Why I Wrote The Prodigal Band Trilogy

Three years ago I wrote a set of posts titled The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why in five parts. If you scroll down most of the way on this Home Page or go to my blog and scroll through pages you will find these posts—but to make it easier to understand why I wrote these three novels, I am reprising these posts into one long post here, beginning with part one and ending with part five, plus an additional post reprise as well. Note: A few small changes were made from the original posts. Enjoy!

Part One

As I have said in previous posts both here and the blog site, I began my journey as a writer of fiction around the age of 8 or 9. I was returning home, on Long Island, New York, with my parents and older brother in a car from a visit to my grandparents (mother’s side) who lived in Mount Dora, Florida (about 20 miles from what was then Orlando). It was the summer of 1962; thus, I was 9 at the time. And I just happened to bring some non-lined notebook-sized paper and pencil with me. The paper was folded in half, width-wise, and looked like a “paperback book.”

Glad I brought the paper and pencil, because I was bored. I do not remember what my brother, in the back seat with me, was doing–he was 14 and likely listening to transistor radio up to near his ears (and folks, before the Beatles came along, pop music was very very boring, cutesy-wootsey “love songs” and other meaningless tripe about teenagers falling in love. From the time of the plane crash of Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly in 1958 until the Beatles in 1964, “rock” music, if you could call it that, was IMHO, tripe. Dion and the Belmonts and Del Shannon and perhaps the Four Seasons were about as good as it got, and who the heck was Elvis? But anyway…) I had no idea what my parents were doing other than driving the car.

This was my first journey into the “deep south.” And the only thing I knew about the “deep south” related to the Civil War and the abominable institution known as slavery back then. There were times along Route 301 or even what was then I-95 when I would see what were called “negro shacks” along the way, plus we all visited some Civil War Confederacy monument somewhere, can’t remember. Now I was a “buff” so to speak of Civil War history. So I decided I was going to make up some story about this kid in the South during the Civil War who, along with his friend, a black kid who had been freed from slavery somehow and lived with the kid and his family, hated the south and slavery! So what he and his friend did was help the Union Army blow up a Confederate “ammunition dump.” And they did. I did not mention the state the kid lived in, or even the kid’s family name, but I called him “Johnny Reb” and the black kid was named Sammy. So, I named a kid who would blow up a Confederate ammo dump Johnny Reb? When my dad actually read the “book” (named “Johnny Reb” and was about 20 pages long in pencil) he brought up this irony! After all, weren’t the Confederates called “Rebels”?

Around that time I also had a diary–didn’t all young girls have diaries then? So, there I was in late 1963 just starting to have any interest in the watered-down “rock and roll” back then. When it rained outside, and in the Northeast US, home of “Nor’easters,” it almost always rained some in the fall and early winter, the public elementary school kept all the students in the gym after lunch, too wet to play outside. I was in sixth grade at the time and, not being popular so-to-speak, no boy wanted to dance with me. So all I did then was listen to whatever 45 RPM record discs were put onto the record player. Not being a ‘A-list’ or even ‘B-list’ (more like ‘D-list!’) that’s all I could do as most of my friends were dancing on the gym floor with boys whom had asked them to dance. Well, I had to try to ‘fit-in’ somehow so, even though I thought the music was boring tripe, I pretended to like it anyway. Thus, in my diary I would make up stuff about myself–in terms of a fiction character I can’t even remember the name–being popular and folks like Chubby Checker or Frankie Valli (spelling?) wanting to ‘dance’ with me (not knowing the actual hidden meaning of ‘dance’ at the time…’dance’ was code for a certain ‘f’ word if you know what I mean!) And of course I made up the boy characters as well. And named them the same names I have used for the original rock band characters in my books! (Note: the band concept came about in the latter 60s, and then I added two more band members, then deleted one of the originals in the 80s only to put him back in during the 90s). The reader is going to have to wait to find out the names of the characters for a bit.

Note: Here are the names of the band characters, including last names which I tend not to mention in my snippet posts: singer Erik Manning; guitarist-band leader Jack Lubin; bassist Keith Mullock; guitarist-producer Mick Pordengreau; keyboard synthist Bry McClellan; drummer Tom Cornsby. One of these days I will explain how I came up with the names.

Continue reading “Why I Wrote The Prodigal Band Trilogy”

Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Historical Context, Part Two—William of Normandy Invades Britain, and Genealogy

As with the Roman invasion of Britain under Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066 AD has little context within The Prodigal Band Trilogy, except for one thing: a major spiritual character, Morwenna, aka ‘the witch of the Hovels,’ would not have had the influence she had on the prodigal band had this invasion not taken place, and had this invasion not been aided by an aristocratic family that somewhat aided the forces of William the Conqueror.

