How I Wrote The Prodigal Band Trilogy, Part Two

Sorry this post is late, but last week I was entirely with loved ones from east Texas and at a local spring-fed swimming pool full of catfish, snap turtles and other fish, some of which are endangered, among other activities.

For me, if any plot is going to have some kind of impact encouraging the reading of the novel as well as book sales, the spiritual or ‘good vs. evil’ scenario makes the most sense and is the one I could best handle. Growing up, the genre of horror movies full of good vs. evil scenes and characters made the most impact and were the most entertaining—monster movies, vampires like Dracula, men-turned-monsters like Frankenstein or the Wolf Man or zombies such as in ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and more. Without or without the science fiction aspects, I watched just about every horror movie out there in the 50s and 60s. And every one of them had a good vs. evil theme.

Then came rock music, which isn’t exactly horror (even the movie “Rocky Horror Picture Show” filled with rock music wasn’t really horror!). So this rock band I created wouldn’t exactly fit into some horror scenario. But it could certainly fit into a ‘good vs. evil’ scenario, especially when so many folks, especially Christians, thought all rock stars ‘sold their souls to the devil.’ And it was this ‘sell souls to the devil’ notion that, while it made sense—the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and Jimmy Page’s following of Aleister Crowley and the Beatles following a new age cultist called Maharishi Yogi and more—I realized this to be not quite true for most rockers, in the 60s and 70s and 80s, anyway. I needed proof, and what better way to ‘prove’ this was true or not than to have an excuse to do the research? Just because some preachers said this was true didn’t actually mean this way really true. What I found was that yes, some rockers were avowed ‘devil worshipers’ (Marilyn Manson being the most avowed as a member of ‘the Church of Satan’), and while very few were even somewhat Christian (as time went on a few would make that choice, such as Megadeath’s Dave Mustain and one or two others), it seemed to me that most were not devil worshipers but did ‘sell their souls’ for fame and fortune whether they wanted to or not. They wanted the rock star lifestyle, not devil worship. However, this did lead some into occult practices. Yet their choices often led to dire outcomes, such as drug or alcohol addiction, which my novel band characters engaged in handsomely.

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Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Occult, Part 1

Along with snippets relating to the fiction genre known as horror within The Prodigal Band Trilogy are snippets of horror’s ‘sidekick,’ the occult. I have only witnessed the ‘milder’ side of occultism–Ouija Boards, Tarot Cards, mock séances with fake ‘mediums,’ and in all instances these tools were not being used by actual ‘witches’ or wiccans. Just ‘playing’ at it during parties or whatever. Yet one evening at a friend’s house more than a mile from my own house two friends and I did get a good look at what true witchcraft would look like without realizing it, and the event scared the crap out of me to the point where the two friends had to walk me home around 11 p.m.! After that, I eschewed any and all of these practices! But I did get to witness actual occult practices, and, while writing the trilogy, was glad I did partake in the occult, a little bit, knowing I would never do such things again. Any other knowledge of occult rituals came from horror movies or fiction novels.

All three novels that make up The Prodigal Band Trilogy have occult aspects. Part 1 of this snippet-occult series shows the mockery side of the occult as well as the witnessing of pure occultist evil that took place inside of a separate room within what is called an ‘Ashram,’ which is a Hindu religious retreat that could also be used in any eastern-type religion (which is what Swami Negran’s ‘Church of the Circle of Unity’ is derived from, using Hindu/Sikh systems for a New Age cult. Negran is a prominent fictional evil character within the trilogy. His successor, fake ‘healer’ Cole Blessing, is featured in the second snippet.)

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Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Horror

I grew up immersed in the Horror genre, movies mostly, but also some comic books. When I was a pre-teen and teenager, some local TV station had aSaturday night movie series called “ChillerTheater.” Today that has morphed into the DirecTV and DishTV channel “The Chiller Channel” or whatever it’s called now. It was on this show series I saw “Godzilla,” “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” “The Crawling Eye,” and various Japanese and other monster movies, various zombie/ghoul/vampire/Frankenstein-type monsters and serial murder movies many of which starred my fave actor at the time, Vincent Price. Basically, if Vincent Price was in the movie, I watched it.

