Welcome to John F. Allen's Codename: Knight Ranger Virtual Tour
I'm happy to introduce John F. Allen to all of my readers today!
The Inspiration for Codename: Knight Ranger
In the Beginning
The concept for Codename: Knight Ranger first came to me about three years prior to the publication of the novella. I happened upon a youtube video about advances in prosthetics for military veterans who lost limbs while serving in Afghanistan. I saw the amazing work the companies had done and decided to research them on the internet. This research had mainly dealt with technological advances in cybernetics, bionics and organ transplants.
What I found was not only astounding, but inspirational. As a veteran, I value the sacrifices of my fellow soldiers and I’m awed by the commitment of the men and women who serve. A couple of years later, I was watching reruns of the Six Million Dollar Man TV show with my young son and I was reminded of how far advances in technology had come. Inspiration struck and I began to conceptualize a NEW character who would encompass a soldier’s sacrifice and advanced technology.
As a kid, I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein several times and found the concept behind the tale fascinating. As a result, I was heavily influenced by the creation of the tragic character, Frankenstein’s Monster as well. Also, I’m a HUGE comic book geek and drew further inspiration from Marvel Comics characters such as Captain America and Iron Man. And lastly, due to the idea that counter-terrorism sometimes went hand in hand with espionage, I wanted to infuse a bit of inspiration from James Bond and Jason Bourne into him as well.
Given that inspiration for this character had come from a variety of sources, I really didn’t want what I’d conceived to be some cockeyed rip off of any of them, so I conducted further research into advanced military technology and scientific breakthroughs. This would help me to push my character into his own and for me to breathe life into him as a tragic, patriotic, super heroic, super-spy with a unique perspective. What data I discovered, I would later incorporate into the origin of my character, Captain Alexandre “Neal” Du Bois aka Knight Ranger.
Naming the Character
The name, believe it or not, was partially inspired by the rock band, Night Ranger. Their song, Sister Christian played in my head as I was writing out the story and I knew I’d found the name for my protagonist. There are various other elements which went into naming the character. One, the Combat Service Identification Badge contains a shield with a horse’s head in the upper right hand corner. This reminded me of a knight’s chess piece, hence the word “Knight.” Given that Captain Du Bois was a U.S. Army Ranger serving in Afghanistan, these elements seemed to coalesce into the name, Knight Ranger.
We Have the Technology
While conducting research into advanced military technology and other recent scientific breakthroughs, I came across an article outlining the creation of pseudo cells made from metal which react like human cells, called I-Chells. I thought, what if these were infused with actual DNA and nanites, before being used to bio-engineer an entirely new body for a soldier who lost all four limbs? The concept would bypass the use of prosthetics or organic limb/organ replacement altogether. I wanted to do something other than a “Cyborg”, so I integrated advanced technology with cutting edge medical advances.
Every Knight Needs a Suit of Armor
One of the last components to the creation of Knight Ranger was his armor. I found a composite material recently developed which yielded a hardness close to diamond and a silk material derived from spider’s silk and harvested in the intestines of a goat. While these “real world” things seem far-fetched, sometimes life is far stranger than fiction. I incorporated these materials into designs for military body armor, threw in a nice bit of mysticism and voila!
To read more about Knight Ranger, be sure to check out my novella, Codename: Knight Ranger!
Book Synopsis for Codename: Knight Ranger:
Captain Alexandre Cornelius “Neal” Du Bois is a US Army Ranger and decorated war hero. When his unit is ambushed by supernatural hostile forces while in Afghanistan, only Neal survives. When he wakes up in a secret government facility, Neal discovers that his whole life has changed forever. A shadowy government agent named Elijah Bishop arranges for Neal’s brain to be transplanted, without his permission, into a bio-engineered body capable of amazing feats.
Armed with advanced body armor and weaponry, he becomes the epitome of the Ultra Soldier. To protect his family and those closest to him, he must let the world and everyone he loves believe he is dead. With assistance from Dr. Avery Clarkson–the scientist responsible for his new body–Neal reluctantly utilizes his superhuman abilities to work for Bishop and his organization called G.E.N.E.S.I.S. (Global Espionage Network of Elite Supernatural Intelligence and Surveillance), in order to track down those responsible for the slaughter of his unit and keep the world safe from supernatural terrorist forces.
About the Author:
John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of the Speculative Fiction Guild and the Indiana Writers Center. He began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013 by Seventh Star Press. John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.
Tour Schedule and Activities:
11/2 On Cloud Eight-and-a-Half Guest Post
11/2 A Charmed Life Review
11/3 Creatives Help Board. How may I direct your call? Author Interview
11/4 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
11/4 Book in the Bag Interview
11/4 RJ Sullivan Top 5 List
11/5 Darkling Delights Interview
11/6 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
11/6 Sheila's Blog Guest Post
11/6 Bee's Knees Reviews Review
11/7 The Infamous Scribbler Review/Interview
11/7 Vampires, Witches, & Me Oh My! Top Ten List
11/8 Sapphyria's Book Reviews Guest Post
Amazon Links for Codename: Knight Ranger
Barnes and Noble Link for Codename: Knight Ranger