It is weird with aristocrats…throughout history, various aristocratic families have had a tendency to aid the enemies of their countrymen and that would include fellow aristocrats. But when power is to be had, aristocrats often turn against their fellows in order to gain power: Julius Caesar vs. Brutus; Tutors vs. Stuarts; the Hundred Years War between opposing yet related royal families of France and England; the Biblical split up of Israel into Israel vs. Judah, Spanish vs. Austrian Habsburgs, and many more. But the rivalry between Duke William of Normandy and England’s King Harold, as both are closely related, is somewhat complicated, which led to the Norman invasion aided by Norsemen and other English rival aristocrat families where timing was key. From the Wikipedia page on the Norman Conquest:

“The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of Normans, Bretons, Flemish, and men from other French provinces, all led by the Duke of Normandy later styled William the Conqueror.

William’s claim to the English throne derived from his familial relationship with the childless Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor, who may have encouraged William’s hopes for the throne. Edward died in January 1066 and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson. The Norwegian king Harald Hardrada invaded northern England in September 1066 and was victorious at the Battle of Fulford, but Godwinson’s army defeated and killed Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Within days, William landed in southern England. Harold marched south to oppose him, leaving a significant portion of his army in the north. Harold’s army confronted William’s invaders on 14 October at the Battle of Hastings; William’s force defeated Harold, who was killed in the engagement.”

So Vikings invaded northern England around the time Normans did? Hmmmm… Yet, if one has watched the History Channel TV series Vikings, it might make sense. It turns out William of Normandy is directly descended from Normandy’s first ruler, Rollo, a Viking (and brother to the TV show’s main character, Ragnar Lothbrok), who, after trying to conquer France in Paris, wound up marrying the Carolingian King Charles’s daughter (and supposedly converting to Christianity) and was given Normandy to rule over in 911 AD. (Note: the Carolingians are descended from Charlemagne, who took over France in 800 AD, crowned by the pope of that time.)

“In 911, the Carolingian French ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings under their leader Rollo to settle in Normandy as part of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for the land, the Norsemen under Rollo were expected to provide protection along the coast against further Viking invaders. Their settlement proved successful, and the Vikings in the region became known as the “Northmen” from which “Normandy” and “Normans” are derived. The Normans quickly adopted the indigenous culture as they became assimilated by the French, renouncing paganism and converting to Christianity. They adopted the langue d’oïl of their new home and added features from their own Norse language, transforming it into the Norman language. They intermarried with the local population and used the territory granted to them as a base to extend the frontiers of the duchy westward, annexing territory including the Bessin, the Cotentin Peninsula and Avranches.”

So, is it possible these Viking invaders against King Harold invaded to aid in the cause of Rollo’s (I’m speculating here) great-great grandson, William? Hmmmm…. It was Rollo, then son William I, grandson Richard I, then sister of great-grandson Richard II (Edward the Confessor), then Harold, whom William considered illegitimate as he was promised the throne. And why does a Viking invasion have any context within the trilogy? For one thing, the mother of singer Erik is Norwegian—from what would turn out to be a family that had roots in the Norman invasion, as a snippet will tell later in this post.

Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Historical Context, Part Two—William of Normandy Invades Britain, and Genealogy”

The Truth About the (Music) ‘Industry’ Expounded in The Prodigal Band Trilogy (Part One)—And a Tribute to Rap Legend DMX…RIP, DMX!

I was going to post a new set of articles regarding either The Prodigal Band Trilogy or a message for Christian authors in their writings. But then I learned rapper DMX, an avowed believer on Christ, died supposedly of a heart attack on April 2, which so happened to be Good Friday, the day Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross in the year (according to most historians) 29 AD.

While I was never a fan of rap, gangsta or otherwise, I was a fan (sort of) of DMX as he was an avowed believer on Christ and is known to have spoken about Christ to fans and rap fans in general. While I was not a listener to his tracks, I did hear him in various videos talking about ‘the industry,’ such as one on YouTube that was later incorporated into a ‘truther’ video upon his passing, such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7c0Z6P82hI (copy and paste the link into the browser; due to the ridiculous CASE Act, I will not post the video which might be copyrighted.) He not only denounced the evil within ‘the industry’ but also ‘preached’ so to speak about accepting Christ as Savior to fans at concerts and other events. Further, DMX was an actual inspiration while completing the trilogy in 2018.

