Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Little More Personal with J.W.Baccaro

As I look back at these last thirty-four years of my life, remembering all of the different “stages,” it sometimes feels like I have been alive forever.  Strange, huh?  Some of my earliest memories are of my mother and I, walking around the city, collecting the autumn leaves that had fallen to the ground.  We’d take some home and paste the beautiful rustic-looking leaves onto wax paper.  I also recall times of wandering around the shores of the Hudson River with my father and older brother, looking for soda deposit bottles (glass bottles, in those days), to return to the store.  My father was the only one working, while my mother stood home to raise my brother and I until we were old enough for school.  So, any means of extra cash was helpful.  And then there was the time when my older brother and his buddy influenced me into picking up a half empty bottle of motor oil (that had been tossed into the woods), and pouring it onto the railroad tracks.  Honestly, I don’t know why I did it, because after I did, both of them suckered me into believing that the very next train that would come by would derail after gliding over the oil.  So, of course, a little frantic me started to cry, not wanting the responsibility of killing a trainload of people.  I took off my shirt, and wiped the oil from the hot rails, and my brother and his friend started laughing at me.  Kids, huh?

Though simple, these memories (and of course a dozen more I could share), have always stuck in my mind.  They were like a first “stage” in my life, and it seems I have gone through many stages, or periods, which, in some ways, differentiate from others, like “chapters” in my life.

Looking back, I can pick out all of the little elements that foreshadowed that I’d one day become not just an author, but also a creator.  I used to draw my own comic books, create my own little adventures while playing outside by myself, spend hours upon hours playing with my He-Man, Thundercats, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys—sometimes pretending they were not the icons that they had been modeled after, but each one his or her own individual character that I would create for my own personal “adventure.”  There was always so much fighting, just like in my novels.  *laughs*

While we’re on the subject, let me talk a little more about fighting here.  Growing up, there was nothing I enjoyed more than turning on the television set and slipping in one of my many VHS tapes for a couple hours of hard pounding action. (No, not pornography, in case anyone’s mind is slipping into the gutter.  Ha!).  I've always been fascinated by a good battle—preferably a battle between two monstrous powers, like Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader, Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris, King Kong vs. Godzilla—Godzilla should have won that!  There was just something about that feeling of, “whoa, this adversary is bad arse!  How on earth is the hero going to beat him?”  Or, “when they clash it’s going to be a great battle, because both of them are so ridiculously powerful!”  Then, they’d meet eye to eye, on the battle grounds, just like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris met in “Way of the Dragon,” and the lightning-fast kicks to heavy pounding punches to a hundred graceful moves of the martial arts would begin.  Oh yeah, baby, did that used to get my adrenaline pumping, it still does!  ...maybe it's a guy thing?

Cartoons were big for me as well. Thundercats, Silverhawks and Mask; Gobots, Transformers, He-Man...anything that had something to do with a transformation of form or power really caught my attention.  Oh!  And least I forget, She-Ra!  I must admit, She-Ra was the first woman who made me feel powerless, or “crushed,” if you know what I mean.  I was head-over-heels in love with that Princess of Power!  And I blame She-Ra for my...sometimes overly obsessive...high-heel boot fetish!  Here she is, posing in her cute white skirt and those calf-high sexy brown boots:

Oh yeah!  *laughs*
Then, when I was twenty-one years old, I saw the greatest action cartoon in perhaps the entire universe, Dragonball Z!  All right, I admit, it’s the easiest cartoon to poke fun at, especially whenever the warriors are “powering up.”  It sounds like they’re constipated.  But the flashy colors of their chaotic energies, and the thunderous battles (accompanied by an epic soundtrack), caught my attention immediately.  At the time, I had already been working on “Guardian of the Seventh Realm,” though it had no title; just a "baby chick freshly hatched."  So, I wanted to “upgrade” the characters I was creating, and engage them in battles of a similar setting: transformations, the raising of energy, flashy colors, chaotic explosions, feelings of desperation when the adversary has you beaten, etc.  Of course, all of this means nothing if your characters are dull, but it set the stage for the way I would play out battle scenes in my Epic Fantasy. 
That’s where my Nasharin Race comes from. Akira Toriyama (creator of the DBZ Manga), is by far the biggest influence for me when it comes to battle scenes and warrior transformations.  J.R.R. Tolkien, and my own personal beliefs on spirituality, is where the rest of my influences stem.  Although now-a-days I have developed an interest in Urban Fantasy and Dark Erotica.
As for Nasharins, they are definitely the most interesting class of warrior in my series.  Being half-wizard/half human, lusting after energy like a vampire thirsts for blood, and having the ability to evolve or transform into figures of extravagant power and beautified form, my hope was that many readers would find them highly interesting, exciting and colorful, and to my joy they have, so far.  And I hope that enjoyment continues.  It is a blessing to pour your heart out into something you truly cherish, and get some great feedback on it.  I have poured my heart out into “Guardian of the Seventh Realm.”  And in case anyone is wondering, no, it’s not all about fighting, but rather, finding the Truth of “the way,” coming to peace with one’s self—sometimes only after one faces a hardship.  That’s another thing I am highly thankful for, a lot of readers have commented that my series is quite easy to relate to, involving elements every one of us faces on our journey in life.

