Thursday, February 15, 2018

Dominic Hodgson ~ guest post and his novel The Archk of Angels

TITLE: Archk of the Angels: The Ragnarök Chronicles 2
AUTHOR: Dominic Hodgson
CATEGORIES: Science Fiction/Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1974034307
IMPRINT: Devil’s Tower

KEYWORDS: young adult; sci-fi; fantasy; horsemen of the apocalypse; supernatural; time travel; space ships

Before there was time, there was the hunt.

Few who live in the Alpha Realm truly appreciate the nature of time. Few realise that it’s a current of energy flowing through the multiverse, originating from an ancient artefact: the Archk of Angels. Those that do know may now be threatening it all.

Philip Quint’s life was turned upside down when he learned the truth of what he was. As a Mancynn, a person who can manipulate reality thanks to artificially-enhanced genetics, his supposed destiny was to work as emissary for the Brethren Lords as they used the Earth in their plot against the godly Entities. However, after fellow Mancynn Noah Mason freed him from their influences, Philip and his companions took to uncovering Lord Gryal Repa’s insidious operations.

With events having gone downhill in Egypt, Philip must now find his mysteriously-disappeared friends, avoid the authorities across America and take part in an Entity mission traversing time to find the coveted Archk before the now rivalling Brethren Lords do. But other threats lurk in the shadows, and throughout their journey one detail remains uncertain: into whose hands should the Archk really be allowed to fall?

With ‘The Archk Of Angels’ being a sequel, the writing process inherently involved building on the universe established in ‘Gift Of The Mancynn’. One of the big ways I did this in this case was by introducing elements that had previously been name-dropped in the first book, such as the Archk and certain alien races, thus giving the reader actual reference points for these words. I already had ideas for how the different species would look, as well as important points in their respective histories that would have shaped who they are at this point in the timeline, so the main creative development from my point of view was the matter of coming up with their languages. I’d established in the first book that if it makes sense that a character would not be speaking English, I would use the proper language, so long as there were enough contextual factors to make their lines understood (unless everyone in the scene spoke it, in which case I could write it in English and indicate in the surrounding text that that wasn’t what they were actually speaking). This of course was for the examples of French, Spanish, Russian etc. though. Now was the time to devise words from scratch. However for the majority of these cases, the latter clause from above could be used, meaning I could get away with just saying they were speaking in their native tongues. This predominantly left their names. As with all the words I make up in general, it starts with me just randomly producing strings of syllables and seeing what sounds right. As a next step to this, each race would have their own inclination towards the types of words they would use, depending on anatomical limitations to the noises they could make, how they’d be predisposed to speak and any other defining factors I might arbitrarily decide to throw in. For instance, the Braknagh workers would have names comprising of two parts, separated by an apostrophe, one part being shorter than the other. The Asnemwoi actually have two dialects, one filled with harsh-sounding consonants and the other being much more mellifluous. Lastly (for the ones I’ve done so far), the Polanzia’s language doesn’t have any words longer than three letters, except for significant exceptions. These will have a dash separating the letters in a one-two or two-one split, and the overall sound should be pronounceable in the form of a swift click. Okay, maybe click isn’t the perfect word, but I have no idea how to better put it into words. Other than that, any fictional words of mine are likely to be twisted versions of real mythological words, my attempts at veiled references to the tales these events are linked to, as inferred by the series title ‘The Ragnarök Chronicles’. We’re slowly making our way towards it. And speaking of veiled references, I will go on record to say that almost all of the character names presented in my books have some significance to them, be they nods to more mythological origins, or mostly just as little Easter eggs to things not relevant to the main plot. It’s just me having a bit of fun. I like mysteries and hidden details in things. I can only hope that someday somebody will be interested enough to go and work out what they mean for the simple sake of that desire to know.

As a student of English with Creative Writing and as a self-proclaimed geek, it has long been my ambition to write novels, especially in the science-fiction genre. A lot of my time is spent, whether I want it to be or not, impulsively devising stories of various kinds, some of which invariably pique my interest. Over time these tales seemed to begin to fall into place with one another, forming an interlinking multiverse of adventures. Thus The Ragnarök Chronicles was born. A collection of short series building up to the eponymous Ragnarök, these are the stories that I attribute most of my spare time to realising. Moving into the future, whatever life has in store for me, I aim to continue writing as much as I can, be it as part of this series or something original, be in on the page or maybe even someday on the screen. I only wish to give others the chance to share in my imaginings if they so wish. After all, what’s life without its stories?



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