Backstory, backstory, backstory

As of right now I have nearly 11,000 words of backstory written for Toriko Tales. This compares to the 12,175 words currently written in the book manuscript.

That doesn’t even factor in the original module I wrote for Toriko’s original introduction for D’mok Revival first book. In fact, much of what I wrote back then I’m updating for use in her first solo book.

It may seem excessive, but to me, I want to understand the bigger picture before attempting to add something into the main manuscript.  I feel if I understand the history around locations or events, or the motivating factors and experiences of a character I’ll be able to represent them more authentically and consistently in my main story.

To do this I simply write some short stories.

If it’s about a character I conduct a little interview. I’ve never had a situation where I couldn’t “hear” their response. In fact, it’s fun to ask follow-up questions. I’m always surprised by the answers (despite it all coming from my own mind.).

If it’s about a location, before trying to visualize the place, I ask myself lots of questions about the area it’s in.  What is it’s function? How does it fit into the bigger scheme of the area or society?  When was it built and how old is it?  Is this place important or forgotten? How is the space used now?

Then, based on all of that, I begin visualizing. Again, starting with the surroundings and moving to the location of interest. What type of architecture is used in that area? What type of materials? The short could be a totally different set of characters that are just interacting with the space, or a discussion from the architects themselves on the approach used to craft the location.

The type of short story used all depends on what I want to understand about the subject.

For the character of Mini-T (v2) I did a number of shorts. One was a stream-of-consciousness understanding her mindset in a particular moment. Another was a set of “diary entries” (requested by Toriko) to help show the progression of her development. Another was a semi-structured interview at a later point in time (towards the end of where I expect the Toriko Tales manuscript to go). It did wonders for understand that characters arc for this book.

I highly recommend doing something like this. I believe it prevents a lot of the inconsistency problems with commercial IPs where characters don’t act consistently. I don’t know about you, but it bothers me when a character does something totally contrary to what we’ve learned about them to that point, unless it’s some shocking reveal of a totally other side we had no idea about. Then it’s okay, otherwise it’s not. So, I work very hard to maintain consistency in my stories.

Happy Holidays!


More shots fired…

Another active shooter. More students dead. Yesterday the news reported 22 school shootings since 2018 began.

22 in 20 weeks. Let that sink in for a moment. I still haven’t fully absorbed it.

Predictably, we see the dance of legislators, victims, and big gun businesses begin once again. Hope of change fades.

When asked “Was there a part of you that was like ‘This isn’t real,’ ‘This would not happen in my school.’” one of the students shook her head with a sickening smirk. Clearly she wasn’t happy, it was more an expression when you’re overloaded and in disbelief. She said “No there wasn’t. It’s been happening everywhere… I thought eventually it would happen here too.”

It breaks my heart.

Then I think of my 11 year-old son.

Then I think of the all the kids in his class that just graduated elementary school with him.

Then I recall the “yellow alert” his school campus faced this newly completed school year where an outside lingering interloper caused the school to go into a semi-lock-down.

What’s more shocking, my son didn’t tell me when it happened. Nor did the school. My son mentioned it months later. The school never did. It’s as if this is “normal” and not needed to be mentioned.

It’s not normal. It’s not right.

But policy is the adult world. My mind goes back to the children. How can we help them?  What can we say?

Eerily, my latest novel, the Weun Academy: The Shadow Maker is all about terror at school. It’s sickening (literally) how timely and topical it has become. I want to bring children a message of hope while securing them with tools to manage the growing chaos.

They are not helpless. They can become the instruments needed to counter what’s happening. Reviewers have called out key aspects of the book’s messaging:

“The curve in character development is calculated and it is interesting to follow the protagonist as he quickly learns to think beyond himself and his immediate world.” – C. Sia

“(The main character Eisah) took charge of the situation, took a chance and didn’t back down when his plans didn’t work. This story talks about things that teenagers face and have to fight every day. Author Michael Zummo addresses these issues with care and takes on these sensitive topics with diligence.” – R. Tanveer

“School violence, bullies, and adults who don’t seem to get it at all are a current problem in schools all over the world so the book definitely will hit a nerve with readers from the intended target group. It is a great, exciting story that shows how easily things can be misunderstood when you don’t take the time to ask questions about what REALLY happened.” – K. Anasi


But the one that really hits home, that makes me feel like I’m doing something right is this:


“And yes, without being preachy, there is an agenda implicit throughout this story, one much needed in our world at large: helping students to deal with and bring to an end (to) the recent horrific trend in school violence. This is an engaging, fast-moving, and richly imaginative tale, with characters both likeable and unlikeable, but often relatable, particularly by younger readers.” – A.L. Peevey


“(A story and agenda) much needed in our world at large…”


I hope it’s the right messages at the right time. It seems the case. Now I just have to convince others to help me spread this message.

