"The book is chock full of action and fantasy. The art was lots of fun to do and the book is lots of fun to read!" – Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell

The Origin of Gnarl's World

A long time ago the five founding races of Gnarl's world sailed across the Ocean of Mists toward the Great Isle in magnificent magical bronze ships in peaceful accord. On the journey to the Great Isle, an act of treachery in an attempt to steal the magical artifact known as the Crimson Battle Axe destroyed one of the races. The Crimson Battle Axe was left behind, lost in the fog of the Ocean of Mists. The remaining four races ships rejoined at Unity Falls and traveled down the Great Divide River. Soon the

four races divided at Separation Falls over confusion and distrust over the tragedy of the missing 5th race. The Myknisyrgar settled in the frozen region in the northeast. The Biroc settled in the northwest and the humans occupied the entire southern region. The Dekari continued sailing south down the Shadow River and settled on the main island to the south now named Dekari Island.

On News10

Curtis Oddo presents book on News10 on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011. Click here to view video

About the Author: Curtis Oddo M.D.

My name is Curtis Oddo M.D. and I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I am 47 years old. I have two teenage children, Tabalitha age 18 and David age 16. I am divorced. I went to school at the University of Illinois for undergraduate and medical school. I did my pediatric residency at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and finished my residency in 1993. I have been a pediatrician since 1993 and initally practiced pediatric medicine in Central Illinois. I did a little child abuse work as a medical examiner there but mostly primary care pediatrics. Then I moved to Ashland, Oregon in 2000 to become the Medical Director of the Jackson County Children's Advocacy Center and specialized in medical evaluations of children who had been physcially or sexually abused. I specialized in child abuse for eight years and then the funding for my position ran out. I went back into primary care pediatrics at Providence Health Center in Medford, Oregon where I currently work since September of 2008.

The Inspiration for Writing "The Crimson Battle Axe"

I have been an avid reader my entire life and love to read good stories with fun, interesting characters. I typically enjoy reading classical literature but I read all types of fiction and
non-fiction books.

I always wanted to write my own classical fantasy story and I had in my mind for years a storyline and characters for a book. I never had the time to write it though.

In March of 2008 I was going through some hard times; I lost my job, my marriage, and all my money simultaneously. I sold my sport card collection and bought a computer and a computer desk and decided to write my fantasy story dedicated to others that were going through hard times. I wanted it to be easy to read, fun to read, and easy for the reader to escape into that fun story.

Just prior to writing my story I bought some books from the Goodwill store that inspired me to finally write
"The Crimson Battle Axe".

I read Ray Bradbury's "Zen and the Art of Writing" and the section where he wrote about how his subconscious effected his writing fascinated me. I realized I had internal emotions, thoughts, and concepts I wanted to explore through the characters in my story. The book is written to other potential writers to encourage them to write what is percolating inside them.

The next book was Kathleen Roberts' "The Black Flemings". I was looking for a murder mystery and when I flipped through the pages, I thought it was that type of story. However, while reading the book I quickly realized it was a romance novel. I had never read a romance novel before but I continued to read the story because the author had such a gift for descriptive language that I just loved how it was written. I thought when I write my book I want to really work on the descriptions to draw the reader into that fantasy world like she did.

Another inspiring book I read was "The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas. I loved the whole entire book; how it was written, how it was edited, the fun characters, the themes, the sword fighting, the friendships between the comrades-in-arms. But one thing stood out to me the most. The entire story had this incredible plot that was interesting, easy to follow, and almost nothing in the book strayed from the storyline.

Like an extremely well-choreographed dance. I decided when I write my book, I want the plot to have that feel of a beautiful, well-choreographed dance.

Lastly, though I am certain many other books influenced me, "The Fabulous Ego" by Milton Klonsky. I was actually having trouble writing the villain for my book. Almost every great fantasy story has to have a great villain. The villain has to be fascinating, and above all, a real threat. It's no fun to read a fantasy hero story if the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Those stories are boring, lacking dramatic tension.

"The Fabulous Ego" is a non-fiction book about people in world history who have all the power, all the wealth, huge armies and the magnanimous ego to rule the world. That book has the blueprint for almost any great villain and my villain is based upon that book. When I wrote my story, I wanted the reader to feel the danger of loss of life and limb in every battle and truly grow to hate the villain.

I enjoyed writing "The Crimson Battle Axe" and I consider the book to contain the type of fun fantasy hero story that I would like to read.

Success for me would be if people who are going through tough times would read my book and write me back to that they had a fun time escaping from their troubles in the world of "The Crimson Battle Axe".

The Cover Art for "The Crimson Battle Axe"

by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell

A friend of mine is a huge fantasy art collector and is friendly acquaintances with the great fantasy artists Boris Vallenjo and Julie Bell. I have always been big fans of their work. He offered to send them my book and see if they would be interested in doing the cover. To my surprise, they emailed my friend back stating they thought it would be fun to do the cover. He gave them my contact information and they called me. We discussed what scene from the book to use for the cover, and they picked the first battle scene from the book. I discussed with them what I wanted and they had a funny discussion with me that went, "You are the author. But we are the artists. Trust us." And with very little input from me they created the awesome, beautiful cover to "The Crimson Battle Axe".

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