All throughout my life I have always loved to create in some fashion or another, and after I had read my first few novels, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “the Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” I finally knew what I truly wanted to do—even beyond my electric guitar playing and love for music.  I wanted to create my own epic adventure and see it in writing.
During the ten years of the Guardian of the Seventh Realm’s creation, that decade seemed like the largest and most “enlightening” chapter in my life.  I had just gotten my very first dog, Fawn (who I still have today.  She is now eleven), I entered into the study of Christianity, and other religions, (though I must admit for the longest time I favored Christianity because of how it was presented to me and what I was learning about it, and how it made me feel through my own meditations).  I met my wife—she crashed her car into mine when she ran a little intersection.  Yes, people, that’s how my beloved Melissa and I had met.  I had Fawn in the back seat of my 1986 Chevy Caviler, and the first thing Melissa says when she gets out is, “Is your dog okay?”

Would you like to answer that, Fawn?  :)

After getting to know one another we began dating, (which for her, getting to know me was about two hours.  By then she had already decided that I was hers.  I guess I played “hard to get,” because I took my time before asking her out officially.  I wasn’t really looking for a spouse at that time, for I was deeply involved in Spiritual elements and meditations.  But...when I witnessed the blissful love in her heart, I soon enough fell for her.  I wasn’t attracted to her because she always wore dresses, and cute little sandals, or her pair of sexy black boots—which I go crazy for on females; it was truly the love in her heart that pulled me to her.  If any of you know my stories, my character Kelarin is almost entirely based off of my wife Melissa).

Anyway, after I had finally gotten the five installments of my Epic Fantasy series published, it feels like this last decade is another finished “chapter” in my life, especially since the passing of Meira—our beloved nearly ten year old Husky/Shepherd mix.  Meira was with us from just about the beginning of this “chapter.”  Now she has moved on to the next life, whatever and wherever that may be.  And it feels like something else is now beginning; what that is I don’t know, but I interpret it as another "chapter."

If anyone is finding out about me for the first time due to this blog, and you'd like to learn more or purchase my books, just follow this link: Guardian of the Seventh Realm: Ebook and Paperback

In closing, I’d like to mention one final thing about “Guardian of the Seventh Realm.”  Some people have asked me if there is a Christian message behind it.  To be blunt, no; rather, the message is a message of finding Truth, overcoming the darkness one might have within him or herself, finding peace, and above all, the journey of life—which, usually, always includes both blessings and hardships.  On the other hand, there is a great deal of Christian mythology in it (mythology as I see it, and I believe there is Truth in every type of mythology).  The Faith, or religion, or whatever you want to call it, has always held me in fascination from the time I first began learning about it with an adult mindset, even the whole concept of Hell, and all of the stories and “visions” we’ve heard about it throughout Christianity’s history, but not only that, even the “Hells”  of the ancient Mesopotamian stories and Egyptian mythologies.  I’m not Christian, either, in case anyone is wondering, at least not anymore.  Although I hold a great deal of respect for Christianity (and also many other faiths), and see much beauty in it, especially the Beatitudes of Christ, the writings about St. Francis of Assisi, and the way of the Amish people.  At the same time, there are ideas or “doctrines” that, to me, personally (no pun intended, for I understand each of us has our own beliefs) seem too far fetched, and embedded in negativity and even darkness in order for me to accept that it is the only way, or the absolute true way to God—or the Truth, (ironically, the Dark in my fantasy saga typically holds that idealism, while the Light is more concerned with making peace, and standing in harmony with nature).
I do believe in God.  I do believe in an afterlife, and I believe the further advanced in technology the human race becomes, the more open this idea will become.  I believe, when the time arrives, there will be an actual “science” to the afterlife.  Perhaps it has something to do with the whole concept and mystery of Quantum Physics, and the energy of the universe?  Or perhaps I’m saying this because I’m still coming off of the “high” from reading Bruce H. Lipton’s awesome book, “The Biology of Belief.” *laughs*  I don’t know, but whatever the case, yes, I do believe.

Thank you for reading, and as always, journey on!

P.S.  Okay...since I had talked about She-Ra, I figured I'd throw in one other image of her.  Here she is, putting Wonder Woman in her place.  *laughs*  Go Princess of Power!!!  :)
Wonder Woman...OWNED!!!  :D