In the meantime, I’m going to spend some more time with my son.


Finding my voice

When I started writing, I didn’t really think “what I wanted to say” with a particular story. With most of it streaming into my head like a movie, I didn’t stop to consider why “this story” was one that needed to be told now. In fact, I didn’t question at all, I just “documented” what I saw and published it.

Granted, I have always been aware of how my own life has shaped characters and influenced events in the D’mok literary universe.

But something has changed. It’s not the plans for the series (with its many branches). “That” story stills needs to be told. However, rather than just infusing my life into the details and nuance of characters and events, I feel this call-to-action to integrate social commentary.

Early reviews for my Weun Academy manuscript, that focuses on school violence, have been amazing! People are really connecting with the characters, and commenting on how their effected by the attack. This has really opened my eyes. Beyond writing a slick action-packed story, or cleaver romp in the future, I finally understand the value of “saying something.”

Looking back, my fourth novel covered the topics of broken families. The fifth covered the topic of school violence. My new project, Toriko’s Army, is shaping up to tackle the rise of artificial intelligence and society’s response. I guess that societal commentary was already weaving into the DNA of my books. This is a great thing!  This approach will certainly strengthen the case for “why this story now?”

I can’t wait to see how my latest work shapes up! Regardless of my “early previews” into the story, the details that flesh it out are always an amazing surprise!

The big picture – planning out the D’mok Revival literary universe

Now that the first manuscript for Weun Academy is off to my AMAZING editor Arlene Robinson, I have a moment to write another blog post.

Some amazing fans have asked what’s coming next. I think I’m finally ready to tip my hand and show what’s in the works. Keep in mind, some of the titles may change, and don’t expect lots of details yet, but here you go!


D’mok Revival: The Nukari Invasion Trilogy — Completed

  1. Awakening – Published
  2. Retribution – Published
  3. Descension – Published
    1. Mindwalk Novelette – Published
    2. The Aloan Conspiracy — Published


D’mok Revival: New Eden Saga                                

  1. New Eden – Published
  2. Chancellor Arenji – FUTURE
  3. The Second Coming – FUTURE


Wuen Academy (Spin-off)

  1. The Shadow Maker – Currently with my editor
  2. The Sabereth Incident – FUTURE
  3. The Golden Hands – FUTURE
  4. The Collectors – FUTURE
  5. Gems of Oridar – FUTURE
  6. The Third Age – FUTURE
  7. Prequal: Secret of the Stone – Future


Wayfinder (Spin-off)

  1. The Assassin’s Gambit – FUTURE
  2. D’maran Justice – FUTURE
  3. Hero of the Nukari – FUTURE


Toriko’s Army (Crucial Side novel)

  1. Tomb of the Metallics – Startup in process


D’mok Revival (Conclusion)

  1. D’mok’s Revenge – FUTURE


D’mok Revival (Prequal)

  1. Executive Order 188 – FUTURE


So, how do all of these fit together?  Good question!

Weun Academy picks up as of the end of book 4 in the D’mok Revival Series. The end of this spin-off aligns between books 5 and 6 of the D’mok Revival Series.

Toriko’s Army happens between books 4 and 5 in the D’mok Revival Series, and after book 1 of Weun Academy.

Wayfinder picks up after book 4 of D’mok Revival, and aligns with book 2 of Weun Academy. The end of this spin-off leads into the beginning of the capstone book 7 of the D’mok Revival Series.

The Weun Academy and Wayfinder series must be complete, along with books 1-6 of D’mok Revival before the capstone book 7 can be written.  Finally, there’s a prequel (because, of course there is). Okay, technically “Secret of the Stone” is a prerequisite (but I’d like it to be).

Simple right?

I’ve had this planned for some time now. However, I didn’t want to mention anything. Mostly because it seems like the plan of a madman. I honestly wouldn’t take a new author seriously if they claimed all this. I wanted a number of novels completed to prove I’m serious about this.

I’m not even going to think about the age I’ll be when it’s all done.

I’m thrilled to report that I’ve started working on Toriko’s Army. I’ve been waiting a long time to do this story. Toriko is among my favorite characters (if I had to pick that is).  More about this soon!

