The world nations are suddenly faced with terrorism in an unprecedented simultaneous attack worldwide. An urgent secret meeting is held with religious and political authorities of all nations to discuss the ensuing message from a ghostly character by the name of Fantasy Man, who not only claims full responsibility, but challenges all with a precise ultimatum. General Timothy Powell is assigned to the leadership of the taskforce with mission to find and stop Fantasy Man, but this assignment could not come at a worse time for the General who faces some very personal and delicate problems.
A British archeologist sets up an elaborate scheme to select a group of civilians to accompany him through a paranormal adventure never before attempted, an adventure that he has nicknamed ‘The war to end all wars’. Fascinated at the prospects of this paranormal adventure, the civilians will soon find themselves in a web of deceit while truly embarking in the unknown world of the supernatural. By the time the hidden agenda of the archeologist is understood, deepest and darkest secrets will have been revealed and only friendship and love will provide a slim chance for the civilians to come out alive. But who has deceived who?
A mastermind engineer disillusioned with the lethargy and inertia of the corporate world seizes an unexpected opportunity to start his own business, an entertainment outfit unlike any other. How could he possibly have known that he would become entangled with the taskforce against Fantasy Man?
Racing around the globe as well as around the clock to piece the challenging puzzle laid out by Fantasy Man will prove to be a quasi-impossible task for the authorities… until fate does what it does best, bringing together the most unlikely group of people to solve the riddle. But Fantasy Man had one last defiant act up his sleeve, another simultaneous worldwide show of force with a fatal outcome…
What would you do faced with the enormity of Fantasy Man’s challenge and a deadline to stop him?
If you were selected for the archeologist’s paranormal adventure, would you willingly take on the challenge of ‘war to end all wars’?
Would you give up your dream of a highly successful self-made career in the entertainment domain, to save the world, or simply to ease the burden of a troubled soul?
Fantasy Man will change your world forever, if you dare take his challenge…
Jean-Michel Désiré was born on the magnificent tropical island of Mauritius, where he completed his primary and secondary studies in compulsory bilingual French and English languages. An acute love of reading combined with a great interest in art (drawing and painting) pushed Jean-Michel from a young age to want to write his own comic books, but a lack of opportunity blocked his efforts. It was this same lack of opportunity of the time that triggered a need to perform further studies. At age 22, Jean-Michel left Mauritius for North London, England, where he completed a bachelor of Engineering in Electronics followed by a Master of Philosophy in Microelectronics.
While concluding his Master’s degree, Jean-Michel met the lady who became his wife a year later, year during which they also moved to Montreal Canada where Jean-Michel had been offered an engineering position in the Aerospace industry. Life had its own agenda, and within the first eighteen months, their daughter was born in the middle of a snow storm in Montreal. Six years later, their son came into the world and the obvious demands of family life became the main priorities.
During the winter of 2008, Jean-Michel slipped on the ice during a storm and fractured his ankle in multiple locations. Recovering at home after surgery, Jean-Michel decided that the time had come to revive his passion for writing. Within two years, his first book ‘The Storyteller’s Nights’ was published. The positive feedback from readers fueled Jean-Michel to exploit his bilingualism and he translated the story into French, ‘Les Nuits du Conteur’ being published in 2015. He then felt the wind in his sails and published ‘Fantasy Man’ in 2017, and recently, ‘Revanche (Revenge)’ (the follow-up to ‘Les Nuits du Conteur’) in 2019. ‘Fantasy Man’ is presently nominated for an award, top ten finalist to be announced on 22 August 2019. He has just completed the first draft to his next English book, entitled ‘The Miracle Ladies’, which he plans to send to the publisher within the next few months, after the essential rounds of self-editing.
