About The Guardian Trilogy:
The Guardian Trilogy delves into the harrowing trials of Alexander Croft, a security guard and seemingly average 30-something-year-old man, whose life is forever changed in a violent instant. After being accused of a series of heinous crimes he didn’t commit, Alex is sentenced to life in a hellish prison.
Or so his fate seems.
Because unbeknownst to him, Alex is no ordinary man. He is a Voror, a magically-gifted being commissioned with the protection of the Realms – and nothing can keep him from his true destiny.
In The Guardian Trilogy, follow Alex’s life-changing and life-challenging journey, from his training at the Voror Council in the least-admired Task of all, to a chance at love and romance with a woman whose people have wronged him, to his encounters with an enemy who has stalked him since birth, to his personal mission to clear his family name and protect the Realms from encroaching darkness. As evil rises, Alex must stand to meet it or watch everyone he has grown to love be destroyed.
Books in The Guardian Trilogy:
Book One: The Guardian
Description: Ever since Alex Croft was little, robed beings have shadowed his every move. But after he is wrongfully incarcerated, the robed strangers have apparently abandoned him. Or so it seems. When Alex’s true identity is revealed, he enters a world he has always seen but never really known. A realm where he learns how to protect the innocent from an evil that desires to control everything in its path. Especially Alex. As he trains as an apprentice within the Voror Council, Alex uncovers a sinister secret seeking to destroy him. To save himself and others, he will have to endure the same darkness he sought to escape. In this first installment of The Guardian Trilogy, Alex Croft will not only learn magic-infused Words and make strange, new allies but also discover the truth about himself and his past. A truth that will become either his destiny or his downfall.
Book Two: The Guardian Prophecy
Description: Handler Apprentice Alex Croft is invited by Sunniva, the Council’s Head Healer, to accompany her on a journey across the Realms as she seeks out an exiled Voror. Along the way, Alex encounters old friends, new enemies, and discovers a growing attraction to the hauntingly beautiful Niobe of Ryncheon. Yet the threat of Belial of Rastaban’s forces shadows their every move as they race to uncover a truth that many have desired to conceal – a truth Rastaban has killed for in order to obtain. Past grievances come to seek vengeance as Rastaban’s rebels seek to set up their own regime. And the only way Alex can hope to stop them is to make the ultimate sacrifice. In this second installment of The Guardian Trilogy, Alex Croft learns what it means to fulfill his destiny as a Guardian, which may cost him everything.
Description: After miraculously surviving torture at Rastaban’s hands, Handler Alex of Croft knows the hour grows short as war among the Realms draws closer. Mustering his friends and unexpected allies, Alex assumes the role of the prophesied Halcyon and decides to cut off his enemy at the place where it all began, the infamous prison Erebus and home to the Gates of the Dead. The Guardian Wars concludes Alex of Croft’s journey as a man of divided bloods. But can he be a shining light in a dark place or will the darkness finally consume him?
[Release date Spring 2017 TBA – Product links coming soon!]
Background on The Guardian Trilogy
The Guardian Trilogy is project over a decade in the making and started with a rather odd mash-up of ideas. As the author puts it, One summer, I was reading the “Harry Potter” novels and watching reruns of the Fox drama series “Prison Break.” The two stories merged in my mind as I thought, “What if Michael Scofield [chief protagonist on “Prison Break”] was a wizard?” That sparked a mental chain reaction and I had to write it out. Eventually, it evolved into The Guardian Trilogy.
Thus, The Guardian Trilogy is a fantasy series that hopes to pay respects to classic hero quest epics while remaining an entirely original piece, chiefly through the introduction of the Vorors, a magically-gifted race charged with protecting the Realms, and the Sangres, a vampiric people who are siblings to the Vorors. Both worlds collide with Alex Croft caught in the middle.
– The Guardian was the author’s first, full-length fiction work and it was first published in 2014. Its sequel, The Guardian Prophecy, was first published in 2015. While The Guardian took close to six years to write, The Guardian Prophecy took close to three years to complete. Work on The Guardian Wars, the final novel, started in 2015 and will be published in spring 2017.
– The original and first fully typed draft of The Guardian was over 100,000 words. It was later revised and reduced to around 89,000 words. The Guardian Prophecy is around 70,000 words, and The Guardian Wars is around 65,500 words.
– The dedication page in each book names “JKR and NS,” which stands for author J. K. Rowling and Nick Santora, writer and producer of the Fox television series “Prison Break.” This is intended to be a nod towards the creators of the two works that directly inspired The Guardian trilogy.
– The Words the Vorors use are either star names or derived from star names, and their purpose or function tie in loosely to the original meaning of the original word. For instance, Yildun, a Word that causes the speaker’s vial to light up with star-like light, is the traditional name for Delta Ursae Minoris and comes from the Turkish word for “star.” Other Words, such as Gomesia and Benetasch, are derived from star names but had their spellings altered for artistic purposes and ease of pronunciation.
