Seven years ago, I fired up my old laptop and began writing a dystopian-fantasy. Seven years later, the manuscript is complete, and I’m constantly editing the piece of work in hopes to one day get the series on bookshelves everywhere. Once is a correlation to American society, especially in today’s world. Being neither conservative nor liberal, instead opting for libertarianism, I’ve disliked the policies and actions of both former President Barack Obama and Incumbent, Donald Trump. Both men have one thing in common: big government spending. The difference? Well, when one boils down to it, there isn’t much difference. Former President George W. Bush can also be thrown into this muck pile.
There I sat, as a sophomore attending Kent State University at the time, sitting in my dorm room, and drawing up characters. Many of my characters have since been changed drastically, and now fit the mold of what I was really looking for as I sit with a completed manuscript seven years later. Rocky Robinson became Cain Robertson. A character named Ricardo became Randelo Jefferson. George Nixon, the main antagonist, actually split into two characters: General Adam Mattheos, and King Richard (note the latter being a nod to Richard Nixon).
I wished to connect with the readers, which is why I put this work into the dystopian category, but I’ve also had a love of fantasy since I religiously watched the old Disney movies since birth. I initially wrote two manuscripts: One without a magical system and one with a magical system. Of course, the fantasy inclusion survived, which opened doors to Once since it’s a planned series, not a standalone work. Yet, I wished to connect further, so I twisted and tweaked the work until one could see some influence, mainly in the case of Harry Potter meets Star Wars, with a good deal of Last Airbender, along with some influences from Greek and Germanic mythology. With some rather popular influences, while at the same time keeping the work original, and after two more years of perfecting the setting and plot, I came out with something I enjoy reading. I feel some of us are embarrassed to read our own work, while others are proud, and love what we’ve written. I fall into the latter category, and my beta-readers have praised the plot, keeping them interested until the final page. Now, it’s all about making sure the work is error-free and fits like a puzzle, which is where a professional editor will come into play.
I’m usually asked about my purpose for writing the work, and if there is a story under the real story. The answer is a definite yes! I remember back in grade school and middle school our teachers preached about author’s purpose. Is the author looking to entertain, inform, or persuade? I like to take elements of all three in Once, because I’m looking to entertain to catch the reader’s attention. I want to inform, because many Americans are ignorant to true American values, instead opting for party lines the elite minority knows will divide us. When the population is divided, it’s easier to conquer. And finally, I aim to persuade, because my message is we’re all Americans, and we need to unite, as some of our ancestors did in Colonial America, to continue to spread what America is all about: upholding the Constitution of the United States.
In a way, I borrowed from the American Revolution, but with technological advances and as mentioned earlier, a magic system, which will become more in-depth later in the series. Some may also make a connection between today’s masses versus an overreaching American Government. My message in Once is this: Unite as one to drive out any threat to individual life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Regardless of race, preferences, or anything under the sun dividing us, unite and drive out the true evil keeping us divided as a country: A large, overreaching, and oppressive government.
Today, you see President Donald Trump calling on Americans to help limit the Constitutional Right to Free Speech. My stance on kneeling during the National Anthem is that there are much better ways to go about improving things, such as community involvement, but this does spread awareness of social injustice in America. Social injustice is a huge part of Once, and I support the players’ right to protest one-hundred percent. It’s in the First Amendment, to which we’re all subject, even large corporations such as the NFL. I realize these players are at work, but everyone is subject to allowing people, and that includes employees, the right to free speech. Yet, Mr. Trump doesn’t agree with this, and he’s urging owners to cut players who exercise their constitutional right. This is a prime motivation for Once: To call out, and to continue to call out, political leaders who wish to limit rights, which Trump, Obama, and George W. Bush are all guilty of, as are their predecessors.
Trump is also very much like King Richard of the Southpoint Empire, the antagonists in Once. Like Southpoint, Trump is looking to go to war in North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and possibly China and Russia. American lines will be stretched thin, and you can bet conscription will be called upon for the first time since Vietnam. This will do two things: It’ll further spread the statist agenda Trump wishes to impose on all of us, and it’ll divide the country even further than it’s already divided, causing an outbreak of violent protests in every city in America. Trump isn’t merely like King Richard, Trump, in many ways, is King Richard, especially in the way he’s looking to spread an iron fist which has caused many nations overseas to hate us. Instead of looking to diplomacy, Trump is looking to further this hatred. He’s upping the ante, and I fear America is looking to a future of war and uncertainty. With weaponry the way it is today, trouble is beginning, and it likely won’t end for quite some time. Albert Einstein once claimed he wouldn’t know with what kind of weapons World War III would be fought, but World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. Heed warning, and people like Donald Trump have become the exact reason Once was written. I just hope the work finds a home.