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”

Timeline Construction Within The Prodigal Band Trilogy

This post will not be a ‘snippet’ post, but a post about the creation of the three novels within The Prodigal Band Trilogy–the fact that this trilogy does not follow the usual timeline construct. Most trilogies have the first novel representing the beginning time period, and the time moves forward in line into the second novel and then ends the timeline within the third novel. This is how Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as The Hunger Games trilogy and the Divergent trilogy are fashioned—beginning, middle, end. And many others as well…and also series novels such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The Prodigal Band Trilogy certainly does not follow that scenario!

The first novel, Battle of the Band, begins (after the ‘before time’ spiritual part) in 1986 and ends in 1996. The second novel, The Prophesied Band, begins in 1982 and ends in 2000. The third novel, The Prodigal Band, begins in 1976 and ends in 2004. So that while each novel itself starts in an earlier year and ends in a later year, the time frame is not continuous from the first novel to the third novel.

Before I state why this is the case let me say that I didn’t exactly plan it this way. The second novel was supposed to take up where the first one left off. But the first one didn’t play out as originally planned either, and the first book wasn’t even supposed to spearhead a trilogy.

Then an inspiration came to me to subtitle Battle of the Band with this subheading: The Saga of the Prodigal Band Begins (as can be seen on the original book cover). In other words, the ‘Parable of the Prodigal Son’ within Luke 15 of the Biblical New Testament had to seal this burgeoning trilogy’s fate, as the first part of this parable is about how the son takes his inheritance, leaves his father, goes far off into another country and spends the fortune on ‘riotous living,’ leaving him financially and spiritually destitute. While the prodigal band isn’t financially ruined they are ‘destitute’ spiritually but discover there is a way out of this ‘poverty.’ So I had to re-do the novel with this theme in mind, which changed pretty much everything, including the time frame construction.

When beginning the second novel, The Prophesied Band (subtitled The Saga of the Prodigal Band Continues…implying this would be the second book in a likely trilogy), I had to construct a scenario whereby the band in question, Sound Unltd, would be ‘the prophesied band.’ So I began this novel (after a spiritual part in what would be the prologue in the original book) with a rock band from the same city, Walltown, as the prodigal band, and the narrator, pop culture pundit Jay Elliot seeking that particular career upon high school graduation in 1982, interviews the creator of the song—which was given to him by angels called the Tooters for the purpose of ‘announcing’ a future band of prophecy. The band of prophecy that would carry out a ‘mission of God’ as the novel ends at a trade and music festival headlined by this prodigal band.

Thus the timeframe of the first novel is wrapped within the time frame of the second novel: 1986 to 1996 falls between 1982 and 2000, correct? Further, for the final novel, it made sense to begin that one in a year prior to 1982 and end it in a latter year after 2000.

The final novel was originally going to be called ‘Band of Glory,’ as indicated on the back pages of The Prophesied Band, which was supposed to have the subheading The Saga of the Prodigal Band Concludes. But that was not to be. If it would be called ‘Band of Glory,’ it would have to end in Heaven with God, somehow. But again, inspiration had other ideas…for one thing, what would happen to the entity allied with evil, Corion? And would the band, carrying out the mission given to them, deserve to be in Heaven? Would they stick to the Plan, so to speak? And what events would cause them to choose to stick with this Plan?

The Parable of the Prodigal Son ends with the errant son returning home to his father, feasting on ‘fatted calf’ and being ‘found.’ His brother, of course, questions the sincerity and worthiness of his ‘lost’ brother—just like many Christians today question the efficacy of a wealthy rock star even coming close to accepting Christ a Savior (since they are all ‘devil worshipers,’ right?). Thus, not only did I have to author a novel as to how and why the prodigal band converted to belief on Christ and carried out their missions, but I also had to explain how and why the band was even formed in the first place, including parental and otherwise guidance: how and why were these six band members able to develop such talent and songwriting abilities in the first place? Since these boys grew up beginning in the late 70s, that is why the third novel begins in 1976, into 1980 and 1982 and 1985, with two new band members. Aspects of the first part of the parable and then the second part where the band discovers the way forward into the final ‘found’ part are focused in the first six chapters of this third novel. The ‘way home’ final part of the parable is the focus of the rest of the third novel.

