Hello Readers! I’m pleased to welcome Bryan Kuderna, author of Anoroc, on Books Teacup and Reviews to talk about what inspired Anoroc. It is coming of age fantasy rife with sociopolitical and real world themes, set on the mythical planet of Anoroc. Please check out the guest post, excerpt and more about book in this post.
Inspiration for Anoroc
Ever since I fell in love with reading, probably around age 14, I always wanted to read non-fiction. I figured fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, and anything of the like was a waste of time. I much preferred biographies, studying famous athletes, leaders, war heroes, and other icons I could possibly emulate. However, over the past few years, I’ve gravitated towards fiction. I’m not really sure what started it, but the opportunity to not only escape reality, but also expand my mind and look at things from an entirely new perspective, has been rewarding. I’m hooked.
My first book, Millennial Millionaire, was a tell-all about my experiences in the financial services industry. I started writing MM in 2014 when I was 26 years-old, still trapped in reality. It was definitely easier to construct an outline based off of personal observation, albeit not as exciting as my latest venture. It helped to know while writing my manuscript that it could offer multiple benefits. The primary goal was to share financial literacy with an unlimited audience, but it has also served as an excellent marketing piece for my company, Kuderna Financial Team.
As I started to read more fiction, I thought writing in this manner might be an even better way to speak to the world. Fiction also gave me the luxury of serving one sole goal, to entertain the reader. I didn’t have to worry about what any client, fellow professional, or compliance department would think of it. While Anoroc is obviously a fantasy novel, each character, sub-plot, and location comes naturally from my own world, just painted with an entirely different brush, one without boundaries. Writing fiction after having done non-fiction is almost like speaking another language, but it’s still me speaking. In what I’ve studied in creative writing and journalism, great authors are really sharing their own unique thoughts with the world. Everything from scenes to characters in Anoroc can be related to the people I’ve known and places I’ve been. My honeymoon in Hawaii helped create some of the topography and beauty of the different places on Anoroc. I also used some history, Latin roots, and ancient philosophy to create some of the items in the novel. There are hidden eggs throughout.
I first started writing Anoroc in November of 2018, at the time it wasn’t called “Anoroc”. I had a few characters developed and some very rough chapters on paper. It was enough to feel like I was onto something, but not enough to prevent business, family obligations, etc. to take over as I entered the new year of 2019. I pretty much put the book down for all of 2019, even though it was constantly on my mind. We closed our offices during the national shutdown in March of 2020 and I immediately got to writing. Honestly, if it weren’t for Coronavirus, Anoroc probably wouldn’t exist right now. My book was published on October 1, 2020.
Any reader who looks closely at the title, Anoroc, will quickly notice they’re in store for some real-world inspiration. Much of the story in this book involves current events and sociopolitical ideas, but the general themes came about pre-pandemic. They are topics I’m passionate about, some which deeply worry me, and others that give me great hope. As a student of economics, the rapidly growing population on our planet has always been fascinating to me. It took an estimated two million years for the Earth’s population to reach one billion. Now we’re almost at eight billion people just a couple hundred of years later. The Earth hasn’t gotten any bigger over that time. Coexistence is critical, but in a lot of ways it’s getting harder. This crowding effect has strained our natural resources. I don’t identify as a “tree-hugger”, but rather share an outlook that I think is simply common-sense. While Earth has humans and Anoroc has chigidies, we see the difficulties in getting along with our neighbors who may look different or come from different walks of life. There are also two dominant parties governing life on both planets—Republicans and Democrats, capitalists and socialists, Red robes and White robes.
I have three teenagers at home. I wanted the audience to be similar coming-of-age readers, think middle-school to high-school. I did my best to make the main character, Beeker, resemble this exact demographic. While there are a number of themes that will bring the reader back down to Earth for a page or two, ultimately this is a fantasy sure to entertain more than teach. Plots aside, these characters share emotions only found amongst family, friends, and the innocence of youth.
Whether you’re a mentor, like Uncle Dobo, or a mentee, like Beeker and Dak, or just looking to escape the pandemonium on Earth for a few hours, please check out Anoroc and keep in touch via email@example.com to let us know what you think!
Anoroc Paperback by Bryan M. Kuderna
Publication Date : September 29, 2020
Genre : Fantasy
Anoroc is a coming-of-age fantasy novel combining real-world themes with hints of ancient philosophy. Beeker is trying to find his way in life, no longer a kid, but not yet an adult, when his single mother decides it is time for a change. He and his little brother, Dak, leave the comfort of their home in the Plains to go and live in the Mountains with their beloved Uncle Dobo, a founder of the Militia and renowned war hero. The rapidly growing population of Anoroc leaves their species, Chigidies, scrambling for sparse resources, particularly the most valuable commodity of all– Painite. As tensions rise between White robes and Red robes, Beeker, Dak, and their generation are forced to the forefront to have any chance at peace. But, at what cost will it come?
Uncle Dobo came home as the sun began to set beyond the Wetlands in the distance. Dak and I had been free to do as we pleased all day, but we hadn’t stirred up any of our usual trouble.
“Where’d you go?” I asked.
“Just had to handle some things,” he tersely responded.
We spent the evening in our hut, not doing anything memorable. Dak alternated from reading his favorite comic series, The Deep, a story about miners who dug thousands of meters below Anoroc’s surface, battling different villains on their descent, to playing his peg game in the living room. I was drawing at my desk, a new hobby I had taken on, amidst the beautiful vistas of spring in the mountainside; one look out my bedroom window was usually inspiration enough. Although, today, I found myself at a loss, constantly erasing what I had just done.
