I asked the writephoto challenge regulars if they would like to come over and introduce themselves. Without those of you who write and read the pieces inspired by the weekly photos, the writephoto prompt would not exist.
So, if you follow or take part in the weekly challenge, why come over and introduce yourself too? Being a regular does not mean taking part every week… so why not drop me a line?
Today we meet Trent P. McDonald of Trent’s World.
Trent has a rather special place within the writephoto family. Not only is he one of the most regular contributors, a talented artist and musician, but many of the stories he has written for the prompt have been serialised and given birth to books, making me feel rather like some kind of fairy godmother. So it gives me great pleasure to post Trent’s introduction and an overview of his work.
Find and follow Trent
Hi all! I’m sure some of you have noticed me around Sue’s place. You may have looked askance at me after I wrote something odd, and decided to eat down at the other end of the virtual table, but you shouldn’t worry too much because, like Earth, I am mostly harmless. In fact, I am an extreme Introvert, so if someone else at the table is talking, you will most likely hear nothing from me except, when there is a pause in the conversation, you may get an answer to a question put out 20 minutes ago that everyone else has totally forgotten. Which brings us back to why people give me those sidelong glances…
So, who am I?
I was born and raised in northern Ohio, USA, on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie, not too far from Cleveland. Yeah, boring. But I did live very close to Cedar Point. Not so boring! (If you don’t know, Google it.) I went to school at Ohio State, starting in Engineering but graduating in Mathematics. Again, boring. But I spent a lot of time playing electronic musical instruments! OK, to some, still boring 😉
One summer while I was at school, I spent some time in Connecticut. You see, that’s where they keep the nuclear submarines. I spent a summer on one of those submarines, though instead of hanging out in New London, Connecticut we drove it down to the Caribbean. Seriously.
I did not fall in love with submarines, nor the Navy, but I did fall in love with New England. So that is why some years later I ended up back in New England, but instead of looking at SONAR, I was looking at RADAR as an Air Traffic Controller. Again, seriously.
OK, so I didn’t do well in ATC. One thing about an Air Traffic Controller – you have to be able to say to Maverick and Iceman driving their billion dollar fighters, “Do exactly what I tell you to the letter!” and they will say, “Yes sir,” and do it, to the letter, on the force of your voice alone. Can you say Type A, ultra-Extrovert? I knew you could. Did you read my self-description in the first paragraph? Houston, we have a problem.
So I became a professional computer nerd. I’ve done quite a few things in that field. Currently I’m the program manager for a team that hosts about a hundred domain names, including our www site, which gets about 2 TB of traffic a day. I also do a few other things web and cloud related, but that is a topic for another day.
I have lived in New Hampshire for quite a few years now, enjoying everything that a mountainous state has to offer (better out than in, I always say) but I am slowly migrating. I have a cottage on Cape Cod, though I have recently traded up for a real house, where I will eventually live full time (eventually = years from now). Something about Cape Cod feels like home. Remember, I grew up on the shore of Lake Erie, a body of water that, at least from beach level, looks like an ocean.
OK, let’s back up.
I grew up in Wonderland, Middle Earth, Earthsea and Prydain. Or at least I wanted to be there (Funny, but I only visited Narnia a few times and never lived there.) Later I explored space and the future in great tomes of fiction.
My reading didn’t stop there. Fiction, nonfiction, backs of cereal boxes, everything.
One day I read an article about a town that was built on stilts in the middle of a lake. Lake Town! But this was in Europe a bit over 3000 years ago, not Middle Earth in Tolkien’s imagination.
Now my education pretty much had Europe as a bleak wilderness except for those places that first the Greeks and then the Romans ruled. And then the lights went out for a while until the Enlightenment, so my curiosity was piqued when I found Lake Town. I began to read and study. I took fairytales and tried to find the history/archeology tales behind them – I mean, if Troy was a real place, and, as I found, so was Lake Town, perhaps other places I dreamed about were real, at least that there was a hint of them in reality.