So, thanks to inspiration and keeping to a script based on a biblical parable, this time frame construct of The Prodigal Band Trilogy doesn’t follow ‘the usual trilogy script.’

The next post here will take place in a couple of weeks. Next week’s focus will be on updating my blog with links to newer snippet posts here, since I have not updated the blog in months and this blog is an easy way to link to posts here without constant scrolling down the site to find them. Plus the main menu here also needs updating somewhat. Plus I need to figure out a new ‘snippet category’ to ‘snippet’ about! And more…

Cheers!

The Prodigal Band Trilogy Original Deleted Scenes, Part Seven

Welcome to the next episode in the ‘Deleted Scenes’ series of sections of the original trilogy novels that were not included in the three-books-in-one The Prodigal Band Trilogy. It has been a while since I have posted in this series as loved ones had come out for a visit. So here goes.

In this episode which gives more detail to a sinister event that happened on top of the burning of the band’s jet as it landed at a London Airport for an important meeting that never happened–it was a ruse to get the band to London so that even more nefarious events could happen, but didn’t (in Chapters Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen)–the forces of evil tried another nefarious event to get even with the prodigal band for not toeing the evil line anymore, but instead siding with Good. The Evil couldn’t burn them in the jet, so instead it chose to burn them at home, so to speak.

Continue reading “The Prodigal Band Trilogy Original Deleted Scenes, Part Seven”

Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Rock Stars, Supermodels and Other Celebrities

In the sixties, seventies and into the eighties–and, in my research, this exploded in the nineties!–virtually every big name rock star either dated or married at least one supermodel, or perhaps an actress (or in the case of a female rock star, an actor or male model) or pop singer. The most famous couple is Mick Jagger and Bianca, who was a supermodel as well as an actress, and this couple is listed “number one” on a web page that lists famous rock star-supermodel couples, here. Also listed are Jagger’s Stones bandmate Keith Richard, and other huge names like David Bowie, Billy Joel, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Axl Rose, John Mellancamp, and Gene Simmons. And then you’ll see many names from the 90s who were front men in 90s-era bands that I am aware of but never followed, as well as some from the 2000s.

But I decided back in the early 90s when beginning my The Prodigal Band Trilogy authoring journey that if my main characters were rock stars, they had to have supermodel girlfriends/wives. It was obligatory! As if you couldn’t have one without the other…for some band members, anyway. And, whether the female characters are supermodels or actresses/actors or pop singers–as with Hollywood movie stars marrying movie stars–for the most part, especially front men or guitar/bass hero types, it was SOP for a rock star to at least date supermodels or actresses or pop singers, let alone marry them. For a list of rock stars marrying/dating actresses/actors, click here. And Elle Magazine has a ‘visual history’ of such relationships.

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Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Alternative Personas

There are many websites, word and video, that expose what could be “mind-altering” techniques and experiences with drugs (or other means) that affect personalities of celebrities, among others. If you are reading these posts you likely know about certain pop stars who have supposedly developed “alt-personas”–YouTube is full of these videos: Beyonce as “Sasha Fierce,” Nikki Minaj as “Roman,” and Lady Gaga saying in some TV interview “I swear to Lucifer…”…I could link to these videos but the reader should do the research themselves. Vigilant Citizen has lots of these video snippets on that site as well as that YouTube channel. Did these celebrities decide to change their personalities themselves or were they programmed? I really don’t think anyone but the celebrity themselves can answer that…and then you have the whole “Laurel Canyon” scene of the late 60s where rockers’ personalities “changed”…MK Ultra? Monarch programming? Who knows? But according to Cathy O’Brien who wrote “Trance Formation of America” (an extremely disturbing book I read in the mid-90s), several country-western stars were programmed by these methods. I kid you not.

