Guest Post: Meet Marc R Micciola, Author of Ascension

Many years ago, every race in Midstad came together to imprison a dangerous foe; however some swore in secret to set Him free one day — Ascension (The Age of Shadow Saga Book 1) by @MarcMicciola

Hello readers and writers! My name is Marc R Micciola and I am a self-published author from Brampton, Ontario, Canada. I always enjoyed stories, soaking them in through any format possible. My favourite way to tell my own stories is through writing, and it took me a while to fully embrace that. Writing isn’t exactly the most practical career, especially fiction writing, so I was discouraged from becoming an author most of my life. My mental health hasn’t always been the greatest either, so I had to deal with anxieties and depressive thoughts too. Thankfully, I finally got into a place where I said “Screw it” and decided to really work on writing a book. It was during a time in my life where I was really working on myself, and I truly believe this book got me to where I am today. My two dogs, Rielly and Ace, keep me grounded and happy while my best friend Mackenzie keeps me motivated and positive. Oh! Silly me. I just realized I haven’t even mentioned the name of my debut novel! My very first book is named Ascension, and is the first book in a series named The Age of Shadow Saga. 

Ascension is my baby. I’ve had ideas for books before, even managed to write out a bit of them too, but Ascension is my first full fledged novel that I have written and published. The story that I plan to stretch out over three books is very character driven, and it’s one of the reasons why I love it so much. The world Ascension takes place in is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but the characters are what makes the book shine. All these characters have grown and changed over the near four years of creating this story and the world surrounding it. Hell, I’m still working on the world! I’ve invested so much time and work into the worldbuilding of The Age of Shadow Saga that I could do countless books based on stories taking place hundreds and even thousands of years before Ascension. I tried to give the reader a glimpse of just how dense the history of this world is by describing relationships between nations and name dropping important moments in history. The entire story of Ascension is told in first person, via the point of view of five characters. Those character’s names are Iver, Einar, Otti, Elouera, and Sigurd. I’ve done my best to make each character unique in how they see the world and how they respond to certain events throughout the story. One thing I know I did well was having every character at the end of the novel be somewhere different than where they were when we are first introduced to them; emotionally, physically, and mentally.

I got my love for character chapters from George RR Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. The love and appreciation for writing in a first person point of view came from Mark Lawrence’s series The Broken Empire. I had learned to tell stories in third person, but as the years went on I began to truly fall in love with first person and the intimacy it brought to stories. Being inside a character’s head allowed me to really connect with them, experiencing the story in a more intimate way. This is why I went with first person for Ascension. I did a lot of research when it came to worldbuilding, but I also did some research for my characters. I wanted my characters to react to certain events in a genuine way, and I wanted to know what effect those events would have on their psyche. The search I went on actually helped me learn some things about myself too, so it was very worthwhile work. I really think that great characters make a great story, so I worked really hard to develop even secondary and tertiary characters that seemed as real as possible. When I write, I aim for a grounded experience without losing out of the wonder of a fantasy world. I think I did a really good job at bringing that goal to life with Ascension, and I can’t wait for you to let me know what you think. Enjoy your next read, enjoy the next story you write and always be true to who you are!

The Age of Shadow Saga Book 1
by Marc R. Micciola
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Many years ago, every race in Midstad came together to imprison a dangerous foe; however not everyone supported this decision and some swore in secret to set Him free one day.

Now, nearly two hundred years later the world is prospering during its longest age of peace. Elves are hidden away in their forests, dwarves live deep within their mountains, and humans have come together in a way which has never been done before. Life for every race is peaceful, until a mythical cult, The Black Light, makes their name heard in every corner of Midstad.

One violent day of assassinations sends elves, dwarves, and humans alike into a panic. The Black Light has shown themselves to be more real than many would have wished them to be, and they have named their leader; Iver, an heir to one of the human kingdoms.

Einar, son of the King of Hestferd, and his allies scramble to devise a proper response to this act of war. Their biggest worry? A name shouted by the assassins; Kemryr, the great foe who was imprisoned centuries ago.

Many believe him to be nothing more than a myth nowadays, but myths seem to be becoming very real as of late. Einar’s father wishes to learn more, and so he turns to a secret friend for help. Together, Einar and his father seek out answers while Iver and his followers continue to carry out their plan in the hopes to reach their ultimate goal.

Set. Him. Free.

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The scavenger who had his spear at my throat yelped at the death of his friend, giving me an opening of my own. I acted quickly and shoved away the weapon the sickly man had been using to keep me at bay. When I went to strike as my father had, my victim was aware enough to move out of the way, catching my arm with a small knife he had pulled from his belt. I shook my arm out as he abandoned his spear completely, pulling another knife from his dead friend, and we began to circle each other. Behind my opponent, I caught sight of the menace I called my father, roaring and cutting down two more of our assailants with relative ease.

The two men looked at the grisly brute before me, and he nodded, allowing them both to leave. I grabbed a cloth from the table and went to go dabbing the man’s pants. He quickly swiped the rag away from me, citing that only a woman could touch him there before wiping at his pants himself. I nearly laughed at the irony of that. Swiftly, I took my cards, reached inside my shirt, and swapped them with my secret winning hand. His friends arrived with our ale and I thanked them before clearing my throat and leaning back in my seat, tossing my feet up on the table. I peeked at my cards, looking over them to see my opponent show off his stained teeth; it was a smile that would ruin most appetites. I decided to smile back.

Coming Soon…

I live in Ontario, Canada with my two dogs Ace and Rielly. When I’m not entertaining those two goofballs, I’m usually watching hockey or a movie.

Night time is usually when my writing time begins. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember; writing when the sun out just seems near impossible now!

Writing is my main passion, but I do have many others. Photography, Pyrography, spending time with my friends, watching hockey while eating pizza, and of course enjoying some family time are all things I love doing.I’m a huge advocate for removing the stigma around mental health and always try my best to support those who struggle with mental health, just like I do.I am also the owner of Centaury Lilium Publishing, a company that assists authors in finding affordable and reliable services in order to self-publish their books. It’s a young business, but I’m hoping to help even just one author achieve their dream.

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