• Featured Book: 'Tales Of The Ocean City' by Chris Kaufman

    Tales Of The Ocean City by Chris Kaufman, is a multimedia eBook that fuses narration, music, and visual art to create a rare kind of experience that readers would enjoy.

    Not many authors or composers could create something as Kaufman's work --a brilliant form of entertainment that masterfully blends these beautiful episodic stories with award-winning music and dazzling art. The multi-talented Kaufman is not just the author of his innovative work, but he is also an accomplished composer and the illustrator of Tales. He says that music is the primary element of his craft. Fantasy readers who also love epic music, you're in for a treat once you consume the wonderful world of Kaufman's creative work.

    This eBook is
    available on itunes /appleEbooks.

    Interview with Chris Kaufman

    What's the story of Tales Of The City about?

    The inhabitants of The Ocean City are turning a corner from the deep past to the future. They appreciate the power and beauty of their ancient beliefs and also love the new inventions and scientific discoveries on the horizon which will move them forward, so they can explore the universe with freedom, but first they must gather their full strength and attempt to overcome the Vorm: a horrific enemy which stems from their deepest past all the way back to their evolution into conscious-thinking people, and before the epic ocean journey which took them to the mighty volcano they call Pla’Than’Taa - from the living rock of which they carved The Ocean City and which, for centuries, they worshiped as a god. And to do this they need Harl’ut to assume his role as a leader of his people and fulfill his mission...

    Tales Of The Ocean City is also ‘about’ other things such as the profound connection between Harl’ut and Vispushin. The harrowing experiences the young Princess Bryn’lyn endures and the outcome of her story... and what she becomes. It’s about the power of the imagination to overcome just about anything. It’s about the reader/listener immersing themselves in an enthralling adventure... My personal joy in creating it... and my hoping that people are inspired by my work in all kinds of different ways primarily in applying the spirit of adventure and imagination to every day life, and never letting that sense leave them or getting it back.

    How did you put all these elements together: the music, the artistic style, and the story? And how long did it take you?

    This was a long-term and organic process. The story came first... just purely in my head from as far back as twenty years ago. Years back I started writing them down. This was fine but, for me, it felt incomplete. When the ‘digital revolution’ hit my musical work - largely from work in film - I then started making the audio. Recently, a new program was developed called ‘Book Creator’ which allows for the text, soundtracks and art to be put together, and then I had my complete storytelling art form! Now I can do a book relatively quickly. I have other projects under way at various times as well... the second book of the series - ‘Initiations: Descent Into The Abyss’ - will be published very soon... then the third through sixth will soon follow. I’m really in a positive flow now, and am enjoying the creative process immensely. I hope that reflects in the passion of my voice and music!

    What themes would you like your readers to grasp from reading your stories?

    Overcoming hardship - using the The Great Power Of The Imagination we can overcome difficult life situations. We can become what we imagine.

    • Relationship / Love between people and between us and our animal friends who inhabit this planet with us.

    The spirit of fun and adventure we love in our stories can be with us forever.

    Look to the future - The inhabitants of The Ocean City are turning a corner... so are we always turning corners. Do it!

    • We can live in harmony with our Planet!

    The names of your characters sound so exotic. Tell us about that.

    The names are fun and evolving aspects of writing stories like this. The original ones just came out of the ‘aether’ as it were, then they evolved. Harl’ut is a combination of a kind of north European version of Karl and ‘Ut’ which is musical ‘Do’ as in do re mi fa sol... Vispushin comes from my pet’s names which in turn have origin in LOR appendixes and the like Pla’than’taa, I think, owes origin to Edgar Rice Burroughs. The royalty, Bryn’lynn and Bro’whynn, from the Welsh myth (Lloyd Alexander) influence. Alessia and Alaxa are from my sisters (Alice and Alexandria), Verdin is a mix of the German ‘to become’ and the word verdant new growth. So there is a mix of influences, but they all flow together into the world of Tir’whol, and some of the sources will be explored through the back stories of some of these characters. The feeling tone of the character being reflected in the musicality of their names when said aloud is also very important.

    What inspired you to create Tales Of The Ocean City?

    I was writing stories since I was five years old. That path was interrupted when my family experienced upheaval. I later found music and pursued a career as a composer of music for the classical stage... but my stories never left me, and by the time I completed my D.M.A. in music composition the complete ‘Tales Of The Ocean City’ Epic story was in my mind. When I started working in film and developed my home audio studio I put it all together... music, sound design and story, and later developed the art illustration style which further enhances and completes the storytelling art form I’ve developed, which I call ‘Sonic Stories’. The story and characters are central and everything else is a way to tell it more deeply using all of my talents.

    The sense of immersion is profound. The episodes cycle in the eBook, so people can sit back and listen and it will restart... sometimes people hear the whole thing as music. Sometimes they read ahead for story and go back and listen. It all works together.

    All of that is a big part of the answer to your question, but ultimately we have to go back to the true inspiration. The reason these stories evolved in the first place: As kids, my sister Alexandria and I survived a nasty domestic situation by immersing ourselves in wild beautiful imaginative games. I guess you could call them role-playing style games as we had all kinds of characters represented by animal figures, hot wheel cars and other avatars. We created our own world and played for hours and hours. I dedicate two characters from ‘Tales' to her.

    Are you planning to write any sequels for Tales of the Ocean City?

    Tales Of The Ocean City is conceived as a series of ‘episodes’ - often with cliff-hanger endings. It can therefore work beautifully in radio installments and the like. But when the idea came for making Ebooks, I organized them into ‘Books’ where each one presents a major adventure sequence with interlude and intervening chapters of various types. The overall opening epic adventure depicting the war with the Vorm and all of the adjacent story-lines will be six books in length, which means over six hours of music, narration and story. I also have additional novellas, ‘side episodes’ and full-length adventures waiting in the wings!

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