Book Title: Gazpacho
Author: Robert Michaels
Release Date: August 25thth, 2013
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: GMTA Publishing LLC

SYNOPSIS 

Gazpacho, a "Rarus Nimus Foetidus Loquaciatis Rauca Mollis" is a newly discovered species of worm that has the ability to communicate with most every living creature. But what his species is most know for, throughout the bug and animal world, is their highly toxic glands that produce a considerable amount of stink whenever they are stressed or in danger.

This toxic "handicap" or stinky "gift", depending on how it comes to be used, sets the stage for Gazpacho's early years just as it serves to enrich his life experiences and fuel his grand adventures. From his birth in the northern forest glen to his plan of becoming the next great singing star and idol sensation, Gazpacho learns of love as he overcomes the many obstacles and prejudices against him to finally summon up the courage to leave home and live out his dream!


This is the first book in a series of four that tell Gazpacho's amazing life story!


EXCERPT 

Prologue

The Arrival



Oh what a glorious light it was, so brilliant, bold and white. The light was so magnificent and powerful that I struggled in vain with my yet unopened eyes to gaze directly upon it. At first, with only but a glance and then with only a glimpse, I attempted to shield my newborn sight with the aid of the tiny hands and fingers that appeared there before me all aglow and bathed by the radiant light.
I quickly learned that each precious digit was mine to command. And, once I did, every one of them was sent out on the same mission of exploration, toward the light, filled with the hope and desire to touch it. Floating mere inches above me from where I lay, the light hovered ablaze, in all of its divine splendor, just out of reach. I soon came to understand that the light was never meant for me to touch in that way, but it was there for me to feel in a different way, instead. From somewhere deep inside myself I felt the incredible presence that was within it and it reached out to me with a message of love. As my eyes adjusted and grew more accustomed to the light, I marveled to behold a multitude of colorful rays on display. They danced, flickered and sparkled out from its center in every direction possible. All to a dazzling effect that filled me with joy.

 Not a sound did it make, but even in the first few moments of my life, I knew that, somehow, the light had come to greet me and to help see me into the world. And I loved the light, almost as much as I felt the presence within it love me. Soon after I had made the connection with it, however, the light pulled away, faded and left. I didnt like to see it go, but I was so very glad for the time that it had come to be with me. Even more than that, I was ever so grateful for the experience it left me with, to have known, felt, and witnessed something that was that good.
As those moments faded away, all of my physical senses took on a greater awareness. For the first time I heard soothing and comforting voices around me. At first the voices were faint, but before long, I could hear the sound coming from somewhere near me. Although I couldnt understand exactly what they were talking about, I could feel that they were saying all kinds of nice and wonderful things just for me to hear. Love is also what I felt from them. And even though it was somehow different from the love that I felt from the light, the feelings were unmistakable and I loved them very much too!
So… this is what its like to be alive. Well hey, this certainly feels great! I really like it here!




AUTHOR BIO
Robert Michaels (Robert A. Nicpon) was born in Chicago, Illinois and he lived there until the age of 7. It was during Robert’s high school years that he discovered his passion for art, and it was in his last year of high school that he decided that he wanted to produce art for a living. In 2006 Robert learned that what really matters the most when producing a work of art is telling “The Story” and telling it well. When this was discerned, Robert received the inspiration to write the story of Gazpacho. With the help of his beloved coauthor Aurora Rose, Gazpacho’s story has grown into a four book series that chronicles Gazpacho’s amazing life.

AUTHOR LINKS 



Gazpacho FAQ

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions that I’ve received, concerning all things Gazpacho.

Who or what exactly is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho is an original character of my own creation who’s life story is told in a series of four books. Through this creative process I’ve come to realize that Gazpacho is a part of me, and that most of the characters in his story originate from some other part of me as well.  But what makes Gazpacho so unique and entirely special is that he comes from what is the absolute very best part of me.  And, in that way, this work provides me with the opportunity to extend and give to the reader my very best: artistically and personally.

