Thursday, July 30, 2009

Age of the Fallen: Origins - My Passion

(Age of the Fallen - Origins Series)
In my 32 years of ministry I've always been amazed at the tenacity and passion of teenage believers. In a time where they are experiencing a tremendous amount of peer pressure to conform to a role or a set of values, they are able to stand up, carry bibles, speak of their faith, serve God, and go all over the world to bring Christ to orphans, homeless, under privileged, or spiritually confused. Teenagers rock!

When I started the book my passion wasn't so much that I wanted to see evil get a bloody nose (even though I do!). It wasn't that I wanted to just highlight issues in Japan or focus on suicide. It also wasn't my intention to simply open up eyes to the spiritual battle behind the scenes everyday. It was about the potential of a teenage warrior.

I wanted to broadcast to the teenage world, that we NEED them to step up and DO what God is asking them to DO. We need Aikos and Takumis and Ishis and Michios (and the other team members) to take up their swords, put on their armor and get to the front where Christ is turning the tide in the spiritual battle.

In Age of the Fallen the kids are simple. They love the Master (Jesus), the love each other, and they fight. No matter what the cost, when He calls they go out. They let God lead in the strategic battle and use all their available resources to make a difference.

We need another generation of all-out, spirit-filled, Bible saturated, deeply loving, and Christ-like teens to storm those strongholds that still exist in this world. That's really was my passion in writing Age of the Fallen. When I go back and read certain intense scenes in the book, I still come to tears because I know, have felt, and seen the emotions that are filing the pages.

Like David, Daniel, Joseph, Mary (mother of Jesus), John in scripture...teenagers have a legacy of being Kingdom warriors. Lets envision them, train them, and send them out to change the world. That's my passion.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Age of the Fallen: Origins - How the Book was Titled

(Age of the Fallen: Origins Series) So how was the book named? The basic premise of the book is that we are in a age where there is a great spiritual battle going on.

The Bible tells us that God created all things good. Despite that He gave the gift of "choice" to his creation. At one point in time Angelic beings had a choice. One such being, a leader of angels, named Lucifer became extremely prideful and led a rebellion in heaven. God's angels fought against the rebels and they were defeated and cast to earth. They became fallen angels or demons. They will be judged in the end, but for now war against those who draw near to God.

God's most precious creation, man, also made a choice to rebel against God (being tempted by Satan) and became fallen as well. Man's relationship with God was broken and thus began a spiritual battle centered around the redemption of mankind. God intended to send His Son to rescue mankind and to undo all that Satan had done to His creation. Satan of course would resist in every way that he could throughout history.

The battlefield is often the mind and heart. The weapons are truth vs. lies. The consequences are lives and eternities. What is needed is for the "children of light" to take a stand and resist the evil one and advance God's Kingdom as He leads.

So here we are in the Age of the Fallen (men and angels). At first I was tossing around "Warriors of Light" and other such images...but then my kids got involved. They bantered and threw around their own images and my son Daniel came up with Age of the Fallen. As soon as I heard it, I knew it was right.

That truly is the age we live in. We still have a choice. We can either get involved and make a difference or sit back and watch lives around us ruined by the evil one. We're put here to fill the world with love and truth. Until all things are made new and our world is no longer fallen...the battle will go on.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Age of the Fallen: Origins - Feedback from Test Readers

(Age of the Fallen: Origins Series) From the beginning I started getting feedback on the story from different people. I was concerned that the story was compelling, the characters were entertaining and inspiring, and the writing style was gritty and fast moving. Well...I had to make some changes as the project moved forward.

First I had the Demons using filthly language (I mean the worst you can imagine!). I figured that our kids hear this language all day long in the world and I wanted to draw a good contrast with Aiko and her friends. So I used bad language for the demons and bad guys. My kids were concerned because they were sure that I had no idea how to cuss! After a few comments from moms and one of my editors I decided to tone it down to expand the audience. A good friend asked, "What are the two biggest stories of our time?" Answer: "Star Wars and Indiana Jones." "So, how much cussing was there? Did that take away from their impact?" I was convinced. Eventually I had to even take out the "goshes" and "darns" in order to have the book stocked in Christian Bookstores.

