The Stuff That Fantasies Are Made of
By Janice Llanes Fabry
The publication of his first novel, “Divine Spark: Age of Aeon”, is a dream come true for Patrick McGorman, who wrote most of the book on his laptop at the Rye library.
“After graduating, I’d spend two to three hours at the library where it was quiet and no one would bother me,” said McGorman who attended Manhattanville College where he majored in Creative and Professional Writing.
McGorman, 25, was raised in Rye and lived here until last year. As a young student, he loved rendering “cool visual ideas” through drawing. His influences were a conglomeration of cosmic horror books, Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, mythology, and legends. He also reads incessantly, albeit offbeat material, from Wikipedia to the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game manual.
“I always liked to draw little monsters, scorpion people, battle action, and anything that keeps the blood pumping,” recalled McGorman. “Then I realized I wasn’t that good at drawing. Rather than ramble on about a world of magic and masters, I thought it would be more productive to write about it.”
Thus, began a 14-year-old’s foray into fiction. “Calling what I was doing short stories would be generous,” he admitted. “Let’s say they were more of a hybrid between summaries and short stories.”
In college, however, McGorman expanded his canvas by utilizing his rich imagination, enhanced by a creativity that stems from his high functioning autistic focus. That, along with his determination and attention to detail, enabled him to conjure up a fantastical new world which bears no semblance to our own.
“The hardest part was starting the book and finding the motivation to get to the good stuff, the super action scenes,” he admitted. “I decided to introduce the main antagonist right off the bat because everyone loves antagonists.”
That would be Zuo Xuanzang, named after a character in “Journey to the West”, a 16th-century classic Chinese novel published during the Ming dynasty. McGorman has great respect for his characters and was meticulous about naming them. Protagonists Ercan and Sheev’ra, the former meaning “brave man” and the latter meaning “spirit,” drive the story.
The catalyst of “Divine Spark: Age of Aeon’s” intricate plot is an alien divine being who has reset the post-apocalyptic world. When one of the being’s creations rebels against him in the fictional city of Bythos and is mortally wounded in the process, fragments of her spirit are inserted within the souls of humanity. Subsequently, a new generation of “psychic kids,” who have powerful supernatural abilities or “sparks,” must learn how to unlock their potential for the betterment of mankind.
McGorman, who works in data entry for LifeFone when he’s not writing, hopes his fantasy resonates with readers. He says the book is meant to entertain and is more “Hunger Games” and “X-Men” than “Harry Potter”.
Although he has a profound admiration for J.K. Rowling’s success, his sights are more modest. “I would just love my book to earn a Wikipedia page,” he said.
Come meet the author at a reception at the Rye library on May 4 from 4-6. Meanwhile, “Divine Spark: Age of Aeon” is available for preorder.