Why of all possible things is the character of Gazpacho a worm?
Although Gazpacho would not officially be classified as a worm, due to the advances in his anatomy, he continues to display many of the traits, characteristics and behaviors of his worm ancestry. In this way he can and does relate to the life of a worm. From this perspective Gazpacho represents a simple and pure creature that lives life way down at the very lowest ‘rung’ on the totem pole of all known creatures. And coming into our man made world from this extreme vantage point, Gazpacho has the potential to tell the ultimate of all underdog stories. Most importantly, as someone who is a descendant of a worm, Gazpacho represents a creature who is directly connected to the soil and to the very planet itself. He is therefore innately aware of the responsibility he has to help maintain the quality of the soil in order to foster life and to help sustain the life of every plant, animal, creature and person on the planet. In other words, Gazpacho is aware that he is one of the lowest of the low and that he exists to care for and to serve every other living thing, not just for the sake of today but for the sake of the future as well.

Who is this series of books written for?
Gazpacho is a work that is advertised and promoted for anyone ages 3 to 103 and beyond because it is a work of art that most anyone can enjoy.  In order to actually accomplish this, Gazpacho’s story is told in a series of four books that chronicle his life story.  In this way, from one book to the next, as Gazpacho matures so does the relative content of the story.  Adults therefore will find that with each subsequent book, they will be able to more directly relate to the content, characters and the respective storylines.  And children will find that as each book progresses along in content, Gazpacho himself never loses his pure, simple and relatively innocent perspective.  Because of that, children will always be able to relate to Gazpacho, (especially given the way that he sees and experiences the world) and they will only become more and more interested, fascinated and curious about how Gazpacho’s life and adventures turn out.

Why are Gazpacho’s toxin and stink issues so extreme?
It was from Leonardo Da Vinci that I learned that everyone is best served when an artist pursues the potential in every work of art that they produce.
And in order to accomplish the potential in a work of art, the artist first needs to process and discern the subject matter with patience, love and care until the work is clear, mature and well understood. (Ideally the artist will simply receive the content of a work in the form of an inspirational gift that is directly given to them.)
Then, the artist needs to document the subject matter by producing the work (in the medium of their choice) with abundant skill and technical mastery so that every detail of the content can be fully rendered and brought to life to engage, entertain and connect with the audience so they can receive what is valuable in the work. (The greatest works of art go on to provide food for the soul.)
In the work of art that Gazpacho is, the character has been given such extreme levels of toxin and stink because those potent conditions do serve the best to help achieve the true potential of the work in a number of ways, including:
  • These personal obstacles help to expand and enhance the role that Gazpacho has in living out his life from the position of an underdog.
  • How Gazpacho learns to care for, live with and treat these conditions is a major part of the characters progression in the story.
  • These conditions aid Gazpacho in living out his life dream as they enable him to believably make his way into our man made world without getting immediately attacked and gobbled up by any would be predator. (I have learned that it always serves the potential best when the artist creates a believable context for the work, regardless of how fictitious or imaginative the subject matter might be.)
  • Because of Gazpacho’s potent conditions, the opportunity presents itself to create highly dramatic, entertaining and memorable scenes and scenarios throughout the storyline, especially when Gazpacho comes into contact with humans.
  • Gazpacho’s formidable toxin level and stink helps to balance out his character by providing him with powerful physical attributes. Without them he would only be a rather weak and vulnerable little creature/character.
  • The special glands that Gazpacho has (that are responsible for producing the extreme level of stink and toxin) also contribute to other attributes of the character, including: the ability to communicate; the ability to quickly heal from any wound; the ability to avoid sickness and disease; the ability to quickly consume and process food for instant energy; and the ability to live longer than any other creature of his kind.
  • Ultimately, Gazpacho learns that there is a very good reason why he was given such “offensive” conditions.  And he comes to understand the true value of the “gifts” and “blessings” he is endowed with. (What was at first a major “negative”, eventually becomes a major “positive”, instead.)
Is there any significance or special meaning to the name Gazpacho?
Yes, there is a special significance to the name of Gazpacho.  Most importantly it is not the birth name that the character was first given by his parents.  It is actually a name that he was given by his peers (a group of bullies, in fact) in order to brand and chastise him.  (A full account of this story and its content can be read in Chapter 2 of the first book entitled, “The Name Game”).

