We could all use a good Doctor in our life

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“There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes.” — The 4th Doctor (Tom Baker)

Many people turn to parents, grandparents, best friends, or even a priest or pastor to turn to for advice in times of need. For geeks, nerds, and other assorted misfits, we have a different source of comfort and advice.

The wisdom of Yoda, Captain James T. Kirk (or Picard, depending on your preference), Thanos, Gandalf, or many other characters from the various realms of sci-fi/fantasy are a bastion of wisdom. For me, there is only one really, and that’s the Doctor. Whenever I need some sage advice, I just listen for the wheezing sound of the Tardis, open the door and look for the Doctor.

Doctor Who has been around for more than 50 years. In all that time, you can find relative truths and insightful wisdom in his various incarnations. That was the great thing about regeneration’s, or how the Doctor has survived all these years for those non-Whovians.

For example… What do I bring to a party? “Always take a banana to a party!” (The 10th Doctor, David Tenant) or Will you read me a story? “We’re all stories, in the end… just make it a good one, eh?” (The 11th Doctor, Matt Smith) and When can I go to sleep? “Rest is for the weary, sleep is for the dead.” (The 6th Doctor, Colin Baker)

The wisdom of the Doctor extends beyond the simple and the straightforward advice one would expect from a family member, friend or confidant. The writing in the show was poignant, provocative, and has kept the fans enthralled and enticed new fans to the show.

“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.” — The 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

That’s the beauty of Doctor Who. Each Doctor has been played by a different actor, each with their own personalities and charm. It’s like a wealth of advice from a long line of long, lost uncles (and a soon-to-be aunt) right at your fingertips. The Doctor has always been a source of insight into humanity and our various idiosyncrasies that define us, both good and bad. The Doctor has made it very clear that humans are far from perfect, but with potential. I think longtime Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat, said it best.

“When they made this particular hero, they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn’t give him a tank or a warship or an x-wing fighter, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help. And the didn’t give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat ray, they gave him an extra heart. They gave him two hearts. And that’s an extraordinary thing; there will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.” — Steven Moffat

So as we prepare for the next Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) to take the controls of the Tardis along with new showrunner Chris Chibnall this Fall, we can look forward to more words of wisdom that I know I’ll be adding to this list.




Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

The Dark Tides is heading to Germany!

This past week, I received a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to have my second novel, THE DARK TIDES, displayed and marketed at the 2018 Frankfurt International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, Oct. 10-14. This is an incredible honor for an independent author like me.

The Frankfurt International Book Fair is a major cultural event: around 7,300 exhibitors from over 100 countries, more than 275,000 visitors, over 4,000 events, around 10,000 journalists and around 2,400 bloggers make Frankfurter Buchmesse the world’s largest trade fair for publishing every year – and Frankfurt, the metropolis on the Main, the centre of the international media world.

Just thinking about the thousands of people who will get a glimpse of my book gives me hope that someone like me has a chance to make it as an author. I’ve been writing stories since high school–the early eighties, yes I’m old–but I didn’t become published until 2009.

I’ve struggled, as I’m sure many independent authors have, with the cost of artwork, editing, publishing and marketing. This is a huge event, but it’s also a risk that one book like mine could stand out among millions.

I want to thank LitFire Publishing for seeking me out and believing in my novel for this event. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be heading to Germany.

For those who may be unfamiliar with my novel, here’s an excerpt from THE DARK TIDES, explaining a bit of the background of the story in a conversation between Sir Percival, the first Gil-Gamesh, and Bryan Drake, the new Gil-Gamesh.


Bryan’s dream were jumbled, filled with pain. He watched Donegal fall into an endless black void. His deathly screams caused Bryan pain. He also saw others floating in the darkness; a variety of men, women and creatures he’d never seen before. They writhed in anguish, as if their souls were being tortured by the darkness within sword.

Then his dream shifted; he saw a knight standing on a hillside surrounded by an eerie mist. The early morning sun began to rise in the distance. The man wore the two swords Bryan had used earlier around his waist. He turned around as Bryan walked up to him. He was an older man, dressed in plate mail armor, with brown hair and a beard, flecked with gray. He smiled at Bryan, putting him at ease.

“Greetings Bryan Drake, we have been expecting you,” he proclaimed.

Bryan was confused. “We?” he asked. “What do you mean?”

