The Accidental Anti-Hero
Omari Ket is the character that was never meant to be. When I first set out to write, I wanted my heroes to be 'good' people, the kind of people that saved the day and were admired by all. I deliberately stayed away from the anti-hero, the person that was only a hero because he or she was not as foul as the people they confronted. I felt it was a trope, one which I wanted to avoid.
But then I wrote a story. This story was about two characters created for the Ki Khanga universe, Nguvu and Kadira. Two mercenaries now living a 'normal' life in the merchant city of Sati-Baa, their lives are interrupted by the appearance of one of Kadira's old friends and lovers, Omari Ket. He sparks memories of the open road for her and rekindles her desire for one more adventure. Omari was created to be everything Kadira didn't need; a womanizing unscrupulous character destined to die before the end of the story. But a funny thing happened during the beta reading; the readers liked Omari, some even more than the main character of the story. My first reaction was mild shock. This was a character that was supposed to be unlikable, but apparently I'd given him too much charisma. The reaction made me curious about what could be done, so Omari was spared. I decided to write a story about Omari after his adventure with Kadira, which gave me an opportunity to flesh out his personality and give more details of the world of Ki Khanga. The story was titled 'Simple Math,' and was included in the Ki Khanga Anthology. Once again, Omari won the audience. My beta readers loved the story, some of them thinking it was the best story in the anthology. But the story raised a question among them. In the story, I mentioned that Omari Ket had spent time among the Ndoko, the intelligent ape-men of Ki Khanga. During that time he was known as 'The Skin Man,' a person whose reputation spread from among the Ndoko to the world of humans. So the question that came from my beta readers and others was,' what's the story behind The Skin Man?
And that's how the third Omari Ket story came to be. The Skin Man tells the 'truth' behind the moniker, an adventure that almost costs Omari his life yet made him a blood brother to the mysterious Ndoko. The Skin Man found its way to Skelos 2 magazine where it was well received. By this time I realized Omari Ket was a character that I would write more stories about, a character that was just as much the result of my readers' imagination as it was mine. And that's where Eda Blessed originated. This collection of short stories show Omari Ket at his best and at his worst. It contains the three stories mentioned here, as well as three brand new stories and original artwork. I hope you like Omari, and I hope he grows on you as he grew on me. Eda Blessed is available as an e-book and paperback January 28, 2019.