– The first draft of The Guardian was composed entirely by hand in a college-lined, 180-page notebook. The finished draft filled up two and a half notebooks. While much of this initial draft was not used or was significantly revised, some of the book’s scenes were lifted directly from the first handwritten draft with minimal changes. These scenes include Alex’s Task selection, Alex’s first encounter with Festus LaCroix, and Alex and Niobe’s meeting in the Council Gardens.
– Alex’s first meeting with Caretaker Sophia was originally intended to be in The Guardian, but after subsequent revisions its existence couldn’t be justified considering other events in the book. So it was saved and used in its entirety in The Guardian Prophecy.
– The character of Jael was originally intended to be introduced (without name) in The Guardian but was later saved and introduced more formally in The Guardian Prophecy.
– The hardest scenes to write from an emotional standpoint were the last two chapters of The Guardian Prophecy though they were the easiest to conceptualize and involved few revisions.
– Most of the lead characters’ names were selected due to a particular meaning regarding their personalities or traits. Alexander, for example, means “defending man” in Greek and ties directly into Alex’s in-born desire to protect others as well as his duties as a Voror. In contrast, Belial of Rastaban’s name combines an archaic term for Satan (Belial), which means “lawlessness,” and Rastaban, which is the traditional name for the star Beta Draconis, which translates from Arabic to mean “head of the serpent,” thus alluding to traditional satanic imagery.
– The cover colors for each of the books are meant to reflect each stage of the alchemical process, which serves as an extended metaphor for spiritual transformation, namely corruption by sin (black), purification (white/silver), and redemption (red/purple). The first novel’s cover is black, indicative of Alex’s initial transformation and encounters with darkness; the second novel’s cover is silver to symbolize Alex’s purification; and the final novel’s cover is red to denote the third stage of redemption.
– The novels themselves follow a loose alchemical pattern using this same logic where The Guardian focuses on dark/death-related images and themes, The Guardian Prophecy contains allusions to purification and white/silver images, and The Guardian Wars possesses themes of redemption as well as red/purple and related symbols of the third and final alchemical stage. (For more information on alchemical literature and symbolism, consult the textual analyses of Dr. John Granger, who has analyzed the Harry Potter and Twilight series; Stanton Linden’s Darke Hierogliphicks: Alchemy in English Literature from Chaucer to the Restoration; and Lyndy Abraham’s Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery.)
– The word Voror was derived from the Old Norse term vǫrðr, which is a “warden spirit, believed to follow from birth to death the soul (hugr) of every person” (Wikipedia). The original Old Norse term means watcher or caretaker. However, Vorors are an entirely invented being and are not intended to be metaphoric of angels or an angelic race.
– The word Sangre is the Spanish word for “blood.” However, Sangres are not synonymous with vampires, which is why the term vampire is never used in the trilogy (except in jest). Instead, Sangres are related to Vorors though they cannot use Words and, thus, aren’t magically-gifted. Though they have an in-born craving for blood and possess elongated canine teeth, Sangres are not undead and are unaffected by sunlight; therefore, the term vampire does not apply to them.
– The decision to use vials as the channels by which Vorors use Words was inspired by the author’s extensive perfume collection. The image of the vial carried by Healers was based loosely on the bottle design for Miami Glow by JLo.
– Alexander Croft’s first name was inspired by Alexander Mahone, a character from “Prison Break,” though neither character is intended to look nor act alike.
– Festus LaCroix’s appearance and dour demeanor was inspired by the character of Anton Ego from the 2007 film Ratatouille.
– The House of Ryncheon had their name inspired by and is a play on the Pyncheons, the infamously cursed family from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables.
– Niobe of Ryncheon’s character and physical appearance were inspired by cover art for the January 2005 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.
– Caretaker Sophia’s appearance was inspired by Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Mrs. Coulter in the 2007 film adaptation of The Golden Compass. In particular, Kidman’s gold dress served as the inspiration for Sophia’s principle wardrobe color of choice.
– Sunniva’s name was taken from a character in A Distant Dawn by Jane Peart chiefly due to its meaning (“sun gift”), which fits her cheery disposition.
– Rowan’s hair was inspired by the various shades worn by Paramore’s frontwoman Hayley Williams.
– Eamon of Doria’s appearance, as well as the decision to make him a barber, was inspired by Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the titular character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
– The inspiration for the physical appearance of the Three Brothers – Elam, Oliver, and Joshua – was based on the three lead characters (Everett, Pete, and Delmar) in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou.
– The unique physical appearance of Zoe, Steward of the Menagerie, was inspired by makeup used for the character of Elphaba in the musical Wicked.
– Alex Croft was originally intended to be a police officer, then a bodyguard, and eventually a security guard. His middle name and surname also underwent multiple changes until they were settled upon – Luke and Croft, respectively, with Luke being taken from the Gospel writer and physician of the same name and Croft for its connections to pastoral life, which tied into Alex’s own humble origins.