16+ "The mingling of Titans, Gods, and mortals; threads time, souls, faiths, myths and legends.
Written in the form of three interspersed books with artifacts of history and love letters; SW Hammond’s debut novel is an epic story with exquisite prose and the depth and scope of meticulous research." - SC Schlueter, Goodreads
Content Warning: Historical battles with swordplay and the violence / gore of war
In the beginning there was love. The Goddess of Life in an elated romance with a beloved mortal. Her sister killed him. Their combined actions ripping a hole in destiny and plagued mankind with an age of unprecedented corruption, vicious holy wars, and religious absolution.
Though long forgotten by the mortals they serve, Zeus and his Pantheon continue to foster and protect mankind which is tearing itself apart—but even God isn’t infallible. After failed diplomacy, the King of the Gods is left with no choice but to take the persona of a modern man—the famed genetic scientist Dr. Hork. In an effort to preserve the future by reshaping the past, Dr. Hork uses Project Genesis—the transfer of consciousness—to send subjects back in time. However, not without devastating failures. Subjects of the experiment wreak havoc upon humanity until a familiar character is reborn to correct the course.
Reincarnated and ready to fulfill his true destiny, Joshua Bach is the catalyst the Gods have been waiting for—and Dr. Hork’s final beacon of salvation. Ferociously idealistic, the free-spirited young man struggles to come-of-age in a time and society ruled by money and corruption. Under the wing of the Gods, Josh rediscovers his purpose, along with a love that can only be considered timeless.
This epic blends human history, ruthless mythology, science fiction, and the supernatural to tell a love story of the future—bringing Gods across all faiths down to earth in the modern age and within your reach.
What makes a good story?
Here’s a much different way of looking at art and storytelling—a method that your editor or writing group may never have considered, or succinctly explained.
I’m going to share with you a formula created by Dr. Todd Jones that explains what makes good art and literature. Jones is a celebrated philosophy professor with a significant background in anthropology.
Jones’s BeDE Theory of Art Criticism: Art or literature’s only function—the only thing it is good at doing—is creating beliefs, desires, and emotions (or BeDE for short). Art fails at doing anything and everything else.
The BeDE theory is designed to tell you which works of art are comparatively better than other works of art in its class, based on how well it performs its function of creating beliefs, desires, and emotions within its audience.
What makes something “art” is a social fact—such as the concept of money or Tuesday. Society agrees that “x” is art, and therefore it becomes art.
Every work of art is constructed in such a way that it is most easily disposed to create certain beliefs, desires, and emotions in a particular audience (and not other types of BeDE).
Works of art that regularly produce (more reliably produce) higher-valued beliefs, desires, and emotions are more valuable than works of art that produce lower-valued BeDE.
What determines a BeDE score and what are high-valued beliefs, desires, and emotions?
1) Certain inner emotional states are highly valued by people: often because they have been evolutionarily useful for us to have (think: joy, romantic love, nurturing love, platonic love, wonder, sympathy, relief).
2) Certain desires and goals are highly valued by people: usually because having them tends to produce the valued emotional states (think: survival / keeping yourself alive, finding a mate, eating good food, treasure).
3) Certain beliefs are highly valued by people: usually because having these beliefs helps us satisfy our desires (think: hard work leads to riches, life after death, beauty can be deceiving, David defeats Goliath)
Who are “people”? People can be a group as small as yourself, or as large as the world. Start with “you” (in the current moment) and then think about what is valued (on average) by progressively larger groups that you are embedded in. The idea is to find the highest BeDE value for the intended group—the more widespread and universal your values, the more people that will be included in your group.
Notice how beliefs impact desires, and desires impact emotions. A good story contains multiple chains of universal and highly valued beliefs, desires, and emotions. Creating a story based around a strongly held belief, that impacts a commonly held desire, that creates a strong primordial emotion is usually a recipe for success. In the lame example above, say the underdog David defeats Goliath, which keeps him alive and this heroism helps him find a mate, which leads to romantic love.
Creating BeDE is the storyteller’s primary (only) job; to consume and impassion the audience with beliefs, desires, and emotions. An authentic story with universally high-valued BeDE will have the most appeal.
About the author:
Sean William Hammond is the author of The Final Book: Gods and The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional. He is also a freelance writer contributing to music zines, adventure and lifestyle magazines, and new media technical websites across the world. On his official website, SWHammond.com, you’ll find a mix of his articles, essays, and personal memoirs that encompass pop culture, politics, relationships, and thoughts on life.
SW’s writing style, particularly within his commentary, is often compared to Chuck Klosterman with countless references to pop culture, especially music. Hammond’s honest approach creates an easy camaraderie with the reader, then tests the boundaries with sensitive subject matter. Philosophy, ethics, and virtue continually square off against an instantaneous hedonism celebrated throughout society—with Hammond in the middle, struggling to keep his head above water.
SW’s fictional writing makes a conscious effort to blend perception, rumor, and fact leaving the reader to question reality. His stories are often rooted in truth, taking place in historical settings or by playing on modern headlines, making use of common and relatable themes to drive home critical points about the human condition. Though grand, epic, and futurist, the backbone of his novels hinge on basic principles of morality, or lack thereof.
Hammond has a unique background as a music and sports industry professional. He has worked in the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball as a Marketing Coordinator, was an Assistant of Arizona Operations in the Kansas City Royals farm system, and operated Spring Training stadium audio for the Los Angeles Angels. He is also credited as a Marketing Representative for Sony Music Entertainment, a Senior Tour Manager for the Vans Warped Tour, and an intern at WAR Records / United Interests Management.
Born just outside of Denver, CO in 1983, Hammond hasn’t settled down much since. Aside from Colorado, as a child he also lived in Maine, California, and Utah. As an adult he returned to Colorado and Utah, also adding Arizona and Nevada to the list. He has visited 49 of the 50 states, vowing to make it to Alaska one day soon. Seemingly only content while in motion, Hammond’s dream is to one day own a catamaran and sail it around the world. He currently resides in Las Vegas, NV studying philosophy at UNLV. Hammond has never been married and has no children.