For a number of years, authors Nathan Palmer, Jordan Benoit, and Vincent Hobbes knew they were all avid writers but never expected to collaborate to write a novel while working together at a restaurant in The Colony.
“We started talking about a story line that started as a joke and ended up pretty serious,” said Hobbes.
That joke became Legends in Time, a fantasy series combining unique races and a falling empire with political, social, and other real world issues. The books, they explained, contain a modern story set in an ancient world
Part of the reason why they started writing together, said Benoit, a Plano resident, stemmed from their appearance. The three looked somewhat alike, sporting long hair and beards.
“We called ourselves the Barbarian Warlords,” Palmer joked.
The three released their first book in the series, The Contrived Senator, in December 2007. This book, which took a year to write, introduces the reader to the world and the characters, developing the journey the protagonist must make to save his empire.
The second book, Exiles, is set to release late this summer and took only three months to complete. The third book, they hope, will be released this December.
Palmer, Benoit, and Hobbes are working on the third and fourth books. Their fast turnover rate, they said, is because they already know where they want the plot to go, filling in details in between.
“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” said Benoit about the complexity of the story.
Although the series started out as all one book, there were too many angles, he said, that they had to cover.
According to Palmer, some of the first pieces he had written will not appear until book five or six. Many good ideas, he said, are often left to “marinate” before they can be used, because they fit into later plotlines.
“Quite often, the story tells itself,” said Hobbes.
The series, which has appealed to readers from middle school up to 95 years old, has been successful outside of the fantasy genre. The success, they said, is from the fast pace and universal themes.
“It really is just a good story, whether you’re into fantasy or not,” said Benoit.
Action, romance, and an intense plot, Hobbes said, make this series enjoyable for all readers. In addition, many fantasy novels are thick and bulky, while each book in the series is just over 200 pages.
“One thing we pride ourselves on is that it’s a book that reads like a movie,” he said. “It gets you from point A to point B.”
To create the story line, the three brainstorm ideas together, often adding something on to the story before passing it on to the next person. Although having three minds work together involves “a lot of compromising,” the end product, according to Benoit, is something everyone is happy with.
“It is truly a writing style of the three of us combined,” said Hobbes.
Many of the characters, creatures, and settings have Latin roots, while Roman and Egyptian themes run through the books. Benoit, who is a history buff, did much of the research. The world they have created, according to Palmer, “is an amazing place.”
“We want to make reading cool again,” he said.
For more information about the series or the authors, visit www.myspace.com/legendsintime, where they have pages for each of the characters.
The comments were made to an assistant district attorney who happens to be Jewish, from New York, and the proud wearer of a full beard. To the district attorney’s secretary, Schildknecht referred to him as a “New York Jew”, a comment she later claimed referred to where he was from and his religion, not his physical appearance. According to the judge, she feels it justified as the district attorney seems to have a completely different perception of the legal process in comparison to what is considered the norm in Texas.
So should she have been publicly admonished for that statement?
Before you make a decision, understand that the commission was also concerned about a marathon court session, where the judge refused to allow any of the participants a formal break to eat, drink or use the restroom. This lasted from 1 pm until 4 am the following day. According to the judge, it was necessary in order to cut down on jail over-crowding. Then there was the time when she refused admission of the same district attorney into her courtroom, telling the bailiff that she did not want to see his face. According to her, it was because he was there after court had adjourned for the day.
If that wasn’t enough, there was also an incident where she told an assistant district attorney that his beard made him look like a Muslim. She then proceeded to tell him that she would not hire him that way. In her defense, this was said during downtime.
According to the commission, this comment along with the other shows a religious or cultural bias, not befitting a Texas judge. Or maybe she just doesn’t like beards? If that’s the case then it is she who is out of place, as beards in Texas are very common. Practically everywhere you turn you are going to find a southern gentleman who has mastered the art of using his beard trimmer and beard balm like Liberty.
For punishment, Schildknecht was publicly admonished for her behavior, and she must spend four hours with a mentor in order to receive lessons on how to conduct herself in court, and not express any bias. Considering that are state is often seen as being openly prejudicial to outside cultures, having a judge behave in this way only hurts the reputation of our judicial system.
Thankfully, this did not occur in Plano but as fellow Texans, we have a vested interest in what law officials and court employees are doing across the state. Had that happened here, the punishment likely would have been more severe.
Even though the 2016 Presidential Election is over a year away, that hasn’t stopped people from throwing their names into the ring of potential candidates. There are already over a dozen Republican candidates, and about half that number for the Democrats. There is also expected to be several more people announcing their candidacy over the next few weeks, raising that number even higher. Among the candidates are two officials from the state of Texas – Ted Cruz and Rick Perry. Who are these men, and do they stand a chance at being the next President of the United States?
Ted Cruz – Cruz is a Senator from Texas, and a member of the Republican Party. He was elected back in 2012 after gaining support from the member of the Tea Party. Cruz fights for “limited government, economic growth and the Constitution.” At the time of his election he was considered a long shot, but was able to gather support through large grassroots programs. Now, after serving in the Senate for 3 years, Cruz is looking to take on the Presidency. Cruz has gained national attention on several issues, namely for his unwillingness to compromise. He has strong support from those on the far-right of the political spectrum, and from various religious groups. While many experts see Cruz as a long shot to win the Presidency, he is hoping that another strong grassroots effort can propel him to win the Republican Primary, followed by the general election.
Rick Perry – Perry has been serving as the Governor of Texas since 2000. Perry has lived most of his life in Texas, having been born there in 1950, and attending Texas A&M. He is now the longest serving governor of the state, breaking the previous record. Back in 2012, Perry ran for the U.S Presidency, but was unsuccessful. Most experts point to one moment when Perry lost most of his support. It was during a Republican debate, when Perry said that as President, he would eliminate 3 government agencies. When asked which agencies these would be, he was only able to name two of them, and ended by saying “I can’t remember the third one. Oops.” This quote followed him around and became widespread, and ultimately Perry bowed out of the race several weeks later. Now, Perry is hoping to put that run behind him and try again this year. However experts don’t seem to like his chances. His polling numbers are not all that favorable, and the embarrassing moments from 3 years ago are still in people’s minds. He is also not offering much of a difference between other candidates, so he is having a hard time distancing himself from them. Still, Perry has strong support among the far-right, and he is hoping this is enough support to get him at least the Republican Primary win.
While the odds may be long for either of these two men to win the Presidency, that hasn’t stopped Texas from supporting them. Both have strong support in their home state, and they hope that Texas can convince the other states to give them a chance. It remains to be seen if this will happen.