Monday, June 18, 2012

The Nameless Prince - YA Urban Fantasy.

Today it is a my pleasure to introduce
Dominick R. Domingo

He is the author of the new and fascinating 
Young Adult Urban Fantasy

The Nameless Prince.”

And there are 3x Options . . .

This Urban Faerie Tale is a twist on the classic ‘Hero’s Journey,’ made relevant for contemporary readers due to its metaphysical slant. Seth Bauman, the protagonist, has had a tough childhood in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood. The unanswered questions surrounding his mother’s departure soon after his birth have left him feeling abandoned. But the truth that will set him free, and the forgiveness he must find within himself, can only be unearthed in a whimsical realm known as ‘The Interior.’ It is the boatman at the bottom of the L.A. Wash, quite possibly a homeless man who has befriended Seth, who will lead him ‘through the rabbit hole.’

Though Seth’s reality is harsh, the world into which he escapes is at turns whimsical, absurd, poetic, and sublime. It is here that he will learn the skills he needs to cope, and return to Silver Lake with the means of his family’s escape toward a better life. The only question is- is the Interior an alternate realm worth saving, or just a fanciful construct of his own mind?


There is SO much more to this novel and its intriguing off shoots. 
All I advise is, go where "The Nameless Prince" hangs out
and discover it all for yourself.

And now for a peek into the mind of the author:

*What tempted you to write YA, rather than go a few years older and write
for adults?

I’ve written in many genres. This is my debut novel, and it happens to be YA. The concept was inspired, and it just demanded certain things, including a protagonist in the cusp of adolescence. I wasn’t thinking necessarily about conforming to the traditions of any one genre, or of marketing limitations with regard to readership. I just wanted to write a good story. I will say, however, that I’d carried a long-standing desire to write a ‘through the rabbit hole’ fairy tale, based on the hero’s journey. I’d always loved stories in which the protagonist ( usually a loner ) encounters a mythological creature in an unexpected place, and follows it to an alternate realm through some kind of portal. I grew up on C.S. and J.R.R. Tolkein, among others, and found myself returning to those worlds over and over again, as an escape. I like the idea of offering this solace to young readers- a place to go that makes the tough journey of adolescence a bit easier. Finally, I remember stumbling into ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ as a child and for the first time, relating one hundred per cent to a main character. He was an unlikely protagonist- sensitive, intellectual, interested in the arts and culture- all the things boys were not supposed to be. I want to offer something relatable to readers that makes them feel validated. Especially the marginalized, disenfranchised, or unique! Finally, I’m interested in challenging young people, not condescending to them or ‘dumbing down.’ My interest in writing YA has to do with offering content with literary value and artistic integrity, not just fluff.

*Did you need to do a lot of research for the Nameless Prince ?

Oddly, no. I researched on an as-needed basis, but largely the preparation was a lifetime of exposure to fantasy. In Interia, Seth encounters many traditional archetypes- a minotaur at the center of a labyrinth, a faun who is the gatekeeper to the alternate realm, a troll, a witch, etc. There are conscious homages to character types that have recurred throughout history- in verbal tradition, mythology, religion, all the way through this sophisticated medium known as film. So largely the research was simply being a lover of art and literature! Additionally, I chose my own neighborhood for the real-world setting. I have lived in Silver Lake for fifteen years. The concept of a boatman ( or possibly just a homeless man ) living at the bottom of the L.A. wash was inspired  by my own discovery of a fantastic ‘Tom Sawyer-like’ homeless camp on an island in the L.A. flood channel. So all I needed to do when it was time to ‘research’  authentic details, was take a walk five minutes form home!

* I see you have 3 strings to your bow: the Novel - The Movie - the Graphic
Novel.  Why this threesome?