“Eh, I give up,” I muttered as I dropped my piece of lead.
I grabbed a new page from my notepad and thought about home. We hadn’t seen Momma since she dropped us off in the fall, not even for Christmas or Dak’s birthday. I loved the mountain life, but carefree memories of the Plains always snuck back into my head. When I’d get frustrated at the never-ending routine up here, Uncle Dobo reminded us, “Life will get hard, that I assure you. So, would you rather that happen now or later?” My mind listened, but lately, my emotions didn’t. I missed Momma. I missed Atina. While it was just a ride in Momma’s transporter from the Plains to the Mountains, it felt like a schism segmenting childhood from my new life.
Dear Momma. The words began to pour out of me. I miss rushing home from school to the smell of your fresh-cooked pastries. I miss… My fondest memories overtook the paper. After a few paragraphs, my thoughts turned somber as the bliss of daydreaming switched to homesickness. I felt the smile on my face turn tense. My old language arts teacher used to tell us that writing allowed us to control all four corners of the conversation, but now I felt like a simple note turned into a four-way argument.
For whatever reason, I recalled the nights Momma had to drive her transporter late for evening functions. She made me get Dak to sleep by a certain time and then hit the sack myself. I’d lie in bed, staring at shadows on the ceiling, never able to fall asleep when she was out. Finally, I’d hear the rumble of her transporter pull into the driveway. Momma would enter our hut with such grace, careful not to make a sound as she snuck toward our bedroom. She’d step on the ledge of my bottom bunk to say goodnight to Dak first. Then she’d kneel down, and I could feel her watch me, wanting to talk with me. I still didn’t know why, but I’d always just lie there and pretend I was asleep.
“Beeker,” she would whisper.
I’d force my eyes to stay closed.
“Beeker.” One more time.
I’d focus on not moving a muscle. Momma would gently sit at the foot of my bed and stare at me. I never saw her face, but I knew she was smiling, yearning to hear about my day. Eventually, she’d give up, place a light kiss on my forehead, and make her exit. Every time, she’d stop at the door; I could sense her taking one look back with the hope of a stir, a wink, or something before giving up. As soon as I heard the bolt click the strike plate, I’d open my eyes and claim victory over my weird little game, but then there was always a tinge of remorse before I’d drift into unconsciousness.
This random sequence of events dominated my thoughts. I couldn’t seem to generate any words on paper. Instead, my piece of lead began to spew hatred… Hoofa. That stupid, idiotic fool that got me kicked out of school. He had taken away my mother and all my friends back home.
Hate, hate, hate found its way all over the paper as I crushed the lead tip into dullness. Then my door flung open. I glanced up beside me; Uncle Dobo was looking across the room at Dak lying facedown, asleep in his comics, then he noticed me.
“Whatchya doin’?” He slid the incomplete drawing closer to himself and then looked at my word-filled notepad. “An artist and a poet. A regular renaissance Chigidy, aren’tchya?”
“I guess,” I replied, uncertain of where this was going.
“Mind if I take a look at what you’re writing?” he asked after already grabbing the notepad. He began reading without expression. Then he looked down at me; I could tell he was at the part about Hoofa. I saw through the translucent page above my candlelight and surprised myself by how many paragraphs of abhorrence had come out.
“This is for Momma, isn’t it?” he questioned.
“Yes, sir,” I said.
“So, she hasn’t seen you or Dak in almost half a year, and this is how you want to say hello. You think your mother wants to hear about your gripes, about how some kid ruined your life and she’s mean for deporting you and your brother?”
He guilted me. I gulped.
“She doesn’t. Neither do I,” he concluded.
“But—” I tried to speak up.
“Beeker.” He cut me off. “I get you’re angry right now, but this letter isn’t you. You know my father, your grandfather, always encouraged us kids to write. He said you write to find out about yourself. But maybe the whole world doesn’t want to know about you, or maybe they make an interpretation about your whole world from one little letter you wrote in a funk. So, you know what Poppy told us to do?”
“What?” I asked.
“He’d make us write a letter like this. Then. once we had spilled out all of our emotions and couldn’t wait to share it with Mommy, a classmate, or whomever, he’d take it from us and put it in our drawer. Then he’d say sleep on it, read the letter when you wake up tomorrow, and then if you want to send it, send it.”
He opened my desk drawer and placed it in.
“Guess how many of those letters I sent.”
“I dunno,” I said.
“None of ‘em. Not a one. Not, at least, before a slew of erasures or usually a brand-new page.” He shut the drawer. “Read this tomorrow morning before church, then if you want to share your thoughts with Momma, you go right ahead.”
Bryan M. Kuderna is the author of Anoroc and Millennial Millionaire- A Guide to Become a Millionaire by 30. He is the host of The Kuderna Podcast and a frequent media contributor on millennials and economics. Bryan is the founder of Kuderna Financial Team, a financial services firm. He has a Master’s degree from The American College and is a graduate of The College of New Jersey. He has also studied at The University of Tampa and The University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic.
Bryan lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anita, and their three children. He has successfully completed The National Marathon in Washington D.C., as well as The North American Ironman in Quebec, Canada. He enjoys reading, writing, traveling, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and serving as a Rotarian.
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