Warrior of Light

Tim Matthias has only ever known the peace of the South, but that peace is shattered when a group of mysterious creatures destroys his home. In search of answers, Tim discovers the poisoned wastelands of the North, where the Dark Lord Zadinn Kanas rules over all. It is here that Tim joins forces with a band of freedom fighters on a quest to find the Army of Kah’lash, a mythical force destined to serve those in need. At the same time, Tim must learn to use the magic of the Lifesource, for he is the Warrior of Light. As Tim struggles to accept his destiny, those around him must battle their way across the North, seeking a means to wage one last, desperate stand against Zadinn and his armies …

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The story behind Warrior of Light:

Warrior of Light began almost twenty years ago.

Like many other writers, I was a reader first. I’ve been reading stories for as long as I can remember, and eventually I decided to try writing one. As an elementary schooler, I began any number of “novels”, none of which ever made it past chapter two or three, for both good and obvious reasons.

Warrior of Light, however, stuck. In sixth grade, I believe I completed roughly eight or nine chapters. I don’t remember the model of our computer, but it ran Windows 95 and used Microsoft’s Creative Writer, a children’s word processing software set in the city of Imaginopolis and featuring Angus McZee, a purple dude who popped up onscreen to help you with everything from choosing a font to saving your masterpiece to a trusty 3.5-inch floppy disk.

The story went on hiatus for about two years as I went to middle school, lugged around the massive tomes from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time in my book bag, decided I couldn’t talk to girls, and performed as the villager Yitzuk in a community production of Fiddler on the Roof (no lines). I’m sure I wrote some other stories during that time, but none of them would have been worth a popcorn fart.

In the summer after my freshman year of high school, we got a new computer, this one running Windows 98, though unfortunately Angus McZee and Creative Writer had long since been expunged from the operating system. I had previously saved my first few chapters from Warrior into Microsoft Works, so I decided to retrieve it from the archives and take a crack at finishing it. And, to my surprise, I did. I will always remember, after putting over 190,000 words on paper, how it felt to finally type THE END for the very first time. I celebrated by watching my very first R-rated movie, Die Hard, with my dad (it is not coincidence that Boblin Kule shares John McClane’s wise-cracking mannerisms).

After the summer ended, I continued on with high school, still carrying oversized fantasy novels in my book bag, still performing in theater (I had lines now), still realizing I couldn’t talk to girls (the first time I went on a date, I tried to break the ice by asking, “So, what do you think about economics?”)

I graduated high school, started college, returned to Fiddler on the Roof as Tevye this time, and declared an English major upon the realization that, even though Nathaniel Hawthorne made me want to poke my left eye out, his works had survived for one hundred and fifty years, so I probably had something to learn from him.

During my last year of college, I decided to participate in the school’s honors program, which essentially involved designing your own independent, self-guided course around a topic related to your chosen field of study. When I told my professor I wanted to write a book for my project, he was kind enough not to tell me I was batshit crazy, and out of some strange, masochistic tendency, he also agreed to serve as my advisor.

And so, during that last year, I re-wrote Warrior of Light in its entirety. I did not so much as glance at the ninth-grade draft, because even though I knew that the older draft held the nuggets of a good story, it had serious flaws that could not be addressed through a revision process. After this new draft, what emerged was a story that I was proud of, and a story that I wanted to show other people someday.

After I graduated, I moved to Bismarck to work for a software company. During the first eighteen months, I dedicated a significant portion of my time to revising and cleaning up this latest draft of Warrior. Then, as writers often do, I left it in a drawer for a few years. During this time, I followed other pursuits, both rewarding and challenging. Though I would not trade these experiences for anything, because I learned from them and grew from them, at the end I found myself in a difficult spot. But when I put all of it behind me, both the good and the bad, Warrior of Light was waiting for me. This story helped me get out of a tough place mentally, and I decided the time had come to share it.

And so I published it in November 2016. I held my launch party in the middle of a blizzard that dumped over eighteen inches of snow on Bismarck, ND. In spite of the less than desirable weather, many friends, family, and acquaintances still managed to make it in an overwhelming show of support. The following weekend, I held my first in-store book signing, during which we sold out every single copy in the Bismarck Barnes & Noble.

In the time since, I’ve remained dedicated to marketing the book, sharing it, and most importantly, writing the next one. If you enjoyed Warrior, or have an interest in it, I encourage you to share this post, spread the word, and get ready for the next adventure. For I have stories to tell, stories of good against evil, stories of people in dark times who do the right thing, stories of heroes, stories of villains, stories of hope, stories of love, and stories of sacrifice.

I hope you’ll join me for them.

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