I would like to believe that every one of us has, at some point in our lives, dreamt of becoming heroes. You know, somebody greater. Somebody better. Somebody more than what we think we are.
When we were children, we were bold and brilliant at the face our dreams, undaunted by the dragons that threaten our victory. We were simple in our ventures and adventures, and conquering the world was as simple as conquering our kindergarten class with ribbons on our chests and stars on our wrists – symbols of our invincibility and excellence and indestructibility. We were dreamers dreaming big dreams – finding cure for cancer, planting a tree on the moon, inventing a time/space portal, and becoming the world’s best president and work towards the promotion of world peace and the ending of poverty and hunger. We were brave in dreaming. We were bold for wanting to be great.
But as we grow older, we come face to face with real dragons and we realize that defeat is much more painful than coming home with a scrape in the knee. We become ensnared in the claws of the demons we encounter as we go along. We have our first taste of failure, and then suddenly our lives become a series of one failing moment after the next, until we arrive at the thought that maybe we weren’t meant to be heroes after all. Maybe we’re not as strong as we thought we were, not as bold and brilliant in the fangs of dragons as we thought we would be, and in the face of that painful realization, we do the worst thing imaginable: We give up fighting. We give up dreaming. And, horror of horrors, we settle.
Fear becomes our best friend, wariness is the blanket we wear on cold nights, and anxiety is an unwanted cousin that keeps knocking on our doors. Where was that bravado we used to have when we declared that we would become Kings and Queens of the world?
It has gone. It has gone. And we live life one day at a time. Merely existing. Merely passing through. But in the dark of the night the dreams still whisper, but you ignore them and claim sleep for your tired, exhausted body.
But imagine this: What if, in that state of ordinariness, when you have come to accept that you are simply a normal human being with a normal life and a normal job and normal, mundane activities and hobbies, what if you were suddenly given the chance to become more again? What if a sudden chance, a sudden opportunity comes in and once again fans aflame the dying embers of your dreams? What if one day you realize that you still have that chance to become the great YOU that you wanted to be?
Sometimes people cower at that chance, because somewhere in the road of life they begin to think that they are not worthy of those grand plans and big dreams. Sometimes I think that we have perfected the fine art of mediocrity that we shy away from thoughts of greatness.
But here’s the thing: We are children of a great God, and we owe it to that great God to strive to reproduce even a glimmer of that greatness. Since before we were born, great plans were made for us and great things await us at every possible turn in our lives. We are just too blind and too scared to embrace that greatness because our failures and shortcomings have made us believe that we are too small to contain something spectacular and too weak unleash something equally magnificent.
We don’t realize that we don’t have to be great to become that great hero we wanted to become. Sometimes, all it takes for greatness to happen is for you to step out of your comfort zone and into you courage zone. Sometimes all it takes is a single step. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be brave. You don’t have to have a multitude of plans and steps and strategies. You don’t even have to be confident. You just have to come out, into the world, as you are – broken and defeated and afraid and doubtful, but with a heart that believes that there is still hope for you. That you can still be that hero.
If you ask me to describe Champions to you in a single sentence, I’m afraid I would just give you a blank, stupid look complete with a slack jaw, and a half-open mouth that has convinced many people that my IQ is lower than they first thought it was. I don’t have big, bold, or brilliant words to describe this book that I wrote with blood, sweat, tears, and countless of sleepless nights and a gazillion gallon of coffee (my motto in writing this book is ‘everything is possible with Christ and a cup of coffee).
I can tell you with pride that this is the groundbreaking novel published by SVP because never before have we published something that remotely resembles fiction. I can tell you that this is a novel that spans years and months of research on Philippine mythology and folklore, angelology and demonology, intensive study of pop culture and the fantasy genre (through years of game play of Final Fantasy series and thick volumes of world literatures), and more than 10,000 hours of study, practice, and training to write the book in a voice, style and language that will be understood and appreciated by the reading masses (which is successful by the way, because this book is a Featured Story in Wattpad and has ranked #81 in Fantasy among thousands of other stories).
But that’s just telling you about the book, the product, and not about its heart. Its soul. Its fire. For all that I am its author, I can’t explain much. But what I do know is that Champions is about BEING angry, and sinful, and broken, and doubtful, and weak and afraid and uncaring… But it also about BECOMING brave and responsible and strong and faithful and loving. It’s about love, too, but not just the romantic giddy feels type of love that we are all unashamedly fond of reading.
It’s about all kinds love. It’s about loving the unlovable and maybe even about falling in love with somebody that you have loved first. It’s about fighting war with love and finding love in war.
Champions is a book that will disturb you and make you wonder what your life would have been life had you been brave enough to answer that call for greatness. Champions will empower you to rise above your self imposed limitations and to embark on your own journey to find out what it means to be a true hero.
That’s what I wanted to say anyway, because it sounds impressive. Really, though, honestly? I just wrote Champions because I wanted to become a kick-ass hero with a kick-ass sword that kicks the ass of big bad demons. It’s basically just fantasy production fortified with lots of grand battle scenes between the forces of good and minions of evil, time and dimension travel into a crystallized world powered by the sun, awe-inspiring superpowers and super weapons wielded by the most unlikely heroes.
So when you see this book, when you hold it in your hand or when you place it on the shelves, I want you to remember your children-your daughters and sons, or brothers and sisters, or cousins and nephews and nieces. I want you to remember yourself and the person you were, or still are, when you had grand dreams in your heart and you were bold enough to claim them. This book is a reminder that great things happen even to not so great people, if only they will say yes.
And on a personal note, and on a mission that I am intensely passionate about, I want you to think of the youth and the multitudes of people, young and old, who have fallen recklessly, destructively in love with stories that involved sex and violence wrapped in romantic packages, parading as love stories. That is not love. That will never be love. Because love is about respect and honor and courage. Love is about sacrifices and service. And yes, love is kilig and all warm and fuzzy feelings, but love is never about self-desecration. And even then, in the presence of all that is dark and dirty and destructible, love is the great flame that will raze everything to the ground, and from the ashes something great and new and beautiful will rise again.
That’s what this book is about: A chance to become something else. I want you to look at this book and remember that we can give our readers something else, something more.
And remember that you can be more. You are a Champion, too.
Karren Renz Seña
*Champions is available in all leading bookstores in the Philippines.
Or you may order straight from the publisher:
- Buy directly from the website. Click HERE to order your copies now and have it delivered straight to your doorstep. (Free delivery within Metro Manila for orders Php300 and up. Standard shipping rates apply otherwise).
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