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|DragonMan Chased, Caught
FWO-Int'l member goes to Hollywood
By IN House Staff
Freelance Writing Organization International (FWO-Int'l) member Ted Lazaris, with the help of InkTip, has had his DragonMan series picked up for the big screen.
The published novels and screenplays were exclusively optioned by executive producer Mario Domina and his company, ThunderBall Films, through a co-production agreement with creator/writer Lazaris and his production start-up, DragonMan Productions.
The novel caught the eye of First Lady Laura Bush. She commented in a letter of commendation, "I admire your efforts, through writing adventure stories, to encourage people of all ages to enjoy reading."
DragonMan: The Adventures Of Luke Starr
Question: What do C.S. Lewis, L. Frank Baum, J.K. Rawlings, J.R.R. Tolkien and Stan Lee have in common?
Answer: In some way, shape or form their magical characters find a presence in Ted Lazaris's DragonMan: The Adventures Of Luke Starr. The similarities are irreverent and fun; Dorothy's adventures in Oz (in Baum's outstanding series of books, not the 1939 MGM movie) are no more strange and fantastical than young Luke Starr's trek through the mythical world of Spellville in search of his kidnapped friends.
J.R.R. Tolkien's evil orcs and wizards are equally well represented by Lazaris's hag demons and gruel bores, and Luke falls afoul of as many odd creatures in Spellville as Harry Potter does at Hogwarts. But the journey for Luke is not so much a mission of mercy as one of self-discovery. For despite his humble Midwest origins, Luke is no ordinary teenager.
Imbued with super powers following a ritualistic exchange of blood with a dragon, Luke soon discovers the awesome legacy of his birthright and must learn to accept the fact that he is known in this other world as the Chosen One. Still, in the tradition of Marvel Comics' Stan Lee, creator of modern superheroes like Spider-Man and Silver Surfer, Lazaris's DragonMan is unquestionably human, grappling with his doubts and fears even as he sets off to save Planet Earth from alien beings hell-bent on destruction.
"My book is about good fun and a means of escaping your daily routine," Lazaris tells his readers, and keeps his promise by delivering a fast-paced fantasy in which the epic struggle between good and evil rests squarely on a likeable hero's young shoulders. "You were bound by destiny," a being of light tells Luke, "and will embark on a life of great adventure and mystery, with the power of unlocking the doorway to any world."
And as if that weren't enough, Lazaris offers up an eye-popping array of intertwined subplots linking Luke's fantasy world to his real one, wherein unsolved murders, a mysterious psychic and an ominous stranger keep the action rolling until the satisfyingly climactic conclusion.
In Ted Lazaris's first fantasy adventure novel, DragonMan: The Adventures Of Luke Starr, the reader was introduced to the likeable Luke and his seemingly normal way of life growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Luke was portrayed as a quiet, average kid plagued by all the inherent problems of the typical American teen: dealing with a crush on a girl he's too shy to approach, pesky sisters constantly poking their noses into his business, bullies at school and exams to study for.
But Luke, readers soon discovered was burdened by a far greater weight than any of his peers, as he struggled to come to terms with his birthright as The Chosen One, savior of the distant world of Spellville. Not only that, but, like hapless Peter Parker forced to juggle his complex life as Spider-Man while pursuing his love interest and his not-always-easy career, Luke had to learn to harness the enormous powers of DragonMan, his super alter-ego, a persona that regrettably did not come with an instruction manual.
In this second, action comic-like installment, DragonMan And The Poseidon Encounter, Luke seems to have come to terms with his legacy and appears well in control of his super powers — which he will be called upon to use this time around to save the world from an evil demon who seeks to claim the souls of every human being on earth.
The mood of impending danger is set from the very first page, when author Ted Lazaris takes off his gloves to delivering a knock-out of an opening scene: Five-year-old Bobby Blakely, running downstairs on the morning of his birthday, finds not the hoped for brand new bicycle as a gift, but rather an enormous blue whale that has somehow "washed up" in the small lake on his parent's isolated farm. While many consider the whale's appearance a hoax, others believe it to be a sign of impending Biblical doom. And it is enough to rouse Luke's suspicions that worse is about to happen — which it does.
In a pace that never flags, Poseidon Encounter unfolds in a complex thread of differing tales, from an old-fashioned detective murder mystery to a science fiction fantasy, all neatly stitched together by an intriguing cast of characters, both good and evil and not-exactly-as-they-seem. An imaginative writer, Lazaris blends magic, mysticism, religion with the fast-paced action of the comic book world into a book that fans of the first DragonMan tale will find hard to put down. He's currently working on the third installment.