Two Urban Fantasy Series’, One Story, One Message

Lord of Columbia and The Renegades may be two different urban fantasy series’, but they contain the same message and as mentioned in previous posts, they eventually merge into one story. Though this won’t be known until I’m deep into each and it’s a plot twist that will leave you begging for more, I can guarantee you.

The photo of the burning bridge that acts as this post’s featured image depicts such a merging of the two series even as far back as 2018 when I drafted the very first ideas for The Renegades, which back then I dubbed under different names including The Stoicheions, The Prodigies, The Outlaws, and others.

Related: Lord of Columbia’s Relationship with The Renegades Hinted in Each Book

Burning bridge scenes occur in a few of my books. There’s a scene in Swords of Destiny where bridges are exploding to bar entry into a heavily armed city that the Southpoint Empire regulates. There’s a scene in Brock Gauge that’s akin to the movie Joker and also features a burning bridge. Ironically, the burning bridge shown in the featured image is in almost the same location as the burning bridge in real life. Of course the names and towns have changed names, but their features have not.

Much like Lord of Columbia.

Today, I’m writing about how Lord of Columbia and The Renegades are the same. This article might give you a few awesome clues as to where Lord of Columbia and The Renegades fit in with one another.

I’m not giving away any spoilers today, but I am talking about theme, elements, and characterization.

1 – Theme: The True Enemy are Those Dividing Us

Of course, my underlying theme in The Renegades mirrors that seen in Lord of Columbia – a theme criticizing how the political and corporate class rule the lower, working, and middle classes,

But how do I depict them doing this?

Well, by dividing the people with petty issues.

Let’s look at the COVID debate. You have the Stay at Home crowd on one side and what I’ll call the Live and Let Live crowd on the other side and if you’ve paid attention to the news, tensions are rising like none other. We’ve seen incidents in Michigan, in Dallas, and protests all over the country from the crowd wishing for the economy to reopen.

And on the other end, you have the Stay at Home crowd wanting to make it an imprisonable offense for traveling, or at the very least a citation.

But of course, the fire’s being lit in the mainstream media, or at least that’s how it’s turning out in the US. It seems that either those on the Right or Left aren’t happy unless they have something to disagree on and when one side makes a move, the other end predictably states the opposite. It starts at the media and government and trickles down to the people.

Personally, I think most of it’s a game to further increase tension between two massive groups of people who fail to realize the true enemy is sitting in Washington and collecting tax monies to continually fuel a welfare-warfare state while the masses fight about whether the nation should be shut down.

My approach is quite simple: Stay at home if you’re in a high-risk age category or have a detrimental condition that leaves you vulnerable and if you’re low risk, live the way you want and stay away from those who are in the high-risk crowd. But, don’t all for the media’s ruse that the other side is evil and your side is morally just, regardless of what side you’re taking.

I’ve heard it all – those who want the economy open are selfish (that’s the trigger word these days) people with zero consciences for other people. Meanwhile, the other side’s saying that more lives are being systemically ruined by the increasing unemployment and a nation $24 trillion in debt isn’t helping matters.

Related: Urban Fantasy Saga: The Renegades Exposes Local Taboo

It’s one reason why liberty is such a huge theme in each work. Live your life the way you see fit and let others live life the way they see fit. Guys, we have a two-party duopoly here in America that only wants to spend your tax dollars the way they see fit while politicizing a medical issue, knowing it’s going to create tension as we’ve never seen before.

People wanting their place of work or their gym open again aren’t selfish. People wanting to see their friends and family in the low-risk crowd aren’t selfish. The media and your politicians are telling you what to think and we’ve been socially engineered since preschool to accept that truth comes from authority.

Maybe these people fear death as much as those who wish the lockdowns to continue? Perhaps something else is killing them, as CBS News reported?

I’m going to end this section by relaying a selfless note: People who wish to stay home and keep others off their property aren’t sheep who bow down to the media. It’s their choice. It’s your choice to wear a mask and gloves in public.

