Monday, March 14, 2011

King's X Review - and author interview!


What happens when we die? Is it nothing? Is it something?

Long ago the King's X was stolen, and with it a forbidden secret...
No one really dies. We all come back.
All that you are, all you have ever been, the King's X will reveal.

A 20th century suspense thriller. A 13th century romantic swashbuckler. Two worlds on an impossible collision course. One epic chase across many lifetimes.


This is a very well thought-out book with lots of suspense, twists, and history. I give it 5 stars. This is a 4 episode series, each novella length. Through strong characterization, you become involved in the character's thoughts and actions. Knowing that the story is about reincarnation, makes it that much more intriguing. With the rapid introduction of new characters,it does leave you feeling confused in the beginning. The story takes time to set up, with so much going on. Stephen Harper has definitely done his research,and you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into this story. If you love a good suspense/thriller, you'll love this book!

Steve is a really nice guy, and generously offered his time for an interview! Keep reading for more information about this series and the author!

1.Where are you from?

I was born in Virginia. Grew up in a Massachusetts town which could have been a Norman Rockwell painting. No complaints about any of it. For the last few years I’ve lived in Marina Del Rey, California. My wife and I each work from home offices with windows looking over the water. If that sounds really nice, it really is.

2.How long have you begin writing?

Well, my whole life, I think. But professionally? The last 12 years in different fields. King’s X is my first book.

3.What inspired you to become a writer?

The feeling you get when you read a great book, something that takes you somewhere amazing or opens your mind to a thought you’ve never had before.. Those places and thoughts are real, and writing is kind of like reaching them first, exploring the terrain, and reporting back what you’ve found. Sometimes that can be a real place, like Steinbeck literally traveling through the great depression and reporting back with “The Grapes of Wrath.” Or sometimes it can be purely in the imagination, like Tolkien journeying through all the history, language and myth he’d spent a lifetime learning about, and bringing back a detailed history of “Middle-Earth,” complete with maps and everything. I’m not comparing myself to those great writers, but that is why writers write. The only greater thrill than creating that feeling for yourself, is hearing from a reader that you brought it back for them.

4. King’s X is about reincarnation. Do you think reincarnation is real?

Well, I don’t know. Part of what underlies the whole book is the fact that no one knows for sure. What we do know is that everybody in the world dies at some point. We can all agree on that. But the question of what happens afterwards is all guess work. We are forced to choose something to believe in and stick with it. Whether you choose a religion, atheism, or anything in between – it’s still an “ism,” still just “what you believe.” And without the comfort of real knowledge, those beliefs become very, very important to people. Important enough to go to war, to kill for, etc.

That said, I do think that the idea of reincarnation makes a lot of sense. Because it implies something we can observe about the world we live in, namely that things evolve. Evolution implies always getting a little bit better over time. And if evolution is the way the universe operates, then it should apply to everything. Including the spirit. Again, I don’t “know” for sure, but my observational skills tell me that the human race is evolving on more than just a physical level. Our thoughts, our imagination, our ability to empathize, to care for others above ourselves (not that we always do these things of course, but that we CAN), all points toward spiritual growth, spiritual evolution taking place in real time. When I think about it like that, the idea of something much more powerful and important that my measly little body, coming back over and over again to learn and grow like a child going from nursery school to K-12 makes a lot of sense.

5. So how does reincarnation work for the characters in King’s X?

Well, the idea is that everyone in the world, including you and me, are immortal spirits. Just like you’ve heard many times, but no one can prove beyond doubt. But through the mysterious power of the King’s X itself, some of these characters do know it. They remember several lifetimes worth of knowledge and experience. From that point, it occurred to me, wow, if you could actually KNOW that this was the case, if you could clearly remember your past lifetimes… how different would you be right now? First of all, how smart would you be? Imagine 3 lifetimes worth of playing the piano. Maybe you’d be Mozart, writing entire operas by age 6. Maybe that’s what “genius” really is – a person who for some reason is able to tap into something that he or she had done before. But beyond all the knowledge and skill you might have if you could remember clearly… what would you being doing, right now? If you weren’t afraid of dying because you KNEW for a fact that you were just going to sleep for a while, what would your interests be? Could you truly have a “soulmate” someone you meet again and again? What work would you do? How freakin’ awesome would you be?

And of course, if you were evil, if you were greedy and prideful, how scary would you be? The villains in King’s X are unique and, when you look around at the way the real world seems to work, they are quite believable. What if some mysterious person or persons knew the truth, and carried the knowledge of many lifetimes through to the present, but kept you and me ignorant on purpose? What if there are people who simply don’t want us to know who and what we really are? That we are supposed to be learning, not scared out of our minds that we will run out of life, or land, or oil, or whatever? What if the entire reason the world seems locked in a cycle suspicion, hatred and violence, is because someone very powerful wants it that way?

On the other hand - what if you were the only person who knew all of this? How could you fight them? And if they knew who you were and what you knew, how could you ever escape them?

6.How did you come up with the title of your books?

When you were a kid, crossing your fingers and holding them behind your back meant that you didn’t have to do what you said. You could lie to a parent, or a teacher, or another kid and somehow that was all right because you crossed your fingers. Well, that sign used to have a name. Kids on playgrounds everywhere called it “King’s X.” You could also say it out loud and it would protect you from being “It” in a game of Hide and Seek. Anyway, I thought that was very strange and I looked deeper into it. Where did this expression come from? Why does it mean the bizarre things that it means? The answer is a spoiler so you’ll have to read the book to find out.

7.What is your biggest challenge of being an author?

I have the attention span of house fly.

8.What do you love most about being an author?

Total control over the content and direction of my work. And you can have the attention span of a house fly.

9.Anything else about your books that you would like to share?

The first long arc story is complete in these first 4 episodes, but there will be much more to come. I am working on a feature screenplay based on King’s X right now, but am planning a whole new King’s X adventure for late 2011. The story of Molly and Detective Book in modern times will continue and the story of their past will move into the 17th Century, Elizabethan England, and high seas adventure. I can’t wait to get started on it.


You can find out more information about Stephen Harper on his blog:

Check out his ebooks on Amazon HERE - only .99 cents!


  1. Tishia,

    Great interview with author Stephen Harper on "Kings X". Interesting thought line on reincarnation here. I like the idea of 'knowing' where you came from. Intriguing!


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