Local veteran pens mythology-based poetry book
By BRITTANY FHOLER
A local veteran has self-published his own book of poetry through Amazon that focuses on different gods and goddesses from various mythologies and cultures.
Copperas Cove resident Julian Seale was born in Houston, but grew up traveling around the world due to his father’s work as an engineer. The family lived in places such as Singapore, China, Thailand, and more.
“I think because of that, I started getting interested in comparative religions and just mythologies and different people, why they believe what they believe, and that was very interesting to me,” Seale said. “It paved the road for me becoming a writer and a poet.”
Seale majored in Mandarin Chinese in college and spent one semester studying both Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, he said.
“I just love different cultures and religions, and I kind of wanted to publish something because I’m 31 now, and I just haven’t done anything,” Seale said. “I wanted to do something.”
Seale’s book, available in paperback through Amazon, is called “The Seer and The Witness.”
Seale explained that the name comes partially from Odin, the Norse god of war. In Norse mythology, Odin plucks his eye out in order to obtain wisdom. He is known as the Seer, and through the use of his ravens, he is able to see the different realms of Midgard.
“My collection of poetry is Greek, Egyptian and Norse, and it’s actually kind of a weird fanfiction crossover where different gods from different pantheons talk to each other,” Seale said.
The book is 42 pages in length and retails for $15. The book can be purchased at https://a.co/d/b85YFQw.
Seale said that going through a more traditional publisher probably would have taken longer and been more of a headache, so he decided to self-publish through Amazon. He used connections made through Twitter for the designing of the cover and inside pages, which feature a background image correlating to the subject of each poem.
“If you have good connections, of course that makes it easier, but the Amazon process of self-publishing, it’s really easy,” Seale said. “If you like to be your own marketing manager so to speak, your own human resources, your own CEO, self-publishing is definitely the way to go, and that’s what I did.”
Seale said that he was happy at the reception his book had received so far.
“I’m actually surprised Cove has been so receptive to it because I know it’s predominantly Christian,” Seale said. “That’s not a bad thing. It’s just this comprises so many different viewpoints and religion, so I’m glad that there’s so much of a diverse population ready to look at that. I’m pretty happy with that, and I look forward to hearing what other people think.”
Seale joined the Army from Houston and was stationed at Fort Hood, where he served for six years before being medically discharged. He said he traveled more as a civilian than as a servicemember.
“Publishing poetry was one thing I wanted to do after I got out because it’s always been about other people,” Seale said. “When you join the service, it’s not about you anymore, as they say. So, within a year of taking a break, that’s what I wanted to do, and I did.”
Seale said that readers don’t need a deeper understanding of the different mythologies in order to read and enjoy the poems.
“I tried to recreate an ancient worldview or the structure that they had in mind back then,” Seale sai. “When you read the prose of Norse mythology, or you read the Book of the Dead, Egyptian mythology or read about the encounters of Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Hermes, anyone, you know, it’s written in such a way to elicit a certain emotion or viewpoint, and I think it’s beautiful how it’s just presented to you. It’s doesn’t assume what you know. It’s archaic because we can’t really understand it, but there’s some kind of magic or mysticism to it, and that’s always intrigued me as a writer, how different the linguistic style is, but also just how that world view doesn’t really pertain to us anymore.”
Seale added that he tries to bridge that gap within his book. Each page is a different poem, but the poems do not have a title, in order to allow the reader to come up with their own based on what they have read. Each poem is also 180 characters or less, similar to a tweet on Twitter.
“It’s just that I want people to anticipate things their own way,” Seale said. “It’s like “Beowulf”, like how we learned at school. Beowulf was actually a presented title, later down the road, but the original text didn’t even have a title. It didn’t even start with Beowulf. It was more about his lineage and why they matter to be in a story in the first place, so I wanted to pay homage to that.”