A Foreshadowing of Darkness takes place millennia after the fall of humanity. The world is a dark and dystopian place where the radiation from The Fall has mutated man and animal alike. Humanity is climbing out of the dark and has a tenuous foothold in an emerging society in the Pacific Northwest. An organization has arisen that stands in the breach between humanity and the monsters that plague us. They are the Triads of the First Temple and they possess unmatched fighting skills and the magic of Aio, which aids them in their battle against the dark. Slowly secrets unfold and as Arawn delves deeper into those mysteries, he uncovers a vast lie-filled conspiracy dating back to The Fall itself. The truth is so shocking that were it to be made public, the entire fabric of their burgeoning society could collapse, leaving humanity defenseless against the dark. When your world shatters and no one is left to stand at your side, you must hold the breach to save mankind. Sometimes to stand against the dark you must become the darkness.
I created the main character for this story in the early 80s so it was a long-simmering boil, decades in the making, and the Covid pandemic seemed to be the tool that lanced it. I created the principal character in the early 80s as a character I played in Dungeons and Dragons. He was a lawful evil albino Drow fighter mage who had a Yakuza like code of honor. Respect that code and you are fine but cross it and he will kill you, your friends, your family, and likely the entire village you came from. This was a character created from the angst of a short, bullied kid who moved every two years and had no home or base of friends. I got bullied, but no one would ever bully Arawn. I joined the Marine Corps and when I got out after my 4 years I went to college. A creative writing professor asked me to stay after class one day and when she approached me she told me how wonderful the assignment, I’d written was and that it was so good, amazingly so, it was beyond my ability to write and demanded I tell her whom I’d stolen it from. I was furious after 3 combat tours, being in a class with kids younger than I was, and had no concept of the things I’d seen and done…when she approached me with that I just walked away. I quit college; I got promoted at work; I was married, and I just committed myself to those things and stopped writing. I am good at my work, very good. I’m an interrogator and a handwriting analyst. I would put myself in the top 20 percent of my field, but I don’t love it. I’ve always loved telling stories. Several small things occurred over the last two years that convinced me I was not doing what I loved. On August 5th, 2020, I saw a show on Netflix talking about villains. I asked myself, does Sauron know he’s the villain? Then I remembered Arawn, and I asked myself… does Arawn know he is the villain? Absolutely not. He would never see himself that way. Right then…I decided I needed to write the Origin story of Arawn Mistweaver. I chose a post-apocalyptic setting in the Pacific Northwest, I created my own magic system, and I started typing.
This is not a YA novel. This is definitely a grim dark genre. I think Mark Lawrence was a major influence on me and his Prince of Thorn’s book and subsequent series gave me the internal permission to go to some of the vile and dark places I needed to be able to visit and tell the story I wanted to tell. I know I spent some time thinking about my time in Iraq and Somalia while in the Marine Infantry, and one incident, in particular, focused my attention. My principal character is on a journey towards becoming a villain. He sees terrible things that we do to one another, that the mutated monsters of his world do to humanity, and still we attack each other. In his world we only seem to fall in line and do the right thing at the point of a sword and when responding to fear. Some of that was reflected in my first trip to Iraq. I found an Iraqi gas mask, torn in half, with the skin still in it drying like leather in the desert sun in the wreckage and rubble of a bombed-out Iraqi base. I remember thinking, “Why didn’t they just listen to us and stop this.” I wondered about that person’s family and how leaders put their people in terrible positions because of their lust for power. If you have childhood trauma or abuse, this may not be the book for you. If you suffered at the hands of others or witnessed trauma, this may not be the book for you. What I can tell you is that the primary character, who is on a journey towards becoming a villain, is on that journey because he hates seeing others hurt. He wants peace and safety, even if it is found at the point of his sword. I intended to take the reader on such a dark journey, especially when discovering the villain behind the curtain, that you might be forced to question your own moral code and ask yourself if you wouldn’t make the same decisions the main character did. I create such a vile cretin of the villain behind the curtain I want to see if I can find the reader’s own morally grey areas.
This is the first book in a plan of a six-book series. There will be two trilogies, The Rise of Arawn and The Fall of Arawn. The two will be set about 60 years apart and will chronicle the initial Rise of Arawn to a Genghis Khan-like figure who enforces and creates order through fear and terrible atrocities. The second series, tied together by one secret I don’t want to release yet, will be the story of the hero who comes to stand against Arawn and free the people from his crushing rule. I am also planning a 5-book series which will be a Shaolin style series that will model itself roughly after the history of the Okinawan people who learned martial arts to defend themselves after an invasion by the Chinese military took their land and outlawed weapons. I have a superhero series planned where a strange astronomical event/arrival creates a symbiotic relationship between humans and an alien species that mutates our DNA to a point where those with a symbiote have what we call “super-powers.” I hope to have all of those finished in the next two to three years, which will put my total book output to around 16 to 20 books. All of my books will be over 250 pages, preferably in excess of 300 pages. I have always hated buying books less than 300 pages, I felt like the story ended too soon and I don’t want to do that to my readers but I know the story sometimes takes on a life of its own so I can’t make any absolute promises.
I just turned 50 shortly after publishing my first book. I desperately wish I’d started sooner, but I know I am finally doing what I love and that is a fantastic feeling. I am very far away from being a full-time storyteller/writer at this point, but we will see what the readers think as I grow and learn to tell better and better stories. I have been married for almost 29 years, my wife and I married three months after we met. We married during the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles by the justice of the peace, and a short bit later I was on a boat headed to the Middle East. We have two children, both in high school now, a cat by the name of Nightbreeze, a Boston Terrier named Captain, and a leopard Gecko named Pixel. Just to highlight how inspiration strikes… when I speak about Pixel I tease that he thinks he is a fire-breathing dragon and I don’t want anyone to tell him the truth. A friend on a Facebook writer’s group suggested I include him in my current story. Well, they had no idea I was planning a Shaolin style story and suddenly I knew my MC in that future series would be in possession of the tiny fire breathing salamander, Pi-Xel. You never know when the story will take on a life of its own, but when you catch lightning in a bottle…use it. You are welcome to come find me! I’d love to chat or hear your thoughts on any. of my work. I am on;
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December 14th, 2020