Are you a movie buff? Book lover? Game enthusiast? Did you ever read or watch or play and wish you could just immerse yourself a little more into your favorite fictional worlds? If so, do we have the book for you!
Utah author Bonn Turkington’s interactive novel, End of the Past is available today on Amazon, and he’ll be signing copies next month in our very own O-town.
A fan of video games, adventure movies and interactive books himself, the author describes End of the Past as a “light science fiction/fantasy adventure.” Bonn has also created a comic book to accompany the book series.
With End of the Past and forthcoming works, Bonn is not only offering a glance into the setting of Disparia, but also giving readers the opportunity to submit artwork, ideas and even influence what happens next in the story. The book not only captivates readers with the adventures of a young man trying to overcome obstacles in his past and save a city he loves, but also allows readers to contribute fanfiction to the characters’ world through the website dispariabooks.com
Bonn has partnered with Ogden’s own micropublisher, Get My Story Published to bring End of the Past and Disparia books to light. He invites readers to check out his website, Disparia Books, as well as follow the Disparia Facebook page to become a part of the story.
Read our chat with Bonn, check out his website and be sure to stop by his book signing at Booked on 25th on October 14th from 6-8 pm, so you can snag a copy of End of the Past for yourself!
Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born in California. We moved to Utah in 1990 and I have been here ever since. My wife, Linda, and I are in the process of buying our first home in Draper.
Before beginning my novel, End of the Past I worked as a freelance SEO and web content writer. If I’m not writing I’m usually on my bike training for the next big race. I have been on the Canyon Bicycles Elite racing team for the past few years and racing for nearly 10. Riding is as important to me as writing and the two are related! My best ideas come while riding up the canyons.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing what would eventually become the world of Disparia as early as high school. Initially I wasn’t writing a book so much as creating my own world where individual stories could exist. I like the idea of creation, going new places, and experiencing new things. I came up with Disparia over a period of years, writing short stories and creating it one place at a time.
Though I began my official writing career in college, I was already writing short stories as early as elementary school. I officially changed my major to creative writing after my first semester of school at UVU (then UVSC).
What inspired you to write End of the Past?
The first books I read were classic works of fantasy, so that really got my mind going. Everything I’ve read has inspired me in one way or another, whether it’s how to use language or ideas for locations. But it hasn’t just been books that have helped me. When I was around 10 years old my friends and I would always play Dungeons and Dragons. Even then I realized that I had more fun coming up with the stories or quests than I did playing them, and I usually came up with fantastic, weird, and exciting quests where I ended up narrating so much the games dragged on forever.
End of the Past is a book where you can catch glimpses of people and places that affect the story, and learn more about them in future books or through the supplemental material.
Can you give us an idea of what your book is about?
End of the Past is set in the fictional world of Disparia. The story itself focuses on Vahn, an only child who lost both his parents some seven years ago. His father struggled with chronic illness all through his childhood and eventually took his own life. Since then Vahn has been stuck in a rut, both dealing with issues caused by the emotional trauma and unable to cope with life well enough to move on and find happiness. He is basically in stasis, paralyzed by the events of his past and unable to move forward.
The book begins a few days before the FreePort City Solstice Festival, Vahn’s favorite event of the entire year. It’s a weeklong event that begins with the opening ceremonies in the FreePort arena. After meeting a new friend, Duncan, the night before the opening ceremonies, they are caught in a disaster unlike anything the city has seen. In this attempt to survive and with Duncan’s help Vahn begins to realize that forgetting the past and moving beyond it are two different things. While the city descends into chaos, Vahn begins to realize that he can take control of his own life, even when he can’t always control what’s happening around him.
The book ends in a way Vahn never expected, with news that both changes everything he thought he knew and the direction his life will take.
What is unique about your book?
End of the Past and the world in the book, Disparia were designed to be created, shaped, altered, and expanded upon by the readers.
Also, the story itself is set in a fictional fantasy world that isn’t what I’d consider high-fantasy. It is set in a time analogous to the early 1900’s in America where technology is suddenly growing at an unprecedented rate. The vast world and new technologies are perfectly suited to fan fiction.
What made you decide to offer interactive features with your novels?
Watching movies, playing video games, and reading books have always been a huge part of my life. I’ve always been the type of person to want more or to look for more information after finishing something I enjoyed. ‘Well what about this character, what’s their story? What about this place, what’s significant about it?’ Questions like that always drove me to purchase extended cuts of movies, read the manuals (for early video games) or watch lore videos on YouTube, or read anything else that might have to do with a book world that I’m interested in.
Given that I actually started creating the world of Disparia before writing the book, it was as though the world was already living and breathing and I just happened to find an interesting person, place, and time to write about. And today’s technology makes it easy to connect with readers and fans in a variety of ways. In short, I wanted to give readers the very thing I always looked for—more.
How can readers get involved?
I want to be very open and reachable as an author. Besides meeting me in person at signing events, the website dispariabooks.com, is the best way to chat or ask questions. We also have a facebook page, Disparia Books. Between the two readers will be able to ask direction questions, chat with other fans, or use our contact form to submit artwork, story ideas, writing samples, and other works.
Did anything in Northern Utah inspire your setting or your characters?
Many of the most significant places in the book are inspired by the places I know and love best. FreePort City and the surrounding region is a combination of my favorite places in California, from my old hometown of Simi Valley to the coast around Newport Beach. Duncan’s hometown of Alpine is very much inspired by the areas I love in Utah, from Logan, Bear Lake, Big Mountain, American Fork Canyon, Midway, Empire Pass, and the Mirror Lake Highway areas.
What do you want people to know about your book?
The first and most important thing to realize is that everything has a purpose. The details and lore are there if you are willing to dig, make connections, read more on the website, and do a little critical thinking. Everything from major plot events to the smallest leaf or flower is significant in some way. Chances are, if you read about something in the book you can learn more at dispariabooks.com. I want people to come up with their own ideas and theories about why things happen as they learn more about the events in the book and beyond.
I also want people to know that if the term fantasy is thrown around that doesn’t mean you won’t like it. Genres are general labels, they are super broad. It’s like saying a food is meat—you can like ribs but not chicken even though both are meat. If you don’t like ribs (fantasy with dragons and magic wands) you might like chicken (fantasy that is set in a different world but grounded in very real ideas).
Can we look forward to more books from you in the future?
Certainly. My hope is that, the more I write, the more people want to get involved so the world will sort of grow exponentially with the help of fans. That being said, there will be a core series that continues beyond the first book.
Do you think Ogden is a good place for a local author to release a new book?
There are not many places in Utah that are distinctly considered artistic or conducive to creativity. Ogden is one of the best places in the state to go if you want to walk around and look for a good book, find a painting for your home, listen to music, and see some performance art. While I might not live in Ogden I’m glad End of the Past is going to be born there!
As an author and a writer, what do you appreciate about the Ogden area?
I’m excited to hear that new bookstores will be opening. I’m obviously quite biased when it comes to the types of things I like to do in a city (look for books, look at art, shop for games), but in reality everyone can benefit from more bookstores. Digital information is great, but many people seem to have forgotten that convenience isn’t the most important thing with books.