“To ret-con, or not to ret-con!”


To Ret-con, or not ret-con… That is, indeed, the question!

I’ve learned a great deal over the course of my five novels, two novelettes, and omnibus edition. Among the larger points: the structure of long-term and short-term story arcs, the importance of small chapters, the use of page-turner cliff hangers, keep the core character count down, avoiding episodic tv like story blocking when writing a novel, etc.

With respect to the content itself, being more descriptive, and presenting names people can consistently pronounce are ongoing opportunities for improvement.

My latest novel, Weun Academy, is actually the first spin-off from the D’mok Revival main series. Its timeline picks up at the end of book 4. Many established alien races, and characters appear as expected. The Nasadric, who were introduced in book 4, become more prevalent as one of the main characters in Weun Academy is one! I was never fond of the way they were presented in book 4. the description sounded gangly and odd. It was fine for a background race at the time. But, as a main race it just didn’t work. I guess I try to picture people cosplaying the characters, and no one was going to cosplay looking like what I described in book 4.

So… I’m changing it. Hey, I’m the author, I can do that. Trust me, the new look is far cooler. I could completely see people cosplaying this race now. Of course, this means I must go back to book 4 and update that. There’s no updating the printed copies. But, those will become instant collector’s editions, right? Well, someday someone may be intrigued by the original text.

There’s one other major thing that has bothered me since the beginning. This one is so much bigger, and impacts every book released to date. It makes me nervous to consider, but at the same time it bugs me so much!

Seigie Weun. No one pronounces it correctly…  Most said “Seg-gee” or “SEA-gee.” Again with the cosplay thing, I think it would literally kill me if I heard someone cheer “I just looooooove Seg-gie!” I mean, I’d be thrilled someone did, don’t get me wrong. But “Seg-gie?” I would feel like I betrayed her. I imagine it would be like someone running up to me and yelling “I love you Meek!” You know?

Anyway, the original manuscript had “Segie.” To be honest, that probably should be been pronounced “S-eh-g-eye.” The desired pronunciation was (and still is) “C-G” as in the hard pronunciation of the letters “C” and “G”.  I tried to mutate it Sea-G, then, incorrectly, to Segie. I believe it was my sister that suggest I try to use the spelling approach for “siege” to correct how people would say it.

In my utter brilliance, I did a mass correct with “Seigie.” Then pushed the first book out the door. Hey, my launch at Chicago ComicCon 2013 was coming fast and I had thousands of copies being printed.  I needed to get it done! So, of course, I take something SO important–and blow it.

So, here we are 8 printed works and 4 years later. I STILL have to check the spelling every time I write it to make sure I’m keeping it consistent. Why? Because my brain will not let this go.

Again, I say, “To ret-con, or not to ret-con!”

Of course, there could be another option… Given Weun Academy is a spin-off… Who’s to say it can’t be presented there in a different way? Say, perhaps “Seegee” or “C’Gee” the “way her D’mar spelling would look.” Hey, you don’t know that’s *not* how her native tongue spells it. It *could* be the case.

While thousands of people have owned and read the D’mok Revival core novels, I’m hoping to bring Weun Academy to an even larger audience. So, NOW is the time to address this.

I feel like I’m almost talking myself into this concept as I write this. It’s not a “bad” idea. The D’mar native language, hum?  Food for thought. I guess you’ll have to wait and see what I end up doing!

To Kristin Zummo

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My sister-in-law, Kristin Zummo, has passed away. It was swift, unexpected, and heart-breaking. From the moment I met her she was so incredibly kind. She frequently texted and Facebook messaged, and even helped out at my book launches. She always made sure I knew she was behind me and did everything she could to help. What a sister-in-law!

My life has always been the inspiration for my stories. Kristin’s life, and now her death, has also inspired my literary world.  In my latest book, Weun Academy, a great tragedy befalls the school. Many students and even teachers are killed. My reflections on Kristin’s death made me revisit the memorial scene. Fighting through my own tears, D’abar’s speech began to rewrite itself. The following not only speaks to my fictitious characters, but to me and the others Kristin left behind:

“We are gathered here today to remember and pay homage to our fallen family members. The tragic loss of life, especially for those so young, is unconscionable. There’s nothing to say to rationalize such events, nothing to take away the pain of their loss. While their corporeal journey has ended, ours has become overcast with a cloud of confusion and sorrow.