Appearing out of the mist were other knights like him, each wearing a different type of armor, clothing and hairstyles, as if he were looking at a timeline of history. The only thing similar about them was that they all looked very much alike, as if they were related in some way.

“Where am I?”

“I am Sir Percival Peredyr, first Gil-Gamesh of Avalon. We …” he exclaimed, motioning to the others, “… have been the protectors of sacred Avalon for thousands of years.”

“Gil-Gamesh? What is that?”

Percival placed his hand on Bryan’s shoulder and walked him through the ranks of knights. “It is a name I heard on my quest for the Holy Grail for good King Arthur. It was the name of a great hero in ancient Persia. It is the name I took as the champion of Avalon.”

“Avalon? You mean the mythical island from the King Arthur legend?” Bryan questioned him. Percival grinned with a devilish smirk, something he does from time-to-time.

“Yes, Bryan Drake, this is Avalon. But my story doesn’t begin here. It begins nearly 3,000 years ago. I was witness to the death of King Arthur at the hands of his son Mordred at the battle of Camlann. I retrieved his sword Excalibur and was about to return it to the Lady of the Lake when Merlin stopped me.”

“Merlin the Magician? The wizard who advised King Arthur?” Bryan asked. “He’s real too?”

“The one and the same … Merlin told me that with King Arthur’s death, the age of magic was coming to an end. He thought the only way to preserve the magic and all magical beings was to bring them here to Avalon.” Percival explained how Merlin combined his magic with that of Excalibur and opened up a mystic portal. Anyone touched by magic was whisked away to Avalon.

“Touched by magic? You mean like the dragon I saw earlier and the Dwarf too?” Bryan implied.

Percival nodded his head. “Dragons and Dwarves, unicorns and Elves, goblins and trolls … All things created by magic, as well as humans imbued with magic themselves. A new age had begun, but at a great cost.

“Excalibur was shattered, the Knights of the Round Table were decimated and the forces of evil began to gather themselves together. They wanted to wipe us from the face of Avalon forever. To aid in the coming battle, the Elves of Alfheimer and the Dwarves of the Gilded Halls took the broken pieces and forged them into the Twin Swords of the Dragon Moon … Twilight and Dusk.”

Percival drew the swords and showed them to Bryan. “Twilight is the light of Avalon, a shining blade of pure starlight that can cut through anything. Dusk is the darkness within Avalon, a soul reaper that feeds on the souls of its victims to power the ungodly blade. I took up these swords, but not as a king, a champion for justice. I was the first Gil-Gamesh and that honor has been passed on from generation to generation.”

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me?”

“Because, Bryan Drake, you are of my blood … my kin,” Percival told him, “And now you are the new Gil-Gamesh of Avalon.

“You wielded Twilight and Dusk in your battle with Donegal. The swords represent the balance between order and chaos, a balance needed to maintain the peace in our troubled lands. Only a true heir of Percival can wield the swords and become the Gil-Gamesh.”

“But why me and why now? I have a family that needs me. I need to get back to them,” he declared.

“Fate has brought you to Avalon, Bryan Drake” Percival chimed in. “It has always been your destiny to be the Gil-Gamesh. It is up to you to accept your destiny and determine the future of Avalon.”

Percival held out the swords to Bryan, as if to pass on the legacy of the Gil-Gamesh to him. Bryan seemed unsure to take them and Percival sensed his apprehension. “Avalon has been without a Gil-Gamesh for more than 500 years Bryan. The people need you.”

His words rang true—duty, honor and commitment—the same things that made Bryan join the Navy all those years ago. Somehow, someway, he was brought here for a reason. He didn’t like it but it was his only chance to live. Perhaps someday he could find a way home, but now he had to accept his destiny.

Bryan took the swords from Percival. “I don’t know what the future holds for me, but for now, I will do what is right.” The dream began to fade and the last thing Bryan saw before he floated back into darkness was the proud look on Percival’s face.




Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

If you’re not watching Overlord, then what the Hell is wrong with you?

Although Overlord is in its third season, it doesn’t seem to be getting the hype like the third season of Attack on Titan or Sword Art Online. To be frank, that really pisses me off. This is an anime everyone should be watching.

It has relatable characters, a fantasy world we’d all want to jump into, formidable allies, and magical power beyond belief. Add to that a bevy of gorgeous vampires, succubus, and battle maids at your command, and you’ll realize it’s every nerds dream come true.

