By Joel Eisenberg and Stephen Hillard
At the conclusion of "The Chronicles of Ara: Creation", Volume One of our eight-book series, the goddess Ara's tragic plot is realized with what appears to be the end of the world. But nothing is ever as it appears. Nothing is ever that simple ...
In Volume Two of the series, "Perdition", we rewind the clock two years prior, when author Thomas McFee is engaged in a mystery upon the world's discovery of "the catalyst of human inspiration." That catalyst was, indeed, Ara, who has since been incarnated as the mortal Adriel.
As Thomas is away, another creator, Matthius Alexi, encounters the mysterious man known as "Brikke," who discloses a tragic secret: Unless she is found and imminently killed by her father's hand, Adriel will soon be taken and returned to the realm of the gods, thereby threatening the very existence of both human and immortal.
Meanwhile, through an exploration of the lives and darker works of authors Mary Shelley, Carlo Collodi and Robert Louis Stevenson, the prodigy known as 'X' is himself on the verge of solving the universe's greatest mystery, a solution that will once and for all determine the steps necessary to pause the engagement of a new dawn of time and, from there, the gradual implosion of time and space ...
When J.R.R. Tolkien is summoned to authenticate a recently-discovered "lost" book of Beowulf, events are set in motion that years later will unveil an imminent tragedy: The entirety of the world's art and invention has been inspired by a corrupted muse, who has implanted a series of codes within the works of history's most influential authors, warning of humanity's end and a new dawn of time. Are the works of Tolkien, Poe, Shelley and many others victims of the corrupted muse, Ara?
“Tolkien, lost art, arcane creations, and a corrupted muse. Fantasy lovers, get ready for some fun.”
- Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of “The President’s Shadow”
“The Chronicles of Ara: Creation is sincerely unlike any novel I’ve ever read, an astounding tale of myth and art that hits the reader on a primal level and never lets go. This is exciting, addicting stuff folks.
- Gilbert Adler Producer: Superman Returns, Valkerie, Constantine
Joel Eisenberg has been interested in the mechanics behind artistic creation, an ongoing theme of the Chronicles of Ara series, since he penned the nonfiction How to Survive a Day Job in 2004. Interviewing seventy-plus professional creatives, including celebrities from several artistic industries, he credits his “mentor in a box” tome with hastening the realization of his dad’s inspiring words from forty years ago. Writing a novel with similar objectives, much less a series, has been on his bucket list since.
Professionally, Joel has worked primarily in the movie and television industries as a writer and producer. The film he is most proud of, April Showers, which he executive produced, was based on the Columbine school shooting tragedy. He is a former special education teacher and supports school safety causes.
Joel lives with the only woman in the world who could put up with him, his wife, Lorie, and their rescue dog (repeating a not-so-subtle message there), Koko, in Los Angeles, California.
An Interview with Joel Eisenberg
Tell me a little about yourself. Ask an artist about themselves and you'll either get long-winded or intensely shy. Those are the stereotypes, anyway. Truth to both. For me, I was indeed the stereotypical introverted kid, who read a ton of comic books, was obsessed with monster movies and "Star Wars," and wrote in his bedroom behind closed doors when no one was looking. Not much has changed, save for marriage so now I write at my home office or - predominantly - Starbucks.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Since I was maybe 10. I wrote a short story about the crew of the Starship Enterprise teaming with the Six Million Dollar Man to save the world from the Planet of the Apes. Sad, I know. But like I said, I was obsessed.
What is your most interesting or craziest writing quirk? Great question. I'll keep it clean. I can't write until I have my first Starbucks Venti (large) cup of dark Pike coffee - black - in the morning. 5AM. 7 days weekly. Then I'm good to go. Good question. Usually the coffee is with peanut butter on a bagel, but I vacillate there.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? I've always been a deep-thinker; until I wrote these books I had no idea how deep.
What has been your favorite book to write? Each subsequent book of "The Chronicles of Ara" series is my favorite. I know, it's a copout answer but also the truth.
Which character has been your favorite? Ara. If a single muse inspires all of art and creativity, what happens if that muse becomes corrupted? What then is the endgame of our art.
What advice would you give new/up and coming writers? Persistance, and you hear it all the time. I never gave up. That's it, really. Do something so well you cannot be ignored, as Steve Martin once said, and keep on going. So work on your art, and never stop.
Which writers inspire you? Mary Shelley, Frank Herbert, Michael Chabon, Joseph Campbell.
What genre are your books? Historical Fantasy - Science Fiction.
What draws you to this genre? Consistent with my life-long interests.
Anything else you would like to say about writing? Encouraging words for potential writers? When I was coming up, I paid my dues. I worked a hundred day jobs (and once wrote a book about it), I went broke, I was single for far too long ... but I never stopped writing. You either want it, or you don't.
Stephen Hillard grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana, and Grand Junction, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University, and also earned a degree in Philosophy at Columbia University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Before settling into his current career as a private equity entrepreneur, Steve was a teacher at Rikers Island Prison, a welder, a carpenter, and a practicing litigation attorney. He is the founder of Council Tree Investors, a private equity fund involved in the entertainment and telecom industries.
Steve has also been an active philanthropist, focusing primarily on higher education, as well as at-risk Latino and indigenous youth, at the Escuela Tlatelolco in Denver, Colorado. In 2011, Steve published Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien, which sparked international controversy, became an Amazon Best Seller, received a national prize, and was subsequently published worldwide in Spanish by Grupo Planeta.
In addition to collaborative efforts with his partner, Joel Eisenberg, on The Chronicles of Ara, Steve is developing other projects. These include an untitled prequel to Mirkwood, Farway Canyon, a retro-horror graphic novel about radiation, blobs, and (of course) Cold War zombies, and KNOLL, a novel about JFK, Carlos Marcello, Elvis, the NSA, and Edward Snowden. He resides with his wife, Sharmaine, in San Antonio, Texas.
Joel and Steve can be contacted directly through their author page, www.eisenbergandhillard.com, or their “Ara” series page, .
You’re not going to know what hit you.”