“While death is life’s harshest lesson, there is a silver lining to this cloud.  We are forced to reflect on the things our lost family members brought into our lives. We take stock on the ways they touched our hearts, saw the world, and forever changed us by their example.

“But the lessons don’t stop there. Death reminds us just how precious and fleeting life is. It exposes our mortal fragility and bodily limitations, while at the same time encouraging us to live life to the fullest and without delay. As a result, we challenge the very substance and direction of our own lives.

“Right now you may be feeling pangs of anger, sadness, and regret. Perhaps you should have spent more time with them, or talked more often. Maybe they never knew how you felt, or understood just how much you appreciated all the things they did. Maybe you didn’t return a call, or a favor. Or maybe you just wish you could have gotten to know them better. Such feelings are normal. It’s called guilt, and we all suffer it. It’s the result of us being imperfect beings: ones that make assumptions about our lives and opportunities, and about the time we have to do the things that don’t quite land high enough on our long list of priorities. It’s important to face this, to acknowledge whatever we should have done better, and to not repeat our mistakes again.

“I will never say death is a good thing, but it makes us examine things we’ve taken for granted, and helps us to become better people–if we’re willing to change. Don’t make our loved ones loss be for nothing. Enshrine them in your heart. Feel what you must, then learn and grow. Become the best you, and above all–live your incredible life.”

Thank you for all you inspired in my life Kristin. You were an amazing sister-in-law.  My heart aches, and I will miss you greatly. I already miss your smile and beautiful heart. Rest in peace.

Expanding on Weun Academy’s first book!

Progress continues on my latest novel, Weun Academy! As I’ve mentioned before, the new manuscript sits around the 160 page mark, which I predict is about one-third of the completed book. It’s been at that number of a while now. Around the 2016 winter holidays that started to worry me. I kept wondering why I couldn’t progress on the main story. After all, it’s not like I don’t know what the story is about. But the inspiration and drive to sit and write just wasn’t there.

I’m wondered, like I’m sure many other writers do at some point, if I had hit “that wall,” the one you’ll never get past. But here’s the thing, I honestly love looking into what’s happening in the D’mok Universe. When I sit to write, I get a streaming view directly into my mind about what’s going on there. I truly enjoy it, and wanted to experience that again.

Inspiration is a funny thing, it ebbs and flows as it wants to. I know I’m making it sound like it’s alive, as if it has a will of its own. But you know what? Sometimes it feels exactly like that. It tells me what it wants, when it wants, with however much detail, and for however long as it wants to. It also tells me when it’s not ready to show me something. I just “had that feeling” that it wasn’t time to write more.

So, I do what I always do when this happens, I sat back and enjoyed life. Creativity, for me, comes from living life. My friends, my triumphs, my failures, my fears, all somehow feed the well from which the D’mok Revival universe springs. A wonderful wedding happened, the election happened, the aftermath of the election happened, Thanksgiving, Christmas and a magical new year happened, and low-and-behold, so did inspiration!

Between the New Year and Donald Trumps innuguration I wrote 14 short segments about various aspects of Weun Academy. This is very similar to what happened when I began writing D’mok Revival so many years ago. I’d get snippets of information, background stories, glimpses into the lives of specific characters in situations that have nothing to do with the main story but help me understand who they are.

As a result the Weun Academy campus has transformed, new characters have emerged, I understand the meaning and relevance Weun Academy’s prologue and its implications (which impact D’mok Revival’s main story and Wayfinder’s, the second spin-off series)…

And NOW–now it’s time to integrate this into the existing manuscript. “It” tells me once that’s done I’ll get the next part of the story. So be it.

I’ve worked on integration all day. One of the things that jumped out was the need to more clearly describe the uniforms used at the academy. I took the time to sketch out designs and scour the internet for things that matched. I’m happy to report, I’ve pulled together exactly what I had in my head!

I found components of these drawings on the internet, created additional assets, then pulled them together to create what you’re seeing. Final versions will be developed. I’ve attached the images below.

The first is the ability category (“Discipline”) pin for “The World,” represented by a mountain.

the world emblem

The second is the student jumper.

lyons_emprada_uniform_1_by_kenu v6-postable

This is worn while on campus grounds and during all training sessions. The specialized shirt is really the most customized part of the outfit sporting black outer edges on the arms and shoulders, purple main section and lighter purple stripes, and raised collar. On the collar shows the ability category (“Discipline”) pin, and on the chest, Weun Academy’s emblem.