But it’s also the choice of others not to partake in it. It doesn’t mean they’re not taking this pandemic any less seriously. They just have a different approach, and nothing else. If there’s one huge theme in these works to take away from, it’s realization that the other side isn’t the true enemy – it’s the people on the top pulling the puppet strings.

Sure, there’s a virus out there. Yes, it’s deadly to certain people and yes, some areas have been devastated. I believe it. I have relatives who’ve seen it. It’s not fake. But I’ll tell you what is a farce: The psychological war on our minds that because your neighbor thinks in a different manner means they’re either “Ignorant, evil, and selfish (Stay at Home Crowd),” or that they’re, “A scared sheep who would’ve snitched on Anne Frank during World War II because their leaders told them to (Live and Let Live).”

The true enemy are the ones dividing us. And it’s not just Donald Trump. It’s not just Nancy Pelosi. It’s Washington. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if they all secretly went out drinking together, while stating, “We got them again!”

2 – Magical Systems: Element Bending at its Finest

Okay, onto a lighter subject! Sorry, I wanted to get the serious one out of the way first and as you can see I’ve been somewhat neutral on the subject. But anyway, let’s talk element bending.

Yes, it’s in The Renegades but NO, it’s not prevalent in the early stages. Well, I guess it is in Tarja Titan and Braden Hawk, but then you don’t hear about it for a while. Readers need to be patient here. I established the system early and it’s the same one you’re seeing in Lord of Columbia.

Related: Lord of Columbia: Magical Realism Novels in Correlation with Its Primary Genre

Only those with such ability have shrunk to minute, and I mean minute levels. The Swords of Destiny are here, but the true mystery is this: Where did they come from?

The reader will discover a lot here as they flip through the pages of Tarja Titan, Braden Hawk, Brock Gauge, and others. You will see characters whose presence may surprise you. And you’ll also wonder how they got there in the first place. Well, that’s an answer you’ll find as more Renegades are introduced because it’s far more than just the original five, who consist of Titan, Hawk, Gauge, Liza Fury, and Tony Gotham.

3 – Ensemble Cast and Characters

I think I just hinted this in the above section. If you’ve seen the Avengers and you enjoy it, you’ll love the cast and characters I have lined up here in The Renegades. There are at least a few awesome supporting characters in each work, which I introduce slowly as you work your way through, much like what you see in the Avengers.

And yes, I’m purposefully capitalizing the ‘T’ in The Renegades; It’s a nod toward something most college sports fans won’t like, in case you’re wondering.

Anyway, enough of the fun facts. If you’re a fan of a huge ensemble of characters, not only will Lord of Columbia rock your world, but so will The Renegades. Take Tarja Titan, for example. That book alone will see at least five characters in the future and in books that sort of resembles the Avengers.

Braden Hawk? At least four characters move on. Brock Gauge? At least five. And so on, which of course once we’re deep into the series leads to some epic action-adventure and urban fantasy novels in a hybrid form.

If you’re not into having to keep track of a large roster of characters, ten steer clear. If this is your thing, then hey, keep coming back to the site because I’ll be posting more relevant material regarding this.

4 – Merger

And yes, this is definitely an ambitious project that requires quite the backlist, which is the entire point of soft launching Lord of Columbia for a couple years. In today’s Netflix-like binge culture, an avid urban fantasy reader will have a nice, long backlist of books to read from due to the scope and complexity of both series’.

These aren’t your average urban fantasies where there might be simply somewhere between seven and twelve books out before they dissipate and the series ends. While it’s nice to have closure, I’m not one who can say exactly when I’ll hang up Lord of Columbia and The Renegades, and even when they do merge, it’s highly likely there will be more books in each respective series.

Related: Lord of Columbia’s and The Renegades’ Relationship to V for Vendetta

Confusing?

Yeah, maybe.

But at the same time, you see an expanded universe in so many other outlets. That said, there’s no end date in sight. There’s no expiration date in sight. I’ll probably just keep writing until I’m out of ideas and for a writer, our ideas expand faster than the universe.

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