Engineer by day, writer by night, Jean-Michel plans to keep letting his imagination go wild while capturing it all on paper. Surrounded by a great family, he plans to write a whole lot more. When he is not writing, he spends quality time with his family and travels yearly back to Mauritius to visit his Mom and brothers.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author? As a teenager growing up in the island of Mauritius, I was fascinated by the adventures of Tintin and Asterix, as well as the Marvel or DC Comics superheroes. There were unfortunately no opportunities whatsoever at the time for me to even get interest for potential publication at the time. Years went by and the usual events of life happen (boy meets girl, courting, marriage, kids are born… etcetera) until that unforgettable day in 2008. It was one of those lousy Canadian winter days in Montreal, cold, ice-rain while there was already over a foot of snow on the ground. Some colleagues and I had agreed to meet for lunch at a restaurant outside our workplace. First to get to the restaurant, I step out of the car, slip on the ice and fracture my ankle in three places. Two days later, with ten titanium screws as well as a titanium plate inside my right ankle, I was set for seven weeks of recovery at home. Stuck mostly on the sofa, but grateful for my wife’s care and patience, I realized that if there was any writing to be done, it was then or never. It still took me almost two years before I finished my first book, ‘The Storyteller’s Nights’. Feedback was great as can be seen from readers’ comments on Amazon.ca. There was even some beginning of interest from ‘Principal Entertainment’ to consider financing for the movie, but it never materialized. I am lucky enough to have been brought up in a fully bilingual environment (French and English), and decided that my next step would be to translate the book myself. I spent a lot of time enquiring about translation services but when I found out that the best deal I could get was at six cents per word, and that one hundred and twenty thousand words would cost me $7200, I figured that there was a good reason why I was bilingual. In addition, I have read quite a few books in both languages, as I wanted to evaluate for myself how well books were translated. Although professional translators do a great job, I found that sometimes some essential elements of the story would get lost in translation. So, I translated the story myself and the French version ‘Les Nuits du Conteur’ was published in 2015. From then on, I had started to build confidence and better understand the writing industry and trade. ‘Fantasy Man’ was published in 2017 and ‘Revanche’ (Revenge), the follow-up to ‘Les Nuits du Conteur’ was published in June 2019. Within the next few months, I will complete my fourth book, ‘The Miracle Ladies’ and hope to get it published by early 2020. For the year 2020, my goal is to complete the translation into English of ‘Revanche (Revenge)’ and also the translation into French of ‘Fantasy Man (Monsieur Fantaisie)’.
What is something unique/quirky about you? I tend to be a bit of a recluse, a hermit at times, especially when I’m at home. Yet, in my work environment, I am seen as being the go-to guy for a laugh, and this has given me the reputation of ‘the Joker’ at work. So, this duality is sometimes questioned and even if I try to explain that at work, although it is still facets of my true-self that come out, I am also faced with a multitude of people and characters within a short space of time and whether I like it or not, in the end and for the good of all, I have to be a team player. While this reasoning is also true of me at home and surrounded by my loved ones, I find that this part of my life requires a whole lot more understanding and patience for me to properly support the needs of the family. As such, it is less of a joker’s environment and more one of great responsibility. It goes without saying that despite this adapted approach, we still have incredible moments of laughter at home.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you! Perhaps the strangest thing that happened to me was a recurring dream I had, whereby I had to face seven masked people in a glade. They wore robes similar to those worn by monks, ad had their faces hidden by theatrical masks. This recurring dream lasted for over three years and would always end up at the same point. It became an obsession for me to find out what this dream was trying to tell me and I did a lot of research. The explanation did come to me in the end, and this entire episode in my life is what inspired the main storyline for ‘The Storyteller’s Nights’.
What are some of your pet peeves? My main pet peeves are abuse of power (as often seen in the corporate, political and sometimes religious institutions). Unfair practices, especially by self-righteous people who claim loud and clear that they will save the world, really gets under my skin, to the point where I often wonder if life would not be better as a hermit in a remote location, with only my own survival would matter. This is one thought that I have struggled with, but on the flip side, I have a fantastic family that I love and that has become my reason for living and loving my blessed life. So to anyone who, like me, may struggle with these existential challenges, find, understand and accept all the great things in your life and never look back.
What are you passionate about these days? This is a damn good question and I truly don’t know if I can answer meaningfully. There are so many great things in my life: fantastic family, near and far, interesting and challenging engineering job, great fun writing books and letting my imagination go wild, wild, wild… I will thus risk saying that I am passionate about hopefully being able to inspire people the way I have been and still am inspired by the heroes that I’ve mentioned, answering a previous question.
