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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How I Wrote The Prodigal Band Trilogy (Part One)

This post is not about how, in the 60s and 70s and 80s, I came up with the characters as a gang, and then as a band. This post is about how I developed the final plot involving good vs. evil spirits and entities using the prodigal band for good or evil purposes, how I was inspired this way and how I managed to write the three novels, the final one (The Prodigal Band) twenty years after the second one (The Prophesied Band). How I turned just an entertaining piece about the foibles of rock stardom into a spiritual plot using the Parable of the Prodigal Son of the Gospel of Luke Chapter 15 as a guide. Finally, it is about actually creating the novels using various software including ClarisWorks (for Mac) and Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat conversions for PDFs on both Mac and PC desktops and laptops. I reviewed the “why” in the previous post; now is the “how.”

As I’ve stated in the previous post, in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, my mind made up the band and female main characters for the manuscript that I had no idea would become this trilogy. Then in the early 90s, I looked up at the stars and was then inspired to begin the writing journey—out here in rural mountain far west Texas, the stars are everywhere in the night sky on a clear night, unlike in urban and suburban areas. But what would be the main plot?

I started putting notes together with bound notebook and pen or pencil beginning with angels called the Tooters “prophesying” that a band would come about and be subjected to a tug of war between good and evil spirit characters as the band succeeded through the 90s and would eventually side with good over evil. Sometime in 1992 and 1993, using an old Atari XE computer which used a floppy disk “operating system” as a “hard drive” and where, once the disk set up the system, you take out the system disk and put in another floppy which holds the file one is working on (and where the new floppy holds about 48 kilobytes of space for the files)… In other words, only one or two chapters could be placed on each floppy disk, and, yes, they were indeed floppy! So using about five disks I typed in the first version of the book I titled “Rock Band” since I really had no idea what else to call the book. After completing this, I printed out a copy from each disk; I have no idea what printer I used. The plot was, in my opinion, weak as well—now why would angels call on a rock band to carry out a good agenda over evil when all the rock band members wanted to do was make millions and party and partake in sex orgies and get smashed on cocaine-like drugs? And then wind up in serious tribulations with seemingly no way out? So, in spring of 1994, I hit an impasse.

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The Foreword to The Prodigal Band, Self-Published by OmegaBooks in 2018, the Original Version of the Third Novel of The Prodigal Band Trilogy

Below is the original Foreword to the original, copyright 2018 by Deborah Lagarde, version of the third novel of The Prodigal Band Trilogy, The Prodigal Band, which is available as a FREE PDF download at the link in the menu above. It turns out, however, that calling this a ‘Foreword’ was a mistake since I wrote it; Forewords are usually written by another person; a Publisher, an Editor, or a Beta Reader. It should have been called an ‘Introduction.’

Further, Foreword or Introduction, the words below do state the ultimate purpose of the novel and the trilogy as a whole. Cheers!

A new post will arrive next week.

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Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Romance

I have read few Romance novels, and I have seen few Romance movies that I have any affection for (but Romance Adventure movies like High Road to China, Jewel of the Nile, and Romancing the Stone are outstanding, IMHO). But one thing I know about the Romance genre–all Romance-themed novels or movies have this in common: sexual tension. It is not tension during the act of sex, but tension between the sexes involved with the romance relationship.

For instance: in High Road to China–one of my fave movies ever–the Bess Armstrong character and the Tom Selleck character (named O’Malley), in between hugging and kissing and bedding with each other, are constantly arguing, yelling at each other, her screaming, “O’Malley!” every few seconds or so, and O’Malley all pissed off because she demanded to fly her own plane and later crashed his plane named Dorothy in Nepal, as they headed to China to find her father, who was being screwed out of millions by his crooked business partner. In the end, of course, they decide to build a good relationship upon leaving western China where her dad is leading a rebellion against some overlord in the 1920s. All novels, Romance genre or not, that build some sexual tension, always have that tension relieved at the end, when love abounds.