My Japanese friends loved the story but asked me to change some names because they were too unusual. Kisho became Takumi. Cho became Mai. And the brothers went from to Kane and Washi to Koh and Kai. A warrior in the book would also say, "In His Name" from time to time, but in Japanese it was better to say, "For His honor" because it would translate better.

I would always ask. "What is your favorite chapter?" And "Who is your favorite character?" My test readers loved "Theology" because it had the gospel in it, "Aiko's Folly" because it is hold-your-breath fast moving, and "Whore" because it was so touching. As for the characters, readers love the one brother who keeps things light throughout the book and always was the voice of doubt. Others loved Ishi (female) the strong loyal friend, soccer player, and next in command. But most got attached to Aiko because she is simply dauntless.

In the end, my editor loved it (was in tears several times) and my Japanese friends were touched by it. Here is the endorsement that I got from a dear brother, who loves God intensely, and helped with the editing.

"This timely and captivating novel will shock many readers; it is radical but entirely relevant. The author draws you into the mindset of Asian youth with startling clarity in this classic confrontation between good and evil. Olmos redefines the relevance of today’s church with prophetic clarity and theological fervor, interwoven within a storyline that is unique, compelling and highly creative." —Roger Lenk, Headmaster, St Michael’s International School, Kobe, Japan.

If just one young person is inspired to follow Christ closer and to take up his/her sword and engage in the spiritual war, I'll be blessed!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Age of the Fallen: Origins - Road to August 10th!

The writing of AGE OF THE FALLEN was a three 1/2 year process. It started in a Starbucks in Hawaii in the Fall of 2005. I wrote only "Sent Ones" during that time (an early battle in the book). Then I let that sit for a few months and took it through numerous re-writes. Then I took some time to really work on the structure of the story and the development of the characters. After that back to writing!

I wrote about three Chapters before leaving for Japan. Then in Japan I wrote in various Starbucks, in a small apartment across the street from a cult temple. The story was finished in May of 2007 and thus began the search for a publisher AND test readings by various friends and colleagues. I was especially interested in Japanese young people and how they would respond to the book. As I got comments from them I made adjustments to the story and even changed the names of some of the characters.

After connecting with a good publisher I started working with the coolest editor from Canada, Susan Lohrer. Through her coaching and trained eye, I learned so much about writing that will stay with me through the next book. At the same time artists started running book covers by me and I provided ideas for the marketing team.

Once done with everything, it was given one more edit to polish it.

Even though I've read each chapter numerous times, I still come to tears at certain parts of the book. One of my best compliments was when my editor did the same thing. It's a moving, sad, maddening, inspiring, touching, and triumphant book. I thank God for His leadership throughout the process.

I hope you are touched by AGE OF THE FALLEN as much as I was writing it.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Age of the Fallen: Origins - WHOOOSH!

(Age of the Fallen: Origins Series)
In AGE OF THE FALLEN there is an epic struggle between good and evil where demons work in lies and those who follow the Master wield truth. When they face off against each other the result is often a "WHOOOSH!"

The concept of the WHOOOSH is found in passages of bible where an exorcism is described. Jesus commands demons to be quiet. He would cast them out with a command. They would sometime beg Him not to send them to the abyss. In a parable Jesus spoke of a demon going through "arid" or "waterless" places seeking rest. The idea is that demons weren't destroyed (that comes in the end of time), instead they were banished. However, they could return to harass people if those people didn't draw near to God. Jesus also gave His followers the authority to cast out demons. When he sent them out to preach in pairs they also would cast out demons with a command. The understanding is that we cannot cast out demons ourselves, but when the Master gives us the authority as His followers we can oppose evil in His strength and His power and His name...all for His honor.

In AOF there are not a lot of lofty explanations. You just hear "WHOOOSH" a lot as Aiko and her friends do all that they can to make a difference in this fallen world. Ah yes, and there was that time when Jesus' disciples couldn't cast out a particular demon. Hmmm...think that ended up in the book? (smile)

I believe that if we had the ability to see into the spiritual world that each day we would see true believers dispelling lies with truth and pushing back the darkness by living in the light and equipping themselves with the armor of light described in the Bible.

Pre-order your autographed copy of AGE OF THE FALLEN now at:
(It's at the presses!)