Continue reading “The Truth About the (Music) ‘Industry’ Expounded in The Prodigal Band Trilogy (Part One)—And a Tribute to Rap Legend DMX…RIP, DMX!”

Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy Controversial Topics Series: Episode Six-The Consequences of Poverty and Debt (Part One)

As with Episode Five about the controversial topic of Evolution vs. Creation and Intelligent Design, this episode, Six, will be in two parts. This post will discuss how indentured servitude, stemming from poverty and debt, plays into the trilogy. Part Two will feature snippets about the consequences of indentured servitude from the trilogy.

Throughout history, neither poverty nor debt has been controversial, and poverty and debt can happen by being born into it with virtually no way out, or through bad fortune, or through theft. Billions of people on Earth are poor and even more are in debt of some kind.

What makes poverty and debt controversial within The Prodigal Band Trilogy, however, is the legally binding document called an indenture, which by definition binds one party into the service of another party for a stipulated period of time. The document is called an indenture based on a legal meaning of an ‘indent’ which is a legal contract drawn up in duplicate or triplicate. Thus, the notion of ‘indentured servitude’ means that person doing the service does so for a stipulated period of time; mostly in history it has been used to pay back a debt. Historically, that period of time tended to be seven years.

Along with slavery, indentured servitude was abolished in the US by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

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Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy Controversial Topics Series: Episode Three-Sexual Orientation

There are a couple of reasons ‘sexual orientation’ is controversial, especially these days when some folks are changing their genders for whatever reason or changing their children’s genders for whatever reason. I could have just posted about sexuality or desire for sex, or not (believe it or not but some folks have no sexual desire at all!), but that isn’t really controversial anymore. Sexual orientation implies either heterosexual or what is now called LGBTQ—lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual…and does ‘Q’ stand for ‘queer’?

If the reader has read the various ‘Snippets of the Prodigal Band Trilogy’ posts here then the reader knows that guitarist-producer Mick is bisexual. He revealed why in Chapter Eleven of The Prodigal Band: his own mother sexually abused him while a teen because his own father was gay and thus would not have sex with his wife! But Mick had already given up the bisexual lifestyle by the time he revealed this.

So then, why is this topic controversial in the trilogy books? Because if one looks closely at what is secretly admitted within the three novels by the other band characters, one might come up with the notion that Mick wasn’t the only band member to have ‘relationships’ with those of the same sex. In the snippets posted in this post, clues abound without getting heavily into this possibility.

Here is why this possibility that other band members might have bisexual leanings makes sense: it is a well-known fact that many rock stars were openly gay or bisexual, or secretly so. I am not going to mention any names here—do the research yourself. But many of these rockers did admit they had sexual relationships with same sex rockers and others, including fellow band members. For one thing, check out Rolling Stone Magazine for this. The same applies to rappers, hip-hoppers, etc. I’ve known about this for many years, thanks to Rolling Stone and other publications. There are many reasons for this, but one that stood out (including admissions in YouTube videos) was the fact that rocker handlers—managers, agents, producers, A&R men for various record labels and others—veered the rockers into accepting this lifestyle for the sake of fame and fortune. Again, do the research yourself. This is why, in an early chapter of Battle of the Band, Mick admits to having sex with record company officials, and would later have a relationship with another rocker named Adam Bloodlove.

The following snippets are short but to the point. All are from Battle of the Band.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Original Deleted Scenes Series, Episode Two

This second “episode” (or part) of a series where I post scenes or sections of the original novels Battle of the Band, The Prophesied Band and The Prodigal Band that make up The Prodigal Band Trilogy deals with how the fictitious prodigal band Sound Unltd found their road crew, made up of members of a biker gang. For the most part, all of their roadies were members of biker gangs.

Why was this section deleted from the Lulu published trilogy? There are references to some of these biker roadies winding up in jail for disruptive behavior in night clubs and pubs, so the scenario was already present. Yet this episode shows the beginning of this type of scenario so I am posting it now…plus it’s interesting, in my opinion. The episode begins in a biker night club in south London, and the bikers within are already riled up to an extent that band singer Erik is experiencing ‘stage fright.’ And he and two others in the band, guitarist Jack and drummer Tom, had been in a street gang for years! The gig at this night club was part of a ‘national tour’ after winning a ‘Battle of the Bands’ in northeast England several months previously. A night club mentioned, the River Rat, was a club in the band’s fictitious home city of Walltown.

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Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Eating Disorders of Models and Celebrities

I’m taking a break from religious and cultist and new age group influence and symbology this week in this post to bring up an issue which isn’t overly important in The Prodigal Band Trilogy but an issue I am well familiar with–eating disorders, which according to my research on the fashion industry and histories of fashion models seems to be quite prominent. Several of my female characters, wives or girlfriends of my prodigal band members, were models in the fashion industry as well as celebrities otherwise. One of them had an eating disorder known as bulimia.

