I’m a great fan of C. S. Boyack’s books. I know many of you are already acquainted with Craig, the prolific speculative fiction writer who features Lisa the Robot Girl on his famous Lisa Burton Radio.
What? You don’t know who that is?
Lisa Burton Radio: The main character from my first book is Lisa Burton. She’s a robot and makes regular appearances on Craig’s blog, usually under the Muse category. In early 2015 he decided to make her into the spokesmodel for this blog. There are posters, free paper dolls, and she started making guest appearances on other blogs. As her popularity grew, Craig decided she could interview the characters of other authors to help them promote their stories. Find Lisa Burton Radio HERE.
Okay, now that you know a little bit about C. S. Boyack, let’s get to the serious stuff!
Author, C. S. Boyack
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.
When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.
This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact, he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.
Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.
The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.
Thanks for having me over to talk about my newest book, The Yak Guy Project. I’m known for experimenting, and this book is no exception. I try to set personal goals for my stories that help me grow as an author.
One of the things we learn fairly early is story structure. There are many ways of relaying a story, but the more popular ones are popular for a reason. I’ve also learned that mixing and mashing things up also works. This is one of those cases.
The Tarot deck contains some special cards called the Major Arcana. If you place them in order, they tell an evolutionary story of a character. The first card is The Fool. Think of him as the plain white chicken breast in cooking. He could become almost anything depending on what he’s exposed to. The Yak Guy is The Fool, but he doesn’t stay that way for long.
Yak Guy is a selfish, lazy young man. He’s a parasite upon those around him at the beginning of this story. This is kind of a portal fantasy. He’s from Las Vegas, but the setting for this story is a different world. His memory is wiped and fades completely in the first few chapters. Eventually, he adopts the name Ted to allow others to interact with him.
The Fool goes on to meet others along his journey who influence his life. The Fool meets The Magician first. Ted meets The Yak.
I’m not completely abandoning other story structures in this tale. The Yak fulfills some of the roles of The Magician card, but he’s also a mentor character. The Yak helps Ted grow as a person.
Something about a yak just screams for an Asian setting, so that is also part of the story. The new world is in the throes of a war that’s gone on for hundreds of years. The country is littered with technology that is better than they have now. These people are back to swords and horses at this point.
Ted’s story proceeds through various characters that reflect the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Astute observers will spot the Hanged Man, the Empress, even the Wheel of Fortune. (Hint: the wheel is much larger than you think it is, but the lesson is there.)
There are points where Ted learns some hard lessons. Decisions must be made that cannot be unmade. He is not able to compare sides in this war and join whichever side will be the cushiest for him. It’s an A or B decision, and he must live with the results. He learns to think and assess matters to the best of his ability.
This experiment posed some challenges. I made some characters do double duty in the story. At one point they represent one card, later in the book they represent another. The story didn’t need that many individually named characters.
I also stopped short. The Tarot takes The Fool into some absurd territory. There is no reason for him to become a World or a Sun. I wrapped it up at a good place with ample reward and a satisfying resolution to some very real problems.
The Yak Guy Project is a story of personal growth and coming of age. Of course, it also features swords, a caveman, and a talking yak. I hope you’ll consider taking this journey along with The Yak Guy.
The Yak Guy Project sounds great! I’ve got my copy. Did you get yours?
Thanks for stopping by to meet C. S. Boyack and learn about his new book, “The Yak Guy Project.” ❤
“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.