Overlord, in a nutshell, is about a gamer who stays logged into his favorite fantasy game while they shut the server down for the last time. Then he suddenly finds himself and all the NPCs (non-player characters for any noobs reading this) transported to a fantasy world with all their powers and abilities intact. He decides to set out and take over the world.

Anyone who has spent a weekend playing D&D nonstop, or pulled an all-nighter on Warcraft can relate to the main character, Ainz Ool Gown. Here is a guy who spent all his free time away from social angst by gaming, creating the most powerful undead sorcerer ever. Now he really is that sorcerer in a real fantasy world. Besides his constant monologing, it’s fun watching him read self-help books on being a good leader, learning how to interact socially with others, and ward off the affections of a certain succubus who lusts after his bones.

Other guardians who serve him are also creepy and fun. Demiurge is the coolest demon ever. You never know what he’s capable of. Shalltear is a vampire who will kill you without thinking and yet is the biggest where (when it comes to Lord Ainz that is). Albedo is, well, Albedo. She wants nothing more than to love Ainz, serve his every whim and wish, and have his baby too. These guardians are as ridiculously overpowered as they come, and yet, they have some very human flaws. It’s what makes them endearing.

That’s what I find so interesting about this anime. Here you have a collection of the most evil undead monsters ever assembled and yet you want to be with them. Their funny, cute, sexy, and even caring (at times). Even some of the people in this new world are more monstrous than they are.

Anime has its share of gamers going to worlds based on their in-game experiences, but Overlord is different. Because the main characters are not human, you see more of the humanity in them, and less in the other characters.




Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.

Take a trip back to your childhood through the Hundred Acre Woods

nullWe all want that magic formula for staying and feeling young. For some, it’s exercising, eating right, no smoking or drinking, etc. For me, it’s watching things like anime, cartoons, and other movies and TV shows from my youth. We’re talking about the 70’s and 80’s, so that includes the classic Winnie the Pooh cartoons. This past weekend, I did just that when I went to see Christopher Robin. I will keep this SPOILER free so as not to ruin the movie for you.

This is definitely a movie that will make you laugh, make you cry, and give you that shot from the Fountain of Youth. I felt so alive after watching this movie. It has your basic plot of man working too hard, ignoring his family, needing a visit back to his childhood to make him see the error of his ways; but this is even better because it includes Winnie the Pooh and friends.

The first thing you have to understand about the movie is the setting. We’re talking England in the early 1900s, so for a young boy its boarding school, responsibilities after a parent dies, war, marriage and family, etc. This was the world of author A.A. Milne, and it was recreated with such precision. Another thing that was done perfectly was the characters. Don’t look for the cartoon Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, etc., but rather a faithful recreation of the art of Ernest H. Shepard. They look like stuffed animals that have been left outside in the yard, but they move and sound like the beloved characters.

Along with the story, you get to hear some of the familiar songs from the original Disney cartoons, like the Tigger song and Pooh’s morning exercise song, as well as some familiar quotes made famous by the characters. That’s what will tie it back to your childhood, at least for the adults going to see the movie; but there are plenty of new moments that will make you laugh and make you cry.

Pooh is as delightful and as charming as ever. He had a certain wit about him that you come to expect from Winnie the Pooh. For a “bear of very little brain” there is a wisdom to what he says that makes him a joy to watch. Personally, I am a diehard Tigger fan, and really expected him to stand out, but it was Eeyore that stole the show. The scene where he and Christopher Robin fight of the Heffalumps is hysterical. He had some of the funniest lines that made me laugh the hardest. Piglet is as adorable as always and, believe it not, former Doctor Who alum Peter Capaldi surprised me as the voice of Rabbit. It was a great ensemble for all these beloved characters.

227679_1063370351891_734_nThe human cast was also quite wonderful. Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, and Bronte Carmichael were brilliant as Christopher Robin and his family. The whole movie was so much fun to watch, from beginning to end, that I actually called my grown-up children afterwards and told them they better go see this movie. It not only reminded me of my childhood, but my time with them too. Want proof? Here’s me and my son with our “idols” at Disney!

You may or may not be a fan of these beloved characters, but I really don’t think that matters with this movie. It such a joy to watch, you won’t be able to help yourself. This a great movie, for couples, families, teenagers, young adults, anyone! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.




Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.