Bulimia is highlighted by eating–sometimes huge amounts of food–and then vomiting it up to supposedly maintain their skinny (or otherwise) weight. This is one of the more prominent disorders to maintain low weight; the more serious one is called anorexia nervosa, which is self-starvation. But some folks simply cannot starve themselves. So they eat, and then vomit the food.

For proof that fashion models and celebrities (mostly female) have been ‘forced’ to keep their weight down to a very skinny level, I have some links to articles that will verify this:

Victoire Macon Dauxerre’s fashion model experience

Eating disorder expert Dr. Adrienne Key’s report

Model Zuzanna Buchwalk’s story

Eight Famous Celebrities (some who started out being child fashion models) Who Battled Bulimia

Oh, and I too was bulimic on and off for six years–in order to attract a future husband! That is one reason my most important female character was made to be bulimic. Ger is the name of the character, and she is the woman of Erik, my singer-front man character. She is five-foot-eight with dark brown close-cropped page-boy hairstyle with a widow’s peak, and has sultry blue eyes and an enticing smile. She was born in London to an upper-middle class family, and her father owns a hardware store in Walltown, where the band is from. When her man Erik and the rest of Sound Unltd make it big in 1989, she desires to be a super model. So it went.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Bryan, the Keyboard-Synthist

This will be the final character snippet. This character is the keyboard-synthist Bryan, known as Bry in the trilogy. Much of the use of this character within The Prodigal Band Trilogy deals with the sexual tension he has with his wife, Mo, whom he felt obliged to marry after he got her pregnant. He is from an atheist household while she is from a Christian one, with her father being an Anglican pastor. He is also from a family of classical musicians; both parents are with a local philharmonic orchestra–dad plays piano and mom plays oboe.

Here is his description, from Chapter One of Battle of the Band:

‘The pot-bellied, biker-esque synthesizer player famed for red hair as wild as the wind, fiery as his brew, bore a downcast of regret.’

In other words, he’s also a biker and is the boss of the band’s road crew (which is mainly bikers). And he loves to drink beer.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Keith, the Bassist

Next up is in The Prodigal Band Trilogy character snippets is Keith, the bassist. As  told  here, he had a steamy sexual relationship with a pop singer while he was also married to a super-model-cosmetics mogul, Jarris, a woman he began dating as a teen and a woman he vowed to protect from her abusive father. He is also described as a “skuz addicted womanizer” in Chapter Four of The Prophesied Band. Skuz is a fictional opioid-cocaine laced designer drug that is used by the band and various other wealthy rockers living in the world of ‘sex, drugs, and rock and roll.’

His physical description? From Chapter One of Battle of the Band: ‘The dark, strapping bass player with bushy black curls and coal-dark eyes walked without his trademark gold chains.’ He is ‘dark’ because his grandmother is from Nigeria, on his mother’s side.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy Character Snippets: Tom, the Drummer

Sorry this post is late…no internet for 24 hours, went up about 1 p.m. today…

Now that the holidays are about over, next up is Tom, the drummer. Of all the band members, Tom was the most difficult to characterize and has that ‘walking contradiction’ feel. On the one hand he grew up extremely poor, son of indentured servants, in a true slum section called the Hovels; on the other hand, he surrounded himself with jet-setting celebrities and sons and daughters of aristocracy. On the one hand he was a loner of sorts and tended to show up at gigs and band meetings late; on the other hand he could only be himself surrounded by his band mates, their women, or roadies. On the one hand he loved to argue–with his antagonist Mick, but also with his band manager, his woman, a princess, and other friends among the jet-setters; on the other hand he has no truly discordant agenda with the group and seeks no attention within the group. And, when he is bored with his jet-set entourages, he travels the world meeting ‘real’ people (such as Sherpas in Nepal, African tribesmen in Tanzania, and Muslims in Morocco), and loves mountain climbing (but not skiing). One minute he’s an arrogant pretender among those he considers phonies, and the next minute he’s as humble as a celebrity could get. He pretends to ‘channel’ the so-called ‘god’ Corion using one form of ‘persona’ and then meets ‘real’ people and becomes an activist of sorts, and even converses with good spirits. He even paid off all indentured debt in his hometown of Walltown.

Here is his description: “A short, curly-blond percussionist once angered by lost love approached with the others to an unknown destination, glad with a full life behind him.” He is five-foot-six and tends to wear cotton clothing.

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