Third is the formal (or “Dress”) jacket.

formal jacket

A subtle pattern is printed on the jacket, that reflects in the light and becomes visible when you’re closer. You see a hint of that in the example image. On the neck, the wearer’s ability category (“Discipline”) pin is displayed. On the chest, the Weun Academy emblem is displayed. The golden braid is for an earned distinction (like becoming mentor of other students after mastering skills). The shoulder boards display the number of stripes equal to the level of mastery (could also be years at school), and sit on black panels. The silver “flower” buttons further accentuate the ornateness of the jacket. This is complimented by formal black trousers and with purple stripe down the side.  As a note, Matt helped me apply the pattern.  Thanks Matt!!  🙂

I’m especially proud of this jacket design. One of the things I try to keep in mind as I go along is whatever readers encounter I want them to be able to recreate in the “real world.” It could be food mentioned in the cafeteria, learning games from classrooms, or outfits characters wear. I believe the above designs are very accessible, where cosplayers could make them happen. A dear friend of mine, Kathleen Jenks-Grobben, mentioned how Victor Krum’s outfit in Harry Potter has a unique angled part to his jacket and people have been able to recreate it.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, Stanislav Ianevski, 2005, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, Stanislav Ianevski, 2005, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

That actually made me feel much better.  I DO love the angled section and want to keep it.

Anyway, with these designs I can continue the integration of the other holiday items. Specifically, the introduction of a new character, Kira Madaki.

It might be fun to do future posts introducing some of the Weun Academy characters (non-main story items)… Hum. We shall see!

As a side note, for anything found on the Internet that wasn’t explicitly mine, I DO have contact information for the original creators and will reach out to them as appropriate. I believe in people getting credit for the things they create!

Successful Launch of D’mok Revival: New Eden

The launch party for D’mok Revival: New Eden was held at Bayview Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 3pm.

Here’s a link to the event video:

I wanted to thank all the incredible family, friends, and fans that came to the event! It means the world to me to have such amazing support.  It felt great to talk about the series, and unveil my latest novel. I even got to tease a little about Weun Academy and the HoverDome board game.

But the best part for me was the Q&A segment at the end came. There were so many great questions! You really made me dig deep to answer them.

Here’s the door prizes:

neweden-giveaways2 newdengiveaways1

As always, my son, Derek, helped pick the winning tickets. Congratulations to the winners of the door prizes!  I hope you all enjoy them.


I also wanted to thank the following friends and family for helping to set up, run, and take down the event: Derek Zummo, Sam Zummo, Elizabeth Zummo, Kristin Zummo, Anthony Zummo, Matt Ferrara, Kathy Ferrara, Lauren and Jake Eveland, Bob Solem, It takes a village sometimes, and I’m thankful for mine.

Here’s some more photos from the event:

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An explosion of activity

September and October has been crazy with activity! Here’s what’s happened:

  • Released my first “omnibus” which contained the first three novels, two novelettes, and two prologues from the next two novels
  • Won one a Readers’ Favorite award in the youth: science fiction category for D’mok Revival: New Eden
  • Incorporated the award emblems into the D’mok Revival: New Eden cover
  • Released the ebook edition of D’mok Revival: New Eden on Amazon
  • Finalized printing details of D’mok Revival: New Eden with
  • Planning out the D’mok Revival: New Eden launch party details (tentative: Nov 2016)

But as they say, “That’s not all!

An oldie but goodie has come back on the radar. My board game concept, HoverDome, which simulated the hover bike racing action mentioned in D’mok Revival: Descension, and experienced by readers in D’mok Revival: New Eden, is back on the table (literally).

This weekend I’m attending a board game designer’s workshop at Game Universe, a local game store. I’m going to present the concept, do some playtesting, and hopefully evolve a few elements.

THEN, in two weeks, I’m attending a three day board game designer workshop in Madison. I’ll get to review it with fellow designers, playtest with folks off the street, and present it to board game publishers!

I’m so excited! In fact, since D’mok Revival: New Eden is out there, I can reference it directly as a cross-promotional opportunity, and provide more context about how this game came about.

So, tonight I’m going to do some quick enhancements to the paper prototype. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

But wait!

Progress on Weun Academy is still moving forward. The slow progress is due to focusing a lot of time on the omnibus, and New Eden… But I’m always looking into the WA universe and seeing what’s going on. This continues to build pieces for me to stitch together and understand, in preparation for my next “sit down” writing session.  It seems like every few hours I’m experiencing things that make me think, “That should really make it in WA.”  Actually, there’s been plenty of things that have made me think, “This would be great for WA2!”

