January 20, 2013

Guest Post: The Kabrini Message

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit with you today, Sara and to share our story with you and your readers!

Where to begin?  Let's begin at the beginning.  No, let's begin with the basics and then we'll move on to the beginning:

The basics:  The Kabrini Message is a book, written a quarter of a century ago, that was just released on January 18, 2013 (yeah!!!).  It was written by a first time author, J.R. Egles (my brother) who passed away in 2010.  The Kabrini Message, therefore, is not only the author's first but only novel and being published posthumously.  It is technically a science fiction book, with an action/adventure crossover.  The "message" is of our universal connection and need for social consciousness (but don’t worry, it’s not that heavy and very funny in parts!).

I have not read anything like The Kabrini Message before and therefore, it is difficult to compare it to any other stories...however, as purely a point a reference, the closest thing I can associate it with is a sort of Avatar meets Indiana Jones.  

OK, now we can begin at the beginning:  It was late spring 2011 when I found myself feeling very nostalgic.  For some reason, I felt the overwhelming urge to climb up into my attic and reminisce over old family photos.  At the time, I attributed it to the fact that I had been working on a project for my son’s upcoming wedding—assembling pictures of him from birth through adulthood, which would be displayed at the reception.  As I was combing through all of his old pictures, I was suddenly overcome with a desire to look through my own childhood photos. 

A few days went by, and I still had not made the trek up into the attic.  I realized that with the frantic pace of everyday life, if I waited for a day when I finally had some spare time, I may never get around to it.  So late one night, feeling compelled at that moment, I went into my attic in search of old family photographs.  I found the photographs—but I also found something else.

I discovered it as I was digging through a box of photos that had come from my mother’s house.  My mother passed away in 1994, and I must have received the box of photographs and mementos shortly after that—but I had not gone through it until this particular late night adventure.  Inside the old box, I came across a large manila envelope, marked in my mother’s handwriting:  “Joe’s Book”.  The manuscript was dated 1987.

I vaguely remembered, many years earlier, hearing my mother talk about a book that my brother Joe had written.  She was typing his hand-written manuscript for him.  I don’t believe I ever heard Joe speak of it himself; and I had never heard any more of the book until now.

I tossed the envelope aside to bring downstairs, thinking it might make for good summer reading and that was the beginning...

Joe was a brilliant man—quite possibly a genius.  However, (and I say this with great love and affection) it seemed to me that he never followed through on anything.  When I first found The Kabrini Message, I wasn’t sure if he had ever attempted to get it published.  I assumed that he had not—or that he probably hadn’t tried very hard.  

The oldest of my three brothers, Joe was twelve years older than me.  The year I started first grade, he started college.  Although there was a large age difference, I do have a few vivid memories of growing up with him.  I remember Joe building his own telescopes as a teen (not from a kit, but from scratch—grinding the lenses himself, etc.).  He was absolutely fascinated with stars and planets, and he spent much of his time at the observatory.

So, as I began reading Joe’s book, The Kabrini Message, I was not surprised to find that it was Science Fiction.  (What else would Joe write?)  Although Sci-Fi is not my usual reading genre, I found that I couldn’t put it down.  I genuinely enjoyed it!

I was amazed and in awe of the imagination that created these twists and turns and intricacies; especially considering that, as far as I know, this was a first novel.  Most of all, I loved the quick wit and humor in the dialogue between the characters.

I always knew there was so much more to Joe than met the eye, but I never realized just how much more.  All of these wild, elaborate ideas were going on and most of us never knew it.  I always knew there was pretty complex stuff going on in Joe's head, but now I finally know what some of it was.

I’m not surprised that my mother took the time to type Joe’s entire manuscript. She and Joe had a special relationship; she was his “champion of causes”.  She believed in him and always encouraged his greatest hopes and dreams.  Unfortunately, Joe did not seem to believe in himself enough most of the time.

But Joe had many wonderful qualities, too.  He had a fabulous sense of humor and a sharp wit, similar to that of some of the characters in his book.  He was funny and extremely intelligent and we always enjoyed his company so much, when we actually saw him.  But we rarely saw him.  When we invited him to family get-togethers and special occasions, he never said “no”; he always said, “I’ll try”, or “If I can”, but he seldom came.  The only events he attended with regularity were weddings and funerals—and even then, he’d only stay for the briefest amount of time that was socially acceptable, and then he always “had to get going”.  Even so, I somehow always knew he loved his family very much.

In January 2010, two months after his 60th birthday and with so much talent and ability that it seemed he never really tapped into, my brother Joe passed away.

My mother always recognized Joe’s potential, and now I do, too.  And although at the time of his passing it appeared that much of his talent never materialized, perhaps that is not true.  Perhaps it is not too late.

I now realize I was wrong when I assumed Joe never followed through on anything.  He completed this book.  And I recently learned something else from his wife Gwen—soon after Joe wrote the book, they mailed copies of his manuscript to nearly 50 publishers.  When interest was not immediately shown, however, Joe stopped pursuing it.

So I decided to take it one step further; I would get The Kabrini Message published, as a gift to both my brother and our mother who always believed in him.  The journey has been a fun, fascinating and educational labor of love.  

An alien race. A shocking message…

During an archaeological dig in Greece, Jeffrey Driscoll stumbles upon a miraculous find: ancient crystals with celestial coordinates that will connect humankind with the Kabrini, a highly advanced alien civilization. His discovery leads him on a quest from the jungles of Africa to the 
Islands of Greece, from the streets of London to the tombs of Egypt, from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, Jamaica, and Vienna, and finally to the deepest depths of space and Earth’s first global space effort, the Legacy mission.

When Driscoll Mining and the U.S. Army complete deep space construction of the Kabrini communications network, the Legacy mission is deemed a success. But a dangerous terrorist group hungers for revenge, and Driscoll will stop at nothing to save the project. As his obsession with the Legacy mission spirals out of control, he risks losing everything—his company, his grasp on reality, and the one thing he’s ever truly loved: his wife. And when humankind finally makes contact, they discover the Kabrini Message isn’t exactly what they expected to hear…

Amazon  /  B&N  /  Omnilit

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