In my twenties, I started reading horror genre fiction but I thought horror movies were more exciting. There was one book–I have no idea what the title was but it’s one of the few I actually finished reading–about some vampire-like rock band that recruits roadies or fans or whatever and then turns them into vampires, but one small group of fans turns against the band. Eventually, the vampire band gets “burned” if you know what I mean. But I did not buy the book because it had vampires, but because it had vampires who were rock stars!

And around this time, Ozzie Osbourne was making it huge…And. Oh yeah, AC-DC, “Highway to Hell” and all that…

One of the reasons I began writing the books that make up the trilogy was the notion, which has some merit but which can also be debunked, that rock stars are all “devil worshipers” and rock music is “the devil’s music” which quite a few Christians still believe is true. Many supposedly Christian YouTube channels try to verify this over and over and over while mentioning a few, such as the guitarist for MegaDeath–I forgot his name–are avowed believers in Christ (as is rapper DMX). My point is not to prove rockers are not devil worshipers; some clearly are (such as Marilyn Manson). My point is wanting folks to get over the notion that listening to rock music is going to turn one against Christ or for Satan. As if listening to country music and someone like Miley Cyrus is going to turn one to Christ!

But anyway…

To contrast the band called Sound Unltd’s beginning and rise to fame and fortune with their inability to handle it wisely later, and then the coming trials and tribulations they face, I thought it would be a good idea to bring in the most debauched period of their ‘supremacy’ in rock music. This is where the horror comes in. There are no monsters or vampires or zombies or mass murders, but it still has horror themes including ‘rituals of the craft’ if you know what I mean.

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About the Prodigal Band Trilogy–Main Characters-Part 4: the Evil

With this trilogy or series of novels themed primarily as a battle between good and evil, there must be an evil side. As I stated in a previous post, when the first novel, Battle of the Band, was being finalized, I began researching what forces might have been behind the events at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, the David Koresh cult church in Waco, Texas, and the various militia groups tied to the Oklahoma City bombing, the last two events of which happened under President Bill Clinton, as well as former President George HW Bush, who was the first world leader I ever heard mention ‘new world order,’ and was president during Ruby Ridge. Did Bush’s ‘new world order’ speech cause various militia groups to be formed as a response to increasing globalization toward a ‘one-world-government’? Such a scenario is prophesied in the Book of Revelation–that an ‘anti-Christ’ would unite the world under a false peace and then turn the world on its head in an orgy of death and destruction to all whom opposed this one-world-government run by evil. For it is research into Bible prophecy that caused me to consider this battle between good and evil as the theme for my books.

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Project Alert–Will Post More About My Books Soon (In Case You’re Wondering)

Right now I am working on turning my printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band into e-books. That is, they need to be formatted for e-book purposes and sold through e-book outlets (several, in fact, not just Kindle or Nook.) That is, I have to re-type them! My printed books in 1995-6 and 1997-8 were formatted for ancient floppy discs on an ancient Macintosh LC475 computer using Mac OS 7.5! Both Mac computers (mother was an early PowerMac with Mac OS 8), both desktops, have had their hard drives removed and sold as scrap. Since I can no longer access these ancient computers (I now have a laptop with Windows 7, and no floppy drives anyway!), I am re-typing both books. Hopefully, Battle will be finished by the end of the year –and keep in mind, I have to format it according to specifications of the book seller, including a table of contents and a new cover.

Why? Because multiple people want me to do this, and because since I live way out of town it is not easy to go into town every time I have to send out one of my printed books. Our Post Office keeps weird hours, the price of gas is high in these rural areas, and my vehicle right now is not in good shape!

Here, and on my book blog, I will as soon as possible post articles about not only the characters and the story itself, but the factual events and historical narratives that these books are based on and drove me to write them. As I am re-typing Battle of the Band, I am realizing just how satirical it is! Since I’m not really into genres, the genre of “satire” might work for this one: genres–satire, horror, spiritual, adult.

But not “adult-adult” if you know what I mean. And I am taking out all the “f”-words if you know what I mean. The “s”-word is staying. My characters are my characters, right? Folks, I’ve never met a man who didn’t cuss–ever Christians cuss a lot!