The Hero of Story

April 15th, 2018

One inarguably human truth is our love of storytelling. Simply put, we are united by great stories; no matter creed, culture, or background. History itself has been formed in ink, crafted by the most persuasive and creative minds to pass along yesterday’s story. Today however, living in an age of information warfare, where what is real and what is illusive falls on a thin line of perception, source-power, and political orientation… the heroism of great stories has never been greater.  This is why novels have not died and why, despite a world saturated in mobile device obsession, film still draws us in by the billions. We want to retreat to magical worlds of maybe, and be drawn into imaginative landscapes built by our better selves.

“Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.”

Dr. Howard Gardner, professor Harvard University

From a young age, books have captivated a special part of my life.  Farley Mowat’s “Lost in the Barrens,” was most notably the first tale that sowed seeds of adventure in my mind and propelled me always to look out for great stories that speak to our ability to triumph over the most dire of circumstance. Yesterday, I was pleased to learn that one of my favourite all-time authors, “Jo Nesbo,” has released a long anticipated adaptation of Shakespeare’s long standing, epic tragedy “MACBETH.”

(Jo nesbo’s: macbeth)

He’s the best cop they’ve got. 

When a drug bust turns into a bloodbath it’s up to Inspector Macbeth and his team to clean up the mess.

He’s also an ex-drug addict with a troubled past. 

He’s rewarded for his success. Power. Money. Respect. They’re all within reach.

But a man like him won’t get to the top.

Plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, Macbeth starts to unravel. He’s convinced he won’t get what is rightfully his.

Unless he kills for it.

What gets me pumped about this book, and is literally forcing me out in an epic spring ice-storm to buy it, is both the long-standing appeal of Scotland’s “King Macbeth,” and his torturous relationship with fate and the guilt he faces after acting on it, and our thirst to have this tragedy retold in a modern context. There is an unparalleled depth to Macbeth which speaks to the human condition, both our yearning for and struggle with power, sedition, and betrayal. This is what drew me to Nesbo’s work in the first place, his ability to tap into something innately human – brokenness.  I started reading his Harry Hole series after my own life had taken a very indignant ride to “Shitsville, USA.” As everything burned around me, I found solace in the heavy smoking, alcohol-drenched, friendless genius of Oslo’s top detective – Harry.

“Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.”

 Robin Moore, author

Years ago, I had the idea to develop a short story called “For all the Saints.” It was inspired by my time in Glasgow, Scotland where I was studying and an insatiable question (which I’ve been asking now more than ever…) “what if everything we know to be true, is, in fact, based on a lie?”  After years of scribbling notes in a tiny red book I decided to take the leap and get it finished. Fast forward a few months and presto, draft one of the more aptly named “THE SAVAGING” was sitting on my desk glaring back at me. After working with a fabulous editor in London, Leila Dewji we hit print and set sail into the world of storytelling antics.

Clearly I ran into a bit of a snag as although I am insanely proud of my cover art, it happened to be released on or around all of the controversy in Charlottesville US.  This terrible event brought the “Nazi narrative” back to the forefront of our collective consciousness and left a lot of people nervous when speaking of this period of time and the potential resurgence of such a pervasive and destructive ideology.  My artwork, and story, simply speak to an alternate-history, thriller built on a scientific breakthrough called “PANGEA,” and the rise of a daunting power the likes of which the world has never seen.

Sharing this story has been an educational enterprise to say the least. Even the other day, when giving a signed copy of  “The Savaging” to a friend I could see a slight tinge of hesitation in her eyes and those looking over her shoulder in a small, rural cafe… that’s ok, as I’m confident the story offers more than awkward looks. If anything, it speaks to the times we are living in and the question at the heart of this story and our present climate… how have we come to be at this particular period of time in history? 

I’ve learned a lot and can’t wait to get “STORY II” out there… “No King But Caesar,” which brings the American/Russian drama to the forefront… through the new global state creation of “Prussian-Afro-Asia,” and the resurgence of “British North America.”

What will come next is only limited by the borders of imagination.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

― George Orwell

 

 

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