I visited England, Wales and Ireland in my mid-20s. I spent my time there exploring stone circles, long barrows, chamber tombs and the like. Yep, castles were cool, but Maiden Castle was cooler. Not to mention finding places that Arthur may have walked. Yeah, I discovered Camelot even before Earthsea or even Prydain!
I see some smiles out there. I know you’ve guessed it.
I wrote a tongue-in-cheek book that took some Arthurian legend, some Celtic mythology and a dash of history and I decided to start a blog to promote it, though it would be a few years before I put the actual book out. It didn’t take long for me to find another blog run by a lady who explored stone circles and long barrows and such all of the time.
What a find!
I found that she writes. Cool! And that she supported authors? Great! And she even runs a fantastic challenge (fantastic = conducive to fantasy 😉 ), one that I like to participate in. Wonderful.
So I write and take up these challenges, though too often find myself using the challenges to write large scale works over many episodes. Though I do write short stories.
I also try my hand at poetry and other such stuff.
Did I say that I still play and write music, draw and paint and take a lot of photos? Oh well, I’ll save it for next time.
So, that is me. Sort of. One version of me, at least.
And, hey, while you actually have me talking instead shrinking back in the shadows, I might as well mention my books, right?
In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. Some would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate Romantic era authors. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.
When the Cauldron produces the evil fireborn, Elliot is forced to confront an army of these mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding the legendary Lady of the Lake to give him Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.
The Fireborn is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The entire book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with a large variety of characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.
An eclectic mix of stories covering many places, times and even different genre, yet they all hold one thing in common, they are all about people.
Be they silly, serious or speculative, all of the stories are about us. What makes us tick? Why do we say the things we do? Why do we react as we do?
So whether it seems the stories are exploring outer or inner space, in reality they’re always exploring the human space.
Here is an invitation to open the page and come with me to explore the Seasons of Imagination.
An evil 300 years in the making. A trap set 150 years in the past.
The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.
After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past? Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?
Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared. Who could he trust? The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan? Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie? The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.
But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.
Meeting at that corner of time where day and night become one, where dreams and reality mix, let’s stir the coals of that fire called ‘imagination’ to discover an eclectic mix of short stories. Each story is a bit of frozen flame, an ember, that can flare up in your mind.
These embers form a collection of “tales that cover a wide range of genres, moods, and characters, from heartbreaking and heartwarming trials of love and family to thought-provoking journeys into the future. Most importantly, the stories are peopled with richly-drawn characters gifted with unique voices, emotional depth, and the power to capture the imagination. They’re stories that will stick.” – Author D. Wallace Peach
So whether you only have time to warm yourself with a very short work of flash, or you want to get cozy and lost in a novella, there is a story, an ember, in here for you.
And, soon to be released, two Novellas
Brandon finds himself down the rabbit hole and into a new reality where he is captured by Dwarves, gets involved in “Elemental Politics” and finds himself in a race to save the worlds – yes worlds, six, perhaps seven – and the peoples of those worlds in the tongue-in-cheek Fantasy novella, “Towards the Light”.
Lorounce, a “not only is the glass half empty, but the longer we talk about it, the more that evaporates” kind of guy, is on a reconnaissance mission with his childhood friend and secret crush, Merla, to enter the stronghold of the evil Lord of Darkness. The mission soon spins off on an adventure to try to rescue the prince, find and confront the dragon to secure the magic sword and then raise an army to defeat the evil one with said magic sword all while being chased not only by the minions of the evil one, the dreaded Snow Demons, but their own people as well. Whew. It is totally impossible, mad even, but with some unexpected help and a few twists along the way, maybe they could pull it off, this adventure called “The Mad Quest”.
“Towards the Light” and “The Mad Quest” are two fast paced, farcical Fantasy novellas. With visible winks and nods to the great Fantasy works that came before, but with a few unexpected twists to keep you guessing, these two stories are light-hearted valentines to those classic works of the past; love notes but with pokes in the ribs and “bunny-ears” behind the head fun.
Towards the Light and The Mad Quest
(Watch this space..!)
If you have enjoyed this post, you can read other guest posts by Trent on this blog by clicking the links below:
Or maybe, just buy the books…