gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 51

Author’s Corner An Epic Trilogy… Blending Fantasy and Scripture Written By Jordan Rosenfeld T hirty-year-old Morgan Hill Author Daniel Reyes didn’t set out to write a book; the self-proclaimed movie buff first wrote a screenplay of an idea “loosely based on a Biblical story of the angel Lucifer’s rebellion from God in Heaven,” he told TODAY . Friends and family liked it so much they suggested he turn it into a book that might be able to catch a director or producer’s eye. Reyes liked that idea and began to flesh out the story of the angel Lucifer’s ultimate schism from God, told through the perspective of the angel Uriel. His fantasy novel, “Essences,” was published in 2016, the first of a planned trilogy. He hopes the second book, with a loose, working title of “Time is of the Essence,” will be published early in 2019. Inspired by J.R.R Tolkien’s fantasy Series “Lord of the Rings” over three years, Reyes worked on his similarly epic fantasy, attempting to draw a sharp line between good and evil and ultimately write a “wholesome” book where it was very clear “who were the good guys and who were the bad guys.” “My faith means a lot to me,” he said, “and there are so many stories out there that don’t have any value.” Though Reyes drew on his own study and practice of Catholic scripture as well as his love of a good story, he said his version of Lucifer-as-Satan’s attempt to turn the other angels against God is not a religious book and he does hope to entertain. Satan, who is often pictured in scripture with a trident or a pitchfork, begins his nefarious plan by stealing four “essences”— sacred weapons given by God to the four arch- angels, which begins a civil war in Heaven. A prophecy suggests that if the essences become separated from the union of the four archangels, a dark time would come into heaven. “So Satan embarks on a plan to kickstart that dark prophecy,” Reyes explained. “Satan gathers angels to his cause and sets out on a mission to steal these essences that symbolize God’s power.” Reyes is fascinated by the story of Satan’s fall from Grace. “He’s God’s favorite creature, and he’s jealous that God has plans to create human beings. Angels aren’t able to have kids but gmh GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN humans are. Angels don’t have a choice but to follow God, but humans have a choice.” Just like rebellious children with their parents, Satan is successful at winning over other angels to his cause. However, it was very important to Reyes to do one thing differently in his retelling; in many other stories about the fall of Satan, he said, “They made Satan the hero of the story and I wanted to make sure he’s not the hero.” Book One ends “in a big catastrophe that occurs in the material world,” he said. The reader will be unsure which side protagonist Uriel is on, since he is documenting both sides. But in Book Two, “you see what side he’s actually on and where his loyalties lie.” Book Two picks up after the big catastrophe in the world where humans have just been created.