Rise of the Red Harbinger is the first book of a fantasy series. That being said, most of its roots originated from ideas completely unrelated to the fantasy genre. My muse is…unorthodox, to say the least. Despite being a visual person, music has been what has given me the most inspiration to write, even before I started working on this novel.
I have a habit of listening to a song, or often times even just a lyric, and turning it into an idea with a completely different meaning, and in time it turns into a vivid scene in my head. Quite often, I’ll even play a song on repeat as I work on a chapter, just to make sure I don’t lose that visual or that set of emotions.
For example, the opening scene in Chapter One was inspired by Linkin Park’s Somewhere I Belong. I would even say that’s Baltaszar’s theme song, because it beautifully captures everything that I wanted that character to feel.
Sometimes, though, it’s not even about the words in the song, but the set of emotions that the music itself evokes. For instance, I definitely had Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Winter Palace on repeat for the hours it took me to write Chapter 24. The song is completely instrumental and represents perfectly what I wanted Desmond to feel throughout this chapter.
That isn’t to say that one specific type of music inspired me though. My musical taste is a broad spectrum to begin with, so it was easy for my muse to extend to all genres. I easily found inspiration in rock music, hip hop, country, dance, electronic, alternative, R&B, and even classical.
I think that eclectic mix helped me put so much emotion into this story, which made it that much more meaningful to write. It was fun, exciting, relaxing, and stressful to write, depending on the scene, because of everything I was channeling into it. One thing that I’ve challenged myself to do more since I began seriously writing has been to open myself up to different things, both in writing and in life. That includes music, literature, people, and experiences. I think since I’ve allowed myself to do that and seriously committed to it, it’s helped me to become a better writer by leaps and bounds.
Playlist (I actually have about 400 songs on my actual writing playlist for this book, but these songs are probably the ones I listened to the most while writing):
1. Somewhere I Belong – Linkin Park
2. Sober – Tool
3. Here I Come – The Roots
4. Dangerous – David Guetta feat. Sam Martin
5. Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
6. Demons – Imagine Dragons
7. Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
8. Estranged – Guns n Roses
9. A Line in the Sand – Linkin Park
10. Winter Palace – Trans Siberian Orchestra
11. More Human than Human – White Zombie
12. Juke Box Hero – Foreigner
13. Riders on the Storm – The Doors
14. Snake Charmer – Rage Against the Machine
15. Stand by Me – K.I. Theory
16. Drain You – Nirvana
17. Welcome Home – Coheed and Cambria
Rise of the Red Harbinger
The Drowned Realm Series
Publisher: Open Door Publications
Date of Publication: June 6, 2016
Number of pages: Around 400
Word Count: 180,000
Cover Artist: Genevieve LaVo Cosdon, LaVo Design
Thousands of years ago, the realm of Ashur was drowned by Darian, Harbinger of the god Orijin, to save it from the evil Red Harbinger, Jahmash. But the prophecies say Jahmash will return—and only Darian’s chosen Descendants, those who bear a black line on their face, can save mankind.
Baltaszar: An untried lad from a hidden village. He must find the House of Darian to learn how to use his mysterious powers.
Marshall: The last of a race of warriors slaughtered by Jahmash’s army. Will the other Descendants help him avenge his family and his race?
Prince Garrison: He spent years following his father, the king’s orders to kill all who bear the mark of Darian—even though he bears it himself. Can the other Descendants accept him? Or will they kill him?
Time is running short for the Descendants. Hunted by the people they are supposed to protect, can they save Ashur from its greatest threat: The Red Harbinger?
About the Author:
Khalid Uddin’s credits his creative beginnings to comic books, specifically “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “X-Men”. Throughout middle school and high school, his predominant hobby was drawing his favorite characters, original characters, and just about everything that was put in front of him. Once his college roommate introduced Khalid to Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” book series (later completed by Brandon Sanderson), his imagination evolved. He had already been familiar with Tolkien’s vivid world, but Jordan’s was something new and far grander. Khalid saw the beginnings of his own fantasy world coming to life, thanks to these authors and to many of his own coming of age experiences.
When his head is not stuck in the fantasy world, Khalid spends his free time with his wife Jen and adorable one year-old daughter, Emme, who have both been incredibly generous with giving him time to write and finish his novel. He makes a living with literature, being a high school English teacher in New Jersey.
Khalid regularly posts updates and news about his novel and the writing process on his website, www.khaliduddin.com
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