Title of Book: THE PIT (THE Death Wizard Chronicles, Book 1)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Author: Jim Melvin
Publisher: Rain Publishing
Date of Release: September 2007
The Death Wizard Chronicles is a six-book epic fantasy series from Rain Publishing Inc. Book One (The Pit) debuted September 2007; Book Two (Moon Goddess) will be published in October; Book Three (Eve of War) in November; Book Four (World on Fire) in December; Book Five (Sun God) in January 2008; Book Six (Death-Know) in February 2008. All six books will be available for purchase at rainbooks.com, amazon.com, and select bookstores in the U.S. and Canada.
The DW Chronicles is not for children and teenagers — or the faint of heart. But fans of authors such as Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, and Steven Erikson will find much to enjoy in this series.
In a groundbreaking paradox, the Death Wizard, a champion of good, derives his power from a source traditionally seen as negative — death. His nemesis, an evil sorcerer, derives his power from the sun, the benevolent source of all life. Their struggle to control the fate of the planet Triken will take your breath away.
In an original twist never before seen in this genre, the Death Wizard is able to enter the realm of death during a ‘‘temporary suicide.’’ Through intense concentration, he stops his heartbeat and feeds on death energy, which provides him with an array of magical powers.
The series also is a love triangle involving two desperate characters attempting to come together despite the machinations of an all-powerful psychopath.
Graphic and action-packed, spanning a millenium of turmoil, The DW Chronicles carries readers on a journey they will never forget.
Do you fear death? The Death Wizard does not. Find out why.
You are a student of Eastern philosophy and mindfulness meditation, both of which weaved extensively into your work. Can you explain how?
Most people have meditated in one sense or another. Just emptying your mind as you watch a beautiful sunset is a form of meditation. In Buddhism, mindfulness meditation is a technique in which a person intentionally and nonjudgmentally watches his or her thoughts and actions, in the context of the present moment. Often, sessions of meditation begin by watching the breath, but any form of single-minded concentration will do.
The Buddha, who was a spiritual genius, taught that all things are impermanent — life, death, love, hate, joy, pain, etc. Like the breath, all things have a beginning, middle and end. Because of this, there is no reason to cling to cravings or flee from aversions. If nothing lasts forever, then why sweat it? When a person meditates, he or she sees the truth of impermanence in ways that are profound and even psychologically altering. Even on surface levels, mindfulness meditation is good for you in a lot of ways. It fosters love, compassion, and peacefulness. And it’s even good for your body, slowing your heart rate and relieving pressure and stress.
Buddhists also believe that life is driven by karma, which basically means that all of us are the sum of our past and present thoughts and actions — or as one Buddhist teacher humorously put it: “Karma means you don’t get away with nothing.” Karma roars along beside us not just for one lifetime but for thousands, rebirth after rebirth after rebirth.
Still there? Sorry, these are deep concepts much better described in much greater detail by a true master of Buddhism. I am a student of Eastern philosophy, but I never claimed to be an A-student!
How does all this weave into my series? Tibetan monks have had recorded heart rates of fewer than 10 beats per minute during periods of meditation. My main character is called a Death Wizard — or more accurately, a Death-Knower — because he can carry this to the extreme, meditating with such intense concentration that he can literally stop his heart. During a temporary death, he feeds on Death Energy and then returns to his body enriched with magical powers.
This simple poem from Book One (The Pit) says it best:
Only a Death-Knower can die.
And live again.
Only a Death-Knower can return
Only a Death-Knower can tell us
what he has seen.
Not all care to listen.
I think I’ve described the role that meditation plays in my series. Karma also plays a large role. In Book One, the Death Wizard — a champion of good — confronts an evil sorcerer with magical powers that dwarf all others. In order to defeat this god-like being, Torg makes a supreme sacrifice, setting in motion karmic forces that swirl — both on the surface and between the lines — throughout the series, playing crucial roles in the final outcome.
I could go on for pages and pages, but I think I’ll stop here. I haven’t fully answered your question, but at least I’ve given you a taste of what’s to come.