Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Across the Back Fence with Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Hi, y’all. So happy to have you at the Back Fence today. It’s a little bit like Spring here, so I’ve hung up my heavy barn jacket and put on my denim one. We have some tulips peeking through the straw, so it’s time to uncover them and let the sun shine on the eager green shoots.

As a Spring treat for my back fence followers, I’ve invited author Elizabeth Alsobrooks as guest blogger today. Her debut novel, ILLUMINATI, The Book of Life, is available as an ebook now.

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I truly believe the best writing is crafted by authors who follow their bliss. Long before space warriors were tapping into The Force, Joseph Campbell studied recurring themes in human stories. Like William Shakespeare, Campbell realized that without exception "new" stories were actually old myths with new life breathed into them. Campbell explained that certain story elements resonate on a psychological level to all humankind, most specifically those featured in the philosophical concepts of the hero's journey. These Jungian archetypes resonate within the human psyche in a blockbuster way that any Disney executive would be happy to explain to you.

An expert on world mythology, Joseph Campbell was a masterful storyteller. He illustrated his points with the retelling of global stories. Every universally-themed modern story is an updated retelling which appeals to mass audiences. Christopher Vogler understood this when he used Joseph Campbell's pioneering work, The Hero With a Thousand Faces to inform his book The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters. Directors like Spielberg and Lucas demonstrated the impact Campbell's ideas had on moviegoers.

For those agents and publishers who despair while reading yet another version of the latest blockbusters, have mercy. It is not our fault. As good writers, we are just trying to follow our bliss.

To learn more about a hero's journey, read: The Hero With 1000 Faces. Be sure to watch the video where Chris Vogler talks about this subject. Thanks for stopping by, and always follow your bliss!

Illuminati - The Book of Life
by Elizabeth Alsobrooks


Ljluka Vargas, immortal prince and the cool-headed enforcer for the Vargas Dynasty, must go up against his most intriguing enemy, the mysterious Nalini. She intends to beat him to the secret archaeological site of The Book of Life which contains the genetic secrets of their ancient ancestors.

In order to escape the cruel domination of her family and gain freedom for her mother, Nalini assumes the role of assassin. In her rival, the sleek and deadly Luc, she finds a different kind of danger. She’s supposed to eliminate him, but that would foil destiny’s plan for them to be together.

It’s a race from power-hungry D.C. cabinet rooms through the secret realms of the Vatican, from cloud forests and desert sands to the caverns of the Underworld as mankind hangs in the balance. For whoever possesses the Book of Life has the potential to rule the world, offering or denying immortality to the human race.

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Now that her children have flown from the nest, Elizabeth lives with her two new babies (AKA Maltese) and husband, Bobby, at the foot of the beautiful Catalina Mountain Range in Oro Valley, AZ.

She loves to hike the mountain trails, ride her bike on the miles of walk/bike paths, sit on her patio sipping coffee and reading or brainstorming plots and enjoying the grandeur of her breathtaking mountain views.

Elizabeth calls herself a pantser on steroids. The first book of her Illuminati series flowed like a psychic muse channeled it from her fingertips to the keyboard. She wrote 120,000 words in 45 days. "After the first couple of chapters, the characters took over. They knew what they wanted and what they were willing to do to get it."

Her love of mythology and ancient literature and history were the backbone for her series, and the Sigma Force series by James Rollins inspired the fast-paced adventures (He recently told her at a literacy fundraiser that he found that flattering, as no one had ever told him he was inspiring before!). The result was an action packed URBAN FANTASY novel series, with its basis in truth, superstitions, mythology and conspiracy theories.

A friend compared Elizabeth's series to what it would be like if Ford and Jolie stepped through the Stargate using the Da Vinci code as a compass, tried to kill each other, and ended up colliding with a love as seemingly hopeless as Romeo and Juliet. Elizabeth claims she pictured a blond "The Rock" as the hero when she was writing, but that Jolie, with lavender eyes, would fit her heroine just fine. It was difficult for her to claim a genre (pigeon hole) for this work. There is a love relationship, but it's all about the family relationships, dysfunctional and otherwise, and the timeless struggle for power. There are very strong female leads in this story, and the men are macho enough to hold their own.

In the above picture, Elizabeth was in New Orleans on a tram with author friends Nancy Gideon and Laurie C. Kuna, doing research for book II in the series. Travel, exploring and research have always been her idea of a good time!

10 comments:

  1. We must learn from history or be doomed to repeat it. In many cases there are parts of history that we'd love to repeat! Thanks for sharing this new to me artist. The cover is amazing!

    Melissa
    daringzoey@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. Patricia Lazarus is an amazing cover artist!

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  2. Very interesting post, I enjoyed it. Also like the blurb for your book...sounds like it'll be an interesting read.

    Thanks Loralee for introducing me to a new author :)

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    1. Yes, thanks so much for hosting me, Loralee. You're' such a gracious hostess! Thanks to you, too, Christine, for your kind words.

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  3. Since learning about the Hero's Journey several years ago, it's made watching movies even more interesting as I see the different steps played out on the screen. Great post. Thanks Loralee and Elizabeth.

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    1. Thanks, Maris. Nice to see you here! Yes, the hero's journey is evidenced in your writing!

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  4. Melissa, Christine and Maris, thanks for your comments. Always love having you at my back fence.

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  5. Illumanti sounds great, Elizabeth! I'm a big believer in archetypes and mythology when it comes to literature (and movies). Those archetypes help characters leap off the page and stick in the mind.

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  6. Thanks, Alyssa, I couldn't agree more!

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  7. It's all been said before here. The Hero's Journey, past vs present. Great cover by the way, kudos Pat. Illuminati sounds like a grab you by the lapels kind of read. Nice work, ladies.

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