And there is plenty of sexual tension in The Prodigal Band Trilogy. I have already discussed this marriage tension between the bassist Keith and his wife Jarris, in the Drama snippet.. In fact there is sexual tension between each band member and his woman throughout the three-books-in-one trilogy that get resolved at some point.

But the key “romance-sexual tension” partnership within the band and their women is between keyboard-synthist Bryan and his wife, Mo, who marry early and then things begin to go awry as they bring forth children. Prior to having kids, the relationship is as good as it could be; having children become the linchpin for what develops into a rocky relationship, as I will describe below in three snippets.

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Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Mystery

There is plenty of mystery within this trilogy, but it is not mystery in terms of crime (as with Sherlock Holmes), suspense, or science fiction, but spiritual mystery. However, the following snippets that follow a specific event highlighted by revelations from the spirit being for Good known as the ‘witch of the Hovels’ do incorporate crime and suspense themes. All of these snippets are found within the second book of the trilogy, The Prophesied Band.

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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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Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Fantasy

The Fantasy genre can be defined in many ways as it mixes in with Science Fiction or Horror-Occultic or Spiritual or even Dystopian genres. But The Prodigal Band Trilogy does not take place on some fantasy world in another galaxy or another planet or another time frame, but in the modern times mostly in the time frame of late 70s to early 2000s, mostly in the UK or the US, mostly in southeast England, NYC, LA area or the Bay Area or in the fictitious city of Walltown in northeast England where the band, Sound Unltd, is from, or the Bay Area fictitious city called Richmont. Yet that’s not the fantasy part.

Both the first chapter of Battle of the Band and the first chapter of The Prodigal Band begin in the “beforetime” realm of God in heaven with the fallen angels being cast into the Abyss, and on Earth in the 1130s in Walltown, which in the year 1136 is burning, having been cursed by an evil Duke calling forth Demons to burn the residences of rebellious serfs. Meanwhile angelic forces entering the city through a portal where a three-part angelic statue is being built, come to inhabit that statue where they sit in spirit as they put out the fire. Since the statue-figures have music horns, the statue is called The Tooters.

Another force for good–truly a fantasy character–an old woman considered a ‘witch’ by the locals, Morwenna being her name, is able to channel The Tooters for the cause of good. As she is given a song that will be passed down to future generations to save the town from evil, she suddenly by divine intervention becomes young again, and is able to mate with the man who will raise a son to pass down the song for over 800 years. What can be more fantasy than a woman who grows old and young and old and young for 800 years to assure the song is passed down to what would become a ‘prophesied’ band.

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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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About the Prodigal Band Trilogy–Main Characters-Part 3: Support Characters and Women

While not quite as important to the novels as the six band members of Sound Unltd, all big-time rock bands or rappers or pop singers or whatever have ‘administrative staff’–managers, road managers, roadies, producers, promoters, accountants, lawyers, consultants, and what not. A few of these types of support staff personnel within the three books are important characters that appear in all three books. And they are–

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About The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Theme-Good Triumphs over Evil

I began writing a book that would eventually work its way into three books that make up the Prodigal Band Trilogy–Battle of the Band, The Prophesied Band, and The Prodigal Band–back in the late 1960s in diary form as the characters morphed from just a group of guys in a gang or a clique, with or without girlfriends, living on Long Island-then-New York City, to rock musicians with or without girlfriends, living in England. Why the morph? Because of my own interest in rock music as well as actually having participated in a local band for a few months, and having gone to England in 1970, as well as the notion I had the rock bands from England were more worthy overall than American ones (and Brit bands were my fave bands anyway.) These topics have been discussed in previous posts here and on my blog.

The names and looks of the characters were created in the mid-60s with other characters being created in the mid-80s, which was when I started getting serious about the books, which was still just one book novel. But instead of a diary to write stuff that would later make up the book(s), I just wrote on notepad paper with pen.

Read the rest here.