Paul Anthony Shortt, and my fellow WiDo Publishing author, is here today talking about his second book in the Locked Within trilogy, SILENT OATH. I'm really excited to read this book to see what Nathan is up to now. Until I get that book in my hands, let's welcome Paul as he talks about the power of modern myth--what a fun subject!
Hope has returned to New York City. Nathan Shepherd leads a small band of dedicated fighters against the Council of Chains and the city's supernatural masters. But it's not enough. Because from the shadows of Nathan's former lives comes an old enemy, one who knows terrible secrets that Nathan has not yet remembered, secrets that could undo everything he has fought for.
Nathan's only chance to uncover the memories of his previous existence, and to conquer these new forces of evil, lies in Elena DeSantis. A woman he has fought beside in past lifetimes. A woman he has loved.
Together, Nathan and Elena are the only future the city has.
The Power of Modern Myth
Welcome to the second stop on my Silent Oath blog tour!
It can be easy, when you look back at history, to think that the modern age lacks a certain amount of culture and vibrancy. We think back to older civilisations and their fantastic art, beautiful architecture, and compelling mythologies. It’s easy to look at the world and see only the violence, the hardship, the mass media spread of brand names and companies selling their products.
But I think that’s an unfair way to examine our world. Sure, it has its faults, but so has every point in human history. We were never perfect beings, and we probably never will be.
Specifically, many people overlook how myth has changed over time. In the past, myth came about to explain what mankind saw in the world. Thunder and lightning were brought by the gods. Storms meant spirits were angry.
Today, however, myth has become a form of entertainment. You see, we do have mythologies of our own. We just don’t call them that anymore.
Stories have always existed. Humans are social creatures and we have an innate love of storytelling. Where do our mythic heroes now exist? In movies, books, comics and video games. Iconic characters rise from humble beginnings and, over time, become ingrained in society’s consciousness. Superman, Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, Buffy Summers, Harry Potter. These are our mythic heroes now. These are the stories that we look to for guidance, as our ancestors looked to their own heroes.
These stories teach right from wrong. They inspire us to be ourselves, or stand up for what we believe in. They show us the power of friendship and let us know that, in the end, good people are rewarded while the wicked are punished. Does this always apply in real life? Of course not. But that isn’t the point.
The point is that these stories show us a better world than the one we live in. They’re a set of goals; ideals we can aspire to even if we never achieve them. I think it’s a shame when people try to apply too much real-world logic, even cynicism, to stories like these. By complaining about why Batman won’t kill the Joker, or why someone didn’t kill Voldemort with a sniper rifle from a mile away, we blind ourselves to the true importance of the story. We reject the better world, because it’s always easier to do nothing than it is to make a change in our lives.
That’s the power of these stories, to remind us that, even within our own lives, we can make the world a better place for ourselves and the people we love. That’s the kind of message I hope is present in my work. The kind of goal that Nathan Shepherd has in Silent Oath.
About the Author:
A child at heart who turned to writing and role-playing games when there simply weren't enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life. Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.
Paul lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica, and is now expecting their fourth child.
Paul's first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. Silent Oath is the second book in this urban fantasy trilogy.