Or, is Beyonce’s “Sasha Fierce” persona just for stage-shows (and an album) only? I am sure when Beyonce is by herself (if she ever is by herself) she gets to “be herself.” Because believe it or not, celebrities do value their privacy, even those who can’t help but seek attention. If Beyonce and others really are programmed–and I have my doubts because I need verifiable proof they really are being programmed–I am sure they are “allowed” to “be themselves” every now and then. Otherwise, they might go stark raving mad, IMHO! So I really do think Beyonce and the rest can actually be themselves at times when they are not seeking attention (or being programmed?).

In my The Prodigal Band Trilogy, for instance, singer-front man Erik, as attention-seeking as possible (until he finally grows out of it), when seeking privacy, loves to go fishing, as I point out in a few places within the trilogy.

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Snippets of Reality within The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Red Crystal Amulets and Channeling Spirits

In this Snippets of Reality in The Prodigal Band Trilogy, I will discuss where I came up with the Red Crystal Amulets worn by the members of my fictional prodigal band, Sound Unltd. And why one or more members, mostly the drummer Tom, channeled spirits, with the crystal or not, often faking it. It is occultist practice, but various New Age cults or religions had a lot to do with my use of these themes.

As a late teen I dabbled some in tarot cards, Ouija boards, and séances, but (as I had stated before) the night in winter of 1970 when a friend of mine called up ‘demons’ (because they couldn’t be anything else with what happened, which was terrifying!) using a Ouija set up (without the board, we used paper with letters and numbers in a circle, and a glass as a pointer), I decided it was best to not dabble in the occult anymore! Yet, I had to include occultist themes in my books because various rock bands of my day used some occultist themes and practices in their music careers. See my previous post on this.

But in the late 80s before I started getting ‘called’ to write the books within the trilogy, I began to associate with various New Age ideas (I was vegetarian then) what with folks I had met, one of which was supposedly ‘taken’ by ‘aliens’ in a ‘UFO’ (Note: Regardless of what this person said or believed, I never bought into the UFO-extraterrestrial aliens philosophy. Why? I need empirical proof they exist!) and was a member of the so-called Ashtar Command   with Ashtar as leader and ‘Jesus Sandanda’ as another ascended master type! (Note: Ashtar sounds a lot like Ishtar, a false god/fallen angel type worshiped by ancient Mesopotamians.) I will not mention the man’s name, but he actually, in my presence, channeled some ‘god’ or other, and before doing so ‘cleansed his chakras.’

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Inspirations from Reality: Truth Snippets Within The Prodigal Band Trilogy–The Series

My original inspiration to author the books of The Prodigal Band Trilogy was divine, or divine inspiration, my ‘mission of God’ so to speak, a term I use within the novels. But that was not the only reason for the content of these books: Battle of the Band, The Prophesied Band, The Prodigal Band.

Through years of research into popular culture, various brainwashing programs based on eye-witness stories, New Age philosophy and cult practices–I’ve known several individuals who belonged to New Age cults as well as bogus Christian ones, and of course occult groups as well–effects of drug use on various rockers and others including overdoses leading to death or near-death, supposed ‘suicides’ by famous rockers that may or may not have been suicides and were perhaps even murders (the ‘27 Club’ and all that…and now famous young rappers also appear to be caught up in that)… And then there has been research into Satanism, the so-called ‘Illuminati’ and other evil groups in that the power these evil ideas have on popular culture especially these days with all the symbolism shown in VMA shows and whatnot…devil horns, eye-covering ‘one eye symbol’ photos that seem to be everywhere…and the various websites exposing this stuff. Seemingly what began as my research began in the late 60s before I even considered writing these novels is now the norm. Back in the 60s and 70s, it seemed a bit extreme. Yet the most popular bands of that era, and their handlers, may have set those occultic scenarios into motion. I know that because I, too, dabbled into the occult for a short time.

I will say this, however. Without the divine inspiration, my novels would likely have played out differently. The journey of my six-member band, the ‘prodigal band,’ would have ended up on a different course.

Beginning next week this series of reality events and truths that caused me to write what I wrote will be posted, one truth at a time.

And, while fiction is fiction, there is likely not one fiction novel of any genre or kind that has not been inspired by some real event or truth in the life of the author.

As to the picture at the top of this post–“pearls of wisdom,” so to speak.

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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