Right now, the plan is to target next summer to release Weun Academy. That’s actually a lot closer than you may think.

That’s all for now!

Life’s inspiration feeding Weun Academy’s story

Writing Weun Academy is so much fun!  Don’t get me wrong, I love writing about Rhysus and the original crew from the original D’mok Revival books.  There’s certainly a LOT of story to tell there.  But it’s refreshing to break into such new territory with a very different crew, just in the same literary universe.

Events from my life have always found their way into the core themes and threads of the D’mok literary universe. That tradition is alive and well with my latest work.

I’ve found my own experiences as a freshman at Carroll College influenced Eisah’s experience at Weun Academy. I remember a distinct awkwardness when I first arrived on campus.  I didn’t know people, or my way around. I recall just trying to figure things out and make sure I was as ready as I could for classes. I also remember the first few people I met, and how our common struggle bonded us together. I’ve translated this into Eisah’s first few days.

In addition, my son’s experience of starting at a new elementary school in third grade (all students transfer into this school as new students at grade 3) has inspired some of the initial emersion events for Eisah as he arrives at Weun Academy. I won’t give too many specifics as I don’t want to ruin specifically what happens.

To my great amusement, I’ve found the amusing and delightful banter of my coworkers has inspiring some of the dynamics between Eisah’s new friends. I believe writing in my coworkers near sibling rivalry-like interactions made my Weun Academy characters more entertaining, likeable, and more relatable.

During a recent family vacation to New York city, a walk through Central Park inspired a new area at Weun Academy. This new location provides students a place of recreation, relaxation, and practicing their abilities.

During the same trip, a visit to the Statue of Liberty left me in awe. I’d never seen it with my own eyes. While it wasn’t as tall as the Empire State building (as illusioned by pictures and portrayals of the status in various media outlets), she is stunning!  She is such an icon for our country, and the symbol of life, liberty, and justice for all. It made me proud to be a United States Citizen. She also reminded me of something else–Siegie from my books.

In D’mok Revival: New Eden (book #4, which most of you have not been able to read yet–sorry), Weun Academy is created. It mentions a great monument of a ring sliced through by a large green shard of crystal positioned at the grand entrance of the campus. When Rhysus and the others first saw it, they were moved because of their personal connection to what it represented. After seeing the Statue of Liberty, I am going to GO BACK AND CHANGE BOOK 4 (it’s not published yet, I can do this). Rather than a symbol, it’s going to become a statue of Segie Weun herself, holding up a radiant crystal. Much like the Statue of Liberty, people of the D’mok literary universe will have a visceral reaction to her statue. People will remember what she stood for, what she wanted for the universe, and the long term impact of her actions. I want it to inspire the students (and the readers).

Also, one of the more frightening things in my work travels has also inspired me. I learned on a recent job trip that the Canadian government in Quebec raided our branch. It wasn’t from financial fraud or other questionable business practices.  Instead, there’s a French Culture enforcement group that came in. They took down English signs and demanded they be remade in French. In addition, any French branding had to be displayed first (in a primary display location) and be TWICE the size of any English branding words on printed materials. They checked installed software on people’s laptops and demanded they have only French versions installed. They reviewed correspondence sent do customers and imposed fines for anything not sent out with French first (and then English optionally included). This group has the right to impose fines. On one of the customer projects, they could receive fines of up to 25,000 Canadian EVERY 2 HOURS per month, indefinitely with a limit of 875,000 Canadian per month. Oh, and if you immigrate into Quebec, you allegedly (I have not gone back to verify this) have no other option than to learn French and send your children to a FRENCH-based school. Only if you were a native are you given the choice between the two languages. How crazy is all that?  Yes, in 2016, in Quebec CANADA, this happens. Why is this happening? Because the government there believes French culture is dying in Quebec. Their solution, pound it down everyone’s throat to make it survive. This will not work long term.  This isn’t how human beings work. Like dripping water, we find a way to go and do as we please. This may slow the breakdown of French only culture, but it will not stop it.  This is GREAT inspiration for later books where “thing begin to change” in the D’mok Universe under D’abar…  That’s all I’ll say for now.  But, no need to create something insidious.  I’ll use this contemporary model.

Anyway, the examples above show how life can inspire small nuance, or large sweeping dynamics in my stories. I don’t want to give away too much at this point so I’ll hold back on the rest.

Until later!