By Paula Walter
J.P. Nelson, a graduate of Johnson County High School, has recently released his first novel, Call of the Wolf. The book falls into the category of science fantasy, a genre of literature that is a combination of fantasy and scientific facts.
The basis of Nelsons book comes from his own personal story. Growing up in an abusive home, Nelson was diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive and Attention Deficit disorders. His family told him that he was shameful. He wasnt allowed to play with other children or have any friends. His contact with others was severely limited. I didnt have a childhood, he said. Call of the Wolf is based on the three separate worlds he created in order to mentally and emotionally survive his upbringing. Within these worlds, he had hundreds of characters. I developed things in my mind, Nelson said.
Nelson dedicates his novel to Vernon Max Dyer, a science teacher at Johnson County High School. The first assignment of the year given to the class was to write a story about putting a man and woman into space and tell the readers something about space. For three weeks, Nelson worked on the assignment, handwriting more than 60 pages with illustrations, drawing from the worlds in his mind. Nervous and full of anticipation, he turned his paper in and was disappointed he received a B for his efforts. According to Nelson, when he approached Dyer regarding his grade after putting in so much time and effort, Dyer told him he received the B because he didnt write about space. However, Dyer encouraged Nelson to continue writing. Dyer gave me a nugget of encouragement, he said. It was the first real encouragement I ever had. That story, written many years ago, became the basis for Nelsons 712-page novel, Call of the Wolf, a first in a series he calls The Kohrinju Tai Saga.
Nelson brings his life experiences to his writing as he introduces his readers to the characters in the book. He has a 42-year extensive background in marital arts and has earned the rank of hanshi, or senior master teacher. Nelson is a 10th degree black belt in Kizoku-Ryu Combat Kempo. He was inducted into the Sports Karate Living Legends Hall of Fame and he currently teaches Street Wise Martial Arts and Tai Chi Gong.
The novel opens and immediately immerses its readers to the scene of a horrific fight. The main character, Komain JSehf, is half human and half elf. He was born to an elf mother held in captivity as a slave. As he comes in and out of consciousness, he realizes there is a terrible pounding in his head and the taste of blood in his mouth. As he tries to escape, he rolls away to avoid more blows to his body. His vision begins to clear and he sees his attacker, a hybrid creature that was close to seven feet tall and weighed close to 300 pounds. He had horns on either side of his head and long ears that reach the huge muscles of his shoulders. As Komain JSehf, who calls himself Tiger Wolf, becomes more aware of his surroundings, he realizes he was in a coliseum surrounded by screaming humans cheering for someone to die. Tiger Wolf, full of anger over the death of his mother and his status as a slave, begins to retaliate and kicks his opponent over and over until the hybrid dies a horrific death. As he is taken back to his cell, 10 guards step back, not taking a chance on getting close to the half human half elf that is filled with hate, anger and rage.
Nelson carries his readers back to the beginning when Tiger Wolf was born to the last of the Elvin Tell-Singers held in captivity. He would listen in awe as his mother told him tales of long ago, stories of her childhood and life before she became a slave. She would share how they were descended from warriors, chiefs and druids. He watched in awe as his mother healed a wound he had that had caused a lot of blood loss, feeling a burning heat as the gaping hole closed before his eyes. His mother was his entire world, and her death turned his world upside down.
Nelson masterfully weaves his story, deep and full of details, and transports his readers to the world he has created, full of elves, leprechauns, magic and other worlds. His descriptions are so vivid it is easy to visualize each scene that plays out before the reader in Call of the Wolf.
If you enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien and other writers of science fiction and fantasy novels, you will be mesmerized by Nelsons work. He will grab your attention from the very start and take you on a journey into other worlds you will not soon forget.
By Paula Walter