What do you do to unwind and relax? During the short Canadian summers, I enjoy the pool, reading books that I feel drawn to, drinking good beer, great whisky and the absolute fantastic company of family. The rest of the time will still include the books, the good beer, the great whisky and the company of family, but this is when I also catch up on movies and TV series. The winter months also include some short periods of solitude where I try to focus and put order in my priorities for the coming months, generally aiming for the coming twelve months (one year).
Describe yourself in 5 words or less! Idealistic fool!
What inspired you to write this book? I got really tired of seeing people use religion as basis for exploiting differences and wanting war. I thought I would at least attempt to trigger some thinking about how it is futile to use religion for such acts. If the messengers do a poor job of delivering the message, or worse, if the messengers provide an example that is contrary to the intent of the messages they are delivering, it does not make the message wrong or void. As such, I did a lot of research and read multiple books before finally writing the first few lines of ‘Fantasy Man’. The message was quite clear as far as I am concerned that the teachings are all very similar from all major denominations. As I got more into the adventure, I was really surprised how the storyline remained fluid and I completed the draft within nine months, compared to two years for my first book ‘The Storyteller’s Nights’.
What can we expect from you in the future? My third book was just published in French. My fourth book, ‘The Miracle Ladies’ is in the completion stage of the draft. I will then perform the tedious review and editing process before submitting to publishers. With a little luck, Mirador Publishing, Silver Dagger Tours and other means will help take it where it needs to go. That’s as much as I can say for the near term future. For 2020, my main aim will be to translate ‘Revanche’ from French to English, and ‘Fantasy Man’ from English to French.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? I’ve been thinking about it but nothing has truly materialized in my mind yet. So, maybe, just maybe, there’ll be something of interest there at some point.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Fantasy Man? Howard Clayworth is from a lineage of archeologists who have successively discovered evidence of a recipe for a trip into the paranormal. As part of a delicate plan, he offers the opportunity for some people to accompany him on such a trip, of course, not revealing his true intentions.
Barbara Llewelyn is his administrative assistant, but has more up her sleeves than meet the eyes.
Glynis Knight is a journalist who is living a difficult marital relationship. Her sister, Isla St-John, is a professor of religions of the world. Isla encourages her sister Glynis to participate in Howard’s selection of people for the paranormal adventure, hoping to provide enough distraction for Glynis to momentarily forget her streak of bad times.
Aurelien de la Haie is a French cop who has taken time off from the force, having lost his partner and best friend in a drug bust that went sour.
Armand Beaudet is a quiet type of man, married, with teenagers in the home. As is often the case, Armand’s reserved personality is a mask for a terrible secret that will be revealed in a shocking display.
Giacomo Bianchini introduces himself as a librarian with time on his hands. He too, carries a secret that will reveal itself in a most unexpected other shocking display.
Sarah de Castellane is a writer in search of the next big inspiration for her next book. But Sarah is just a whole lot more than she presents herself as.
Michael MacMasters is a brilliant engineer who has been disillusioned by the corporate world. The net result, Michael has started his own business, an entertainment outfit for all ages and like no other.
Fantasy Man is a ghostly character who challenges the world in an unprecedented and unique terrorist way, an ultimatum that will result in the death of religion if our human ways do not improve. Fantasy Man’s power appears limitless, with events under his control happening simultaneously all over the globe.
Francesca Seymour is a technical expert in state-of-the-art research into the human psyche. She is MacMasters business partner.
US Army General Timothy Powell is assigned to lead the task force with prime directive to stop Fantasy man before the latter executes his plan of annihilation. Timothy wishes to retire but faces a difficult family situation.
US Army Lieutenant General Kurt McQuade is assigned to assist General Powell in a transition and transfer of information when General Powell resigns.
And so, the war to end all wars will parallel the madness of Fantasy Man’s challenge and the exhilarating entertainment outfit of MacMasters and Seymour, until fate brings them together for a purpose than none could have perceived in their wildest dreams.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!