by Jean-Michel Desire
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.
Who is your hero and why?
I have many heroes, and each of them has at some point in time fueled my passions. It all started with the fictitious character ‘Tintin’. This character made a great statement of always fighting the good fight, every moment of every day. I was even more fascinated when decades later, I found out that he was the character that inspired the first Indiana Jones movie, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.
My next hero was (and still is to this day) Jackie Chan. I was a teenager in Mauritius when his movie ‘The Big Brawl’ came to the big screen. It was one of these rather rare occasions when a movie theater packed with people found applause at the end of the movie. I was stunned when I recently read Jackie Chan’s autobiography ‘Never grow up’, that the movie was an actual flop. I kept watching as many Jackie Chan movies as they came out while my life went on, and upon reading ‘Never grow up’ recently, I realized that the main things that this actor taught me were to always see the funny side of anything, and that only hard work pays off, if one is willing to accept that everything has a price. In Jackie’s case, what at the time of watching his movies came out as total devotion to practicing martial arts, only recently also showed how high the price of his success is… (I won’t spoil it and those who are truly interested will read the book).
Another hero is Ritchie Blackmore, lead guitarist of the seventies hard rock band ‘Deep Purple’. He portrayed another who worked very hard at achieving perfection. You will by now have figured out that I too tried my luck at becoming a good guitar player. I never got there, although I did have some wild times with a band named ‘Beware’ and the couple of gigs we did in a bar. To this day, some of ‘Deep Purple’s’ music brings a smile and excitement. Blackmore and the band were pioneers who in my view, changed music more than Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. If there ever is an autobiography of ‘Ritchie Blackmore’, I will certainly read it. I’ve heard bits and pieces of side stories that he was also a psychic, and that’s an aspect that has a lot of interest from me.
Finally (I could likely find more heroes but for the purpose of this blog, I believe this is enough), there’s the man who made the world’s best guitarist for many years in a row, Yngwie Malmsteem. What Ritchie Blackmore had pioneered into great music, Yngwie turned into a science so precise that it will always be to me an enigma. Again, some of Yngwie’s music still gets me jumping up and down in joy and whenever I feel sad or down, his music will bring me back up in no time.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
I would be a pretty lousy ruler, because I’ve understood that no one can please everyone. As such, a ruler whose prime directive is to treat everyone fairly, is doomed to failure by the mere nature of our humanity, whereby the grass is always greener next door. Yet, our society is set-up in such a way that we do need rulers. I can only conclude that the good ones are few and far in between.
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).
How to find time to write as a parent?
It definitely was not really possible when my kids were growing up. Ensuring school work was done and simple house chores were executed as part of life training took a lot of energy, not to mention the challenges of teenage-hood and potential bad friends in some instances. Luckily, anther blessing in my life, this time has passed. My kids are now wonderful young adults who are tackling their own life challenges and struggles, but who find the time to come back to the nest and seek encouragement from time to time.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
From a young age, possibly at around twelve years old. Consideration become reality at age 50.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Wooohooo! Another difficult question since there are many movies that have inspired me, making it difficult to choose one as an absolute favorite of all times. But to answer the question, I’ll risk ‘The Ten Commandments’ (the original movie by Cecil B de Mille and starring Charlton Heston). Other unforgettable movies are ‘V’, ‘Close Encounters’, ‘Aliens’ (2nd movie in the long list) and a few others.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Well, it seems that there are no coincidences in this world. ‘The Storyteller’s Nights’ was self-published, an approach that I have come to regret in time. But I was too excited to be patient… In fact, I will explore possibilities of getting a second edition properly published in the near future. However, to my pleasant surprise, there was some interest from ‘Principal Entertainment’ and there was even a script prepared. But I did not like the way the script digressed from the book’s storyline. I understood the frustration that other authors that have their books turned into movies may experience, especially after reading and watching ‘Angels and Demons’, ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and others. I can certainly imagine ‘Fantasy Man’ also being made into a movie.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I’m not sure how to answer this question. Let’s just say that ever since I’ve joined Goodreads, I set myself a challenge of reading at least twelve books during any given year. When matter go well, I have reached over eighteen books in on year. The choice of books will vary between action/adventure, Thriller, Fantasy and Spiritual Books. On occasion, I will venture into a different genre.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
The Gorilla, or the Black Panther.
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