As you can see in my author BIO, my background is in animation ( Lion King, Pocahontas, Hunchback, Tarzan, One By One, Little Match Girl ) and writing/directing my own live-action films. So the Graphic Novel and film version were both no-brainers. I am working with three former students on the graphic novel. All of them have become prolific American illustrators, and it is the most exciting thing ever to see the world I created come to life in their very capable hands! And of course I am illustrating one installment myself. The concept is to premier a new illustrator with each episode. Each episode correlates with several chapters of the novel.

*Do you ever plan to write for an adult audience?

Of course. Whatever a concept demands. I have completed a collection of narrative nonfiction essays titled ‘Jesus Shoes.’ Two of the selections were recently included in anthologies, and one of them L’Epiphanie,’ about my time in Paris, won the Solas Award for Best Travel Writing in the humor category. But the collection has yet to be published in its entirety. I am constantly adding to it!

* Tell us, is your graphic novel version for younger readers or still for YA

Both the novel and the graphic novel are ‘Fantasy for All Ages.’ I truly believe that the content speaks to adults just as much as adolescents, only with a different sort of resonance. The few people who have read the manuscript more than once and been generous enough to give me feedback have commented that they got something different from it each time. And that is my hope. That the writing speaks to each individual in a unique way, and takes on new meaning depending on their station in life. Rereading The Lord of the Rings or the Narnia Chronicles as an adult for me has been a very different experience than the first time around. I will qualify this by saying that the readership of ‘The Nameless Prince’ is meant to be YA and up. The language may be too sophisticated for Middle Grade, and some themes/plot details are a bit dark.

*The movie scenario:  wishful thinking, or does it have legs?

The concept art visible on the website ( ) is very early ‘Blue Sky’ development. When the time comes, I would love to be involved in some capacity, given my film background. But for the moment, I am focused on promoting the novel and sharing it with as wide a readership as possible. When it becomes the next ‘Harry Potter,’ we’ll worry about the rest…

*Are you in a critique group, and if so, did their feedback prove helpful?

I am not. I have a few individuals whose opinion I highly value, and depend upon them, as they do me. For reasons I won’t go into here, I don’t find writing groups productive. However, in all forms of art and literature, I believe objective feedback is everything. Gauging how material is landing with people, whether it’s with the mainstream, or a select elite few, is key.

*Are you planning to write more books with this hero and turn it into a

Absolutely! The sequel to ‘The Nameless Prince’ is about halfway finished. I didn’t conceive it as or set out to write an episodic tale, but the novel certainly turned out to be set up for it. I was working in New York with a LONG train commute, and just started writing on the train to be productive. That’s when I complete the first half. In the sequel, ten year-old Seth and Elena are now entering high school. My hope is that readers will fall in love with them ( as well as the world of Interia ) and wish follow them on their journey through adolescence toward adulthood.

*What do you think a book's plot and characters must have to GRAB the red
hot interest of this teckie minded younger generation.

Given the potential for isolation and lack of community in this technological climate, I believe the same old ingredients still work- humanity, affinity, a strong character arc, and illustrating something relatable about the human condition. In fact the younger generation may be starved for poetic simplicity. I myself went from seeing one of the latest Matrix movies (very effects-driven and sophisticated ) to a performance the very next day of Vietnamese Shadow Puppets at Bodhi Tree Bookstore. I was more captivated by the latter! I have no interest in giving up on young people and catering to cultural A.D.D. I will continue to challenge them to take in character-driven, rather than effects-driven or technology-driven fare.

*Tell my readers something about yourself that you have never shared before.
Funny or shocking, they lap it all up, mate.

I wish I could say I have six fingers or a webbed toe. But I’m pretty boring that way- the standard number of digits, none of them webbed. Let’s see…here’s something I guess I’ve never bothered to share. The voice in my head, my reverie, is often in French. Horrible French. And once I get on this tangent, it’s hard to make it stop. Like a bad disco song heard on the radio when you couldn’t change the station quickly enough…how’s that?

the Young Adult Novel from Twilight Times Press!


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