacle female lying motionless in the mud. He approached the motionless body figuring he’d have to shake it awake, but it gave a sigh before he could kneel down and shake her shoulder. Gruago figured he’d cross his arms instead so he wouldn’t agitate the ticking time bomb.
        “So there you are,” he proclaimed. “Looks like you had a blast today, huh?”
        He tried to chuckle, but Aly’s silence made Gruago clear his throat instead. A good moment of silence passed by until the lad finally gave a deep sigh.
        “Sigh, come now, Alytchai,” Gruago insisted. “I know you’re disappointed in yourself. But look around you.”
        The Goolian didn’t bother moving, but Gruago continued on with his point.
        “You’re not the only one who got their face kicked into the mud. Now stop beating yourself up, and pipe up. It’s almost evening.”
        Aly finally acknowledged the Ufrian’s presence by twitching an ear towards his direction. All the same, she didn’t bother moving anything else.
        “Look up at the sky, Gruago,” she said.
        The Goolian’s voice carried a dull tone to it, but the Ufrian answered the Young One’s request. Water smacked him in the face relentlessly.
        “Um, yeah,” Gruago said while trying to wipe his face. “Care to tell me what I’m looking for?”
        Aly rolled onto her back so she could stare into the dense gray clouds. The sky lit up momentarily as another hideous streak of light spouted out. She waited for the boom to go by before she explained herself.
        “This is what you call ‘rain’, isn’t it?” she politely asked. “And those violent white streaks are built up amounts of electricity called lightning, right?”

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  1. Great post! Love how you incorporated all of Raphyel's art into the post. Thanks so much for being a part of the tour Kristabel!

  2. Replies
    1. I'm glad you liked the art, Kristabel. They're illustrations spanning back from when "Prossia" was first getting promoted up to now. Thank you so much for being part of my tour!