Why should I purchase and read your book?
Gazpacho is the first major public work of my artistic career that has been produced in order to entertain and serve the people of the world.  And I believe that it is the most important work of art that I have produced to date.  That is because, more so than any other work of mine, this work can be appreciated and valued by most everyone regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, beliefs, or background, and it is something that most anyone can easily afford as well.  But it is the level of and the quality of the gifts that you’ll find within the content of the story that has me recommending this book the most.  (After all, there’s a great deal more to this “worm” than first meets the eye!)

What can I expect from the next book in the series?
The first book serves to introduce Gazpacho to everyone and to lay the foundation for him so that he can fully pursue his dream to become the next great singing star and idol sensation.  The second book chronicles Gazpacho’s journey into our man made world where he is given the opportunity to actually make his dream a reality.  Written in a surprisingly believable and yet wonderfully imaginative way, the telling of Gazpacho’s journey is certain to delight, entertain, and fully captivate you!  And, of all of the books in the series, the second book is the most action packed!

What has been the best and/or most positive thing about having written this book?
Learning to take on the highest level of artistic responsibility in my career and living out that ideal to the fullest.  “The Story” and telling the story well is what I’ve learned is what really matters the most when producing a work of art.  And so, I asked myself one day, years ago, if it’s all about telling a story, what story do I feel is the most important story to tell.  Then, of all the many stories that I could have documented and expressed, I found the story of Gazpacho waiting there inside of me, and it was so good and so valuable that it has become the major focus in recent years for me to produce.
 What has been the greatest challenge and/or negative thing about having written this book?
Gazpacho is the largest and the single most challenging work of my artistic career.  And of all the challenges I’ve experienced bringing this work into the world, the most difficult and critical part of it has been finding Gazpacho’s “voice”.  (The one rule I follow whenever I produce a work is that I allow the subject matter to dictate its every need, and then I apply in whatever measure is necessary that which is most appropriate in order to meet that need.)  In Gazpacho’s case, because it is his story being told, not mine or anyone else’s, it serves the work best for Gazpacho to tell the story in his own words as much as possible.  In that way the reader experiences a more truthful and honest account of the information and the character comes all the more directly to life.  But just how does a worm sound, (especially one that needs to be able to communicate very well) before it no longer sounds like, well, a “worm”?  Finding the best level, quality, balance and measure of “worm” took many years of writing and rewriting to finally get it right.  And Gazpacho’s voice would have never been found at all if it were not for the efforts of Carol/Aurora my beloved co-author.  It was only with her help that the voice of Gazpacho was finally realized and now, wow, writing for Gazpacho is so much easier!

As someone who is also producing the illustrations for this series of books, is there anything significant or special about them?
My thinking about the illustrations parallels my thinking about the writing of the books.  That is, if the story is told from the perspective of Gazpacho, then the illustrations should also represent and depict the world as seen from the characters point of view as well.  And so, in the end, the illustrations have been produced as they would most likely appear if Gazpacho had my level of artistic ability and he created them himself.  In that way I feel that everyone can fully enjoy the art of Gazpacho, especially children, because I don’t really know of any child who can look at a “Rembrandt” per se and simply love it for all that it is.  Most children don’t yet relate to works of art that are produced at a highly sophisticated level, but I believe that they will be able to appreciate the artwork in this series, especially because they too experience the world from somewhat of a “worm’s eye view”.

Why is Gazpacho reaching into reality as a fictional character when he could simply exist in his own world?
Gazpacho is a character that reaches out to us because the universally valuable content that is expressed through his story will directly contribute to our own lives, in the here and now, especially given the times that we live in.  And he reaches out to us because only he can best serve to tell the story and represent the qualities that will bring this work to full life.
What kinds of lessons would this series of books teach my child?
Gazpacho represents and reflects what is true, good, and pure in this world.  Everything he is and everything he does as a character promotes well-being and a life well lived.  And, of the many and various lessons that appear in his story, a few of the more important lessons are:
  • To appreciate nature and to live in harmony with it.
  • To see the good in people and the good works of people, and to honor and celebrate them both.
  • To always stand on the side of good, and to do your part to resist and help overcome the evils and ills that exist in the world.
  • To never give up and to understand that although rejection is a part of life, the experience of rejection helps us to look deeper into ourselves so that we can find the best of who we are.  And when we find the best of who we are, we can then extend our best to others.
  • No one ever does accomplish very much on their own, and in order to get past the flaws and overcome the obstacles that would prevent any of us from living life to the fullest and accomplishing our true potentials – we require love.  And whether that love comes from family, friends, or from a gift that you give to yourself; when we receive the support of love, and we live a life centered in love; we become blessed with the gifts of patience, compassion, and understanding which help us to look past our flaws, problems, and difficulties so that we can find the truth of who we are and live out our potential to the fullest.
  • Someone may appear at first to be the most flawed, worthless, irrelevant, and insignificant member of society, but they may very well, in the end, prove to be of greater worth than those special few who are considered to be the most knowledgeable and important of society’s leaders.
  • If a “worm” like Gazpacho can become someone significant, meaningful, and truly special; and can overcome and accomplish as much as he does; just imagine how much more special every person is and how much more any one of us can potentially contribute and accomplish in our lifetimes!
What goals have you set for the books, and what do you envision the future of Gazpacho to be?
With the first book now published, and the writing of the series complete, all that is left for me to work on are the illustrations.  And it is my goal for the remaining 3 books to be published by the end of 2014.  In the meantime, I am presently working on animating Gazpacho and his friends, and bringing them more 3 dimensionally to life.  As for the future, I will allow the potential of all that Gazpacho is to dictate and guide all of that.  But Gazpacho continues to have big dreams, and he envisions: 
  • A series of books produced just for children that tell of his early childhood adventures to help educate kids on valuable and important lessons in life.
  • A children’s animated TV cartoon show that promotes an appreciation for nature and learning to live in harmony with it.
  • A series of fine art prints and sculptures, toys, ornaments and decorations, art, craft, music and school supplies and equipment, sporting goods, games, items for the home, kitchen, bed, bath and garden, clothing, shoes, accessories and other apparel, all Gazpacho and friends related.
  • Two video games: The first game is entitled Gazpacho and Bakka “The Name Game - Part Deux”, and it leads the two heroes on an epic time travel action adventure that tells the story of what happens when Bakka (Gazpacho’s best friend) finds out that his name (and the entire race of Japanese Bakka Beetles that he is a descendant of and named after) means “fool”. 
  • The second game is entitled “Polaron” and it features Gazpacho and Bakka as well as many of the other characters who appear in the series of books. It is an espionage, action and adventure thriller that tells the story of what happens when an evil billionaire mastermind tries to take over the world by developing and using a biological weapon of mass destruction.
  • An annual variety show produced for network TV or cable that features many well-known special guests and stars called “The Gazpashow!”
  • A series of billboards, ads and infomercials featuring Gaz that promotes caring for the planet and keeping it “green”. 
  • A chain of restaurants called “Flavor 1st” that will feature a base menu of “Home Comfort Favorites” as well as an additional menu of unique regional specialty dishes that are available only at each location.
  • Original Music
  • A fully animated full length feature film.
  • To create hospitals and/or wings or branches off of preexisting hospitals that cater to and address the needs of people who find themselves stricken with the worst of ailments and debilitating diseases.
  • Because Gazpacho is able to communicate with most every living creature, he is able to communicate with most every person as well.  Therefore, he can potentially serve as a “good will ambassador/spokes worm” to help assist and aid people in various countries all over the world in such areas as literacy, languages, education, recycling, the environment, health care and health related issues, organic and natural food production, the protection of endangered species and the humane treatment of animals, the protection and the preservation of natural habitats and eco-systems, the reduction of greenhouse gases and other forms of pollution, the use and implementation of natural resources including foods and fuels for aid, and he can help promote the development of new and sustainable sources of clean energy.




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What is Twilight?

twi·light

/ˈtwīˌlīt/
Noun
  1. The soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the reflection of the sun's rays from the atmosphere.
  2. The period of the evening during which this takes place, between daylight and darkness.
Synonyms
dusk - gloaming - nightfall

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