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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Man Who Rules The World Easter Eggs & Fun Facts

The Man Who Rulesthe World is the sequel to 2011’s The Temptation of John Haynes. And it took close to five years to write 120 pages. Originally The Man Who Rules The World was supposed to be written back as far as 2010. Back then it was planned to be a 400 page novel. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the first three chapters. The villain just didn’t work.

I got inspired to write The Man Who Rules The World when my mother was sick in the hospital with pneumonia in August of 2015. I wasn’t really in a writing mood due to my mother’s illness and the family issues around it. But I decided to give into inspiration and finished the first draft of the story in less than a week.

The Title The Man Who Rules The World is inspired by something pro wrestler Sid Vicious used to say in his promos around 1999-2000 when he was in a feud with Goldberg. During that time he called himself The Man Who Rules The World. I thought that title would fit the story detailing John’s growth as a leader and CEO of an international corporation.

The cover for The Man Who Rules The World was actually a last minute thing. Originally I planned for Hero Business artist Bill Walko to design the cover for the book. Unfortunately, when the Kickstarter for this years’ books didn’t get funded, I was forced to design the cover myself. Originally I wanted the cover to feature a John posed like Superman was on the cover of All-Star Superman #10. I felt the image showed his power and authority, but also showed his compassion and kindness.

Unfortunately, due to budget reasons I had to get creative. With limited resources I opted to make The Man Who Rules the World look like a Time Magazine cover. The picture comes from a photo of a custom John Haynes action figure I made a few years ago. With a little Photoshop magic I was able to make a cover that caught readers’ attention.

Continuity wise in the SJS DIRECT Universe the events in The Man Who Rules The World takes place right after Isis: Bride of Dracula.

The Man Who Rules The World can be considered the second “event type” story in the SJS DIRECT Universe. The first was Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess in 2014. In that story Isis met John Haynes for the first time.

The build for this sequel to The Temptation of John Haynes was planned four years ago. John Haynes’ mention in early Isis series books, appearances E’steem series books and major role in Isis: Night of the Vampires, E’steem: Undercover and Isis: Brideof Dracula were actually all leading up to the characters’ eventual return to a solo story. I just wanted the right tale to tell so that the buildup would payoff BIG for readers.

While the The Man Who Rules The World is just 120 pages, it’s a BIG story and feels like an epic. Almost every major character in the SJS DIRECT Universe practically makes an appearance in The Man Who Rules The World. Readers who have been following all the books I’ve published since 2002 will be able to make a note of Who’s who in the SJS DIRECT Universe.

God Katious was not the original villain planned for Man Who Rules The World. I planned on saving him for what was to be the final SJS DIRECT story. The original villain I planned for The Man Who Rules The World was The Block who was featured in the first chapter. Again, the story just didn’t work out. Block was too small scale a bad guy for a story titled The Man Who Rules The World.

God Katious was originally the character MastiKatious from my tall tale The Saga of MastiKatious. The Saga of MastiKatious tells the tale of Katia, a prosperous and powerful ancient African Kingdom that was destroyed by Osiris and the Heliopolitan gods before Egypt became a nation.

The Character of God Katious is actually inspired by actor Tony Todd. Whenever I wrote Katious’ narration and dialogue I always heard Tony Todd’s voice as God Katious.

God Katious is a name inspired by Japanese Manga and anime. Incredibly powerful Manga characters are often called God anime and Manga. Such as God Magnus in Transformers: Robots in disguise God Phoenix in Gatcahman or better known as Battle of the Planets in America.

The Gem of Omnipotence is inspired by Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet. Like the Infinity Gems, the Gem is incredibly powerful. However, like the Infinity Gems it has its their limitations.

God Katious is E’steem’s biological father. After the destruction of Katia Seth deemed E’steem a “Child of the Gods” and due to this she was adopted by the Heliopolitan gods. E’steem was raised by Osris and Queen Isis and considers Osiris to be her father and Queen Isis to be her mother. Officially she’s a princess, but due to her adoption into the Heliopolitan pantheon she’s a goddess in the technical sense.

E’steem is inspired by actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Whenever I write E’steem’s dialogue and narration I always hear Salli’s voice as E’steem.

I always thought Salli had the perfect voice for playing a Disney bad guy like Ursula or Malefecent. And I wanted the E’steem character to be a perfect fit for Salli’s amazing acting abilities.

The E’steem Character is one part Salli Richardson, One part Morgan Le Fay. When I originally created the character she was supposed to be an Egyptian version of Morgan Le Fay, a powerful sorceress who helped Seth in his plans to overthrow Osiris and was aspiring to get power as the first Lady of Hell by killing Isis in the first Isis published back in 2002.

However, the character has evolved over the last 15 or so years. Since The Temptation of John Haynes and the E’steem series she has become one of SJS DIRECT’s most popular heroines, right behind Nikki Desmond of All About Nikki and Colleen Anderson of The Thetas.

The E’steem character starts moving forward in the character transformation arc started in The Temptation of John Haynes and building throughout the E’steem series. E’steem’s storyline in Man Who Rules The World leads into a major turning point for the character in E’steem: The Witches of Eastland and a climaxes in next years’ E’steem: Ascension.

John’s ex-girlfriend Colleen returns to make an appearance in The Man Who Rules The World. She’s also the main character in the popular 2013 novel The Thetas.

The Colleen character is actually inspired by actress Robin Givens. I got ideas for creating the character in 1989 when she portrayed the daughter of a rich mogul in the made for TV movie The Penthouse. Whenever I write Colleen she sounds like actress Robin Givens.

Colleen returns to the Goth roots in Man Who Rules The World I established for the character back in 1989. That’s why she sports a pair of New Rocks and has her black lipstick on. That’s a HUGE contrast from the sophisticated way the character was portrayed in 2013’s The Thetas where the character was softer and daintier.

Lucifer in The Man Who Rules the World is inspired by actor Keith David. Whenever I hear Lucifer’s voice it’s always Keith David in the narration and the dialogue. Just like in Temptation Lucifer is in the background playing a game of chess manipulating people like pawns and rooks in his efforts to destroy John.

Osiris is inspired by actor Samuel L. Jackson. Every time I write Osiris’ dialogue I always hear Samuel L. Jackson’s voice as the Pharaoh of Heliopolis. Osiris’ role is a big one in Man Who Rules the World. He’s the god trying to protect his family from the danger of being corrupted by Katious emotional and mental manipulations, and preventing them from harming humanity in their attempt to protect mankind.

This is Osiris’ first major appearance in John Haynes’ universe.  But it won’t be the last. He may pop up for another story.

Isis is a character who has been around since 1999. And while the goddess next door has carried her own book series, this is her fourth big event where she teams with John Haynes. In the past she’s teamed up with John in Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess, Isis: Night of the Vampires and Isis: Bride of Dracula.

I’ve gotten inspiration for Isis’ character from different sources over the years, but these days I pull some inspiration for Isis’ voice and look from actress Tia Mowry. Whenever I write the character these days she sounds like Tia Mowry doing a Batman Beyond Imitation.

John Haynes himself is a character based on myself. However, over the last few years the character has been evolving. Currently I kind of see him as a fusion of myself, Marvel’s Beast and TV’s Perry Mason. Some people say he reminds them of Rupert Giles from Buffy.

As I’ve studied men’s issues over the last seven years I’ve made efforts to make the John Haynes character more masculine, assertive, and have more alpha male qualities. Over the course of books like Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess, Isis: Night of the Vampires and Isis: Bride of Dracula he’s become a more heroic character who confidently can take on the greatest of challenges.

I chose the setting of Times Square as a setting for several chapters in Man Who Rules The World because Time Square in New York is considered the crossroads of the world. The way I saw it, it was the best place for a final battle where the fate of the world was in the balance.

In one chapter John makes a joke referencing a Hellmouth in California. That is a direct reference to the Hellmouth under Sunnydale California where Buffy The Vampire Slayer used to live. Some of the humor and dialogue style in John Haynes stories is inspired by Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer and 1984’s Ghostbusters.

A scene of John and Colleen’s scene on the balcony in Man Who Rules The World is inspired by my memories of looking out the window of my apartment on 9/11. During that day I remember the skies being so quiet and it being surreal. And I wanted to capture that sense of surrealness in that scene.

The newscasts mentioning the End of the World on ABC News and Armageddon NOW on CNN reference a joke I used to make around the dinner table regarding what the news media would be like when the Biblical Last days happened. The way I see it, it’d be a circus. And online social media would be completely insane.

The red Buick John drives on the way to confront God Katious is actually based on the 1976 Buick Limited my father used to own for over 20 years. I remember sitting in the shotgun seat many times when he’d take me to Harlem to get haircuts. I never got to drive it, but always wanted to, so I decided to write about it. And yes, it STILL had the 8-track tape player in it the last time I saw it in 1996!

In the Times Square confrontation with John, Katious makes a defiant statement that mocks something Jesus said regarding a man having faith strong enough to cast a mountain into the sea.

The final fate of the villain is references something Jesus stated being the stone that the builders refused and becoming the head of corner. In the Temptation of John Haynes E’steem fell on the stone and was broken. And in Man Who Rules the World God Katious was supposed to be the villain who the stone fell upon and was ground to powder.

When I imagined The Man Who Rules the World I saw it like a big budget action movie in my head. I wanted it to be like the SJS DIRECT version of The Avengers or Captain America: Civil War, a large-scale story that featured John leading all the heroes of the SJS DIRECT Universe during a crisis. African-Americans don’t get featured in these kinds of stories, and rarely do readers get a chance to see a Black male hero leading during a crisis where Black people save the world. I believe that makes The Man Who Rules The World Unique and distinct, the chance to see Black people working together to fight to save the world. 

Reception to The Man Who Rules The World has been strong. Readers have been picking it up and sharing it. If reception to John Haynes stories remains strong I may have to start a John Haynes series. No promises.

You can pick up The Man Who Rules the World in paperback, Kindle